El empobrecido

HONG KONG - En 2050, Asia tendrá más de cinco mil millones de habitantes, mientras que la proporción de la Unión Europea en la población mundial pasará del 9% al 5%. El promedio del crecimiento económico anual en Asia durante los últimos 30 años ha sido de un 5% y se proyecta que su PIB aumente de $30 billones a unos $230 billones en 2050. El equilibrio de poder del siglo XXI -en términos sociales, económicos y posiblemente políticos- está cambiando del oeste al este.

Las inquietudes de Occidente sobre un inminente "siglo asiático" se derivan principalmente del precedente de la geopolítica del siglo XX, en que Occidente dominó naciones menos desarrolladas. Pero esta dinámica está desactualizada, y Asia sufriría tanto como Occidente de cualquier intento de emular a los imperios británico y americano de los siglos XIX y XX.

A medida que aumenta el crecimiento económico de Asia, el consumo en la región también se ha elevado. Las empresas multinacionales y los países occidentales -que se pueden beneficiar mucho con el creciente consumo de Asia - han alentado a los asiáticos a aspirar a un nivel de vida occidental, con su alto uso de energía, juguetes electrónicos y una dieta abundante en carne. Los gobiernos asiáticos parecen socios bien dispuestos en este enfoque unidimensional para el desarrollo y están ansiosos por impulsar el crecimiento económico global. Sin embargo, no es deseable ni posible que los asiáticos consuman como lo hacen los occidentales, y sus gobiernos deben hacer frente a esta realidad.

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