Focus on Asia

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Napoleon is reported to have said that when China awoke, the world would shake. This has proved prophetic: since turning outwards 35 years ago, the Chinese economy has grown at an unprecedented rate and is expected to become the world’s largest economy within the next two decades. Other emerging markets in Asia have also grown remarkably in recent years, and under the leadership of exceptional entrepreneurs, world-class businesses have emerged – often now led by next generation descendants of the founding families.

We have therefore devoted this issue of Pictet Report to Asia and the people who have contributed to its success. We start with a discussion by three of Pictet’s investment experts on the prospects for the region, which has been showing signs of a slowdown in economic growth. They see grounds for optimism over the medium to long term, provided difficult issues can be resolved as Asian countries continue their journeys to becoming developed economies.

The remainder of this issue introduces some very distinguished entrepreneurs in the region. Some are members of venerable business dynasties: Richard Eu has revitalised a traditional Chinese medicine business with 19th century roots; Hans Michael Jensen heads a Hong Kong company co-founded by his great grandfather in 1895; and Nishita Shah Federbush represents the fifth generation of an Indian trading family that migrated from Bombay to Bangkok.

Others are scions of more recently founded businesses: Teresita Sy-Coson is at the helm of her father’s retail empire; Dee Poon has relaunched her mother’s luxury shirt brand; Adrian Cheng is deploying his artistic interest in his grandfather’s businesses; Chotiphat Bijananda is counsellor to his father-in-law’s companies. And two of the entrepreneurs founded their own businesses: Pierre Chen and Koh Boon Hwee, both in manufacturing electronics components.

Finally, we have an interview with the President of the Aga Khan University, which is based in Pakistan and an important part of the Aga Khan Development Network. We hope that you will enjoy learning more about Asia, its exceptional businesses and one of its leading development institutions.

Philippe Bertherat
Partner, Pictet
June 2014