Asia urged to be innovative

Singapore, June 25:

From China to Singapore, Asia must nurture a culture of innovation if the region is to emerge as a formidable global player, the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia was told today.

With the Cold War over, nations around the world are now in a race for knowledge, and technology can mean the difference in who remains on top, business leaders said. “Innovation comes from countries that have the most educated workforce,” Jim Goodnight, chief executive of US-based business intelligence software services firm SAS, said.

“I’ve often said that we’re no longer in a Cold War that we once were, where we were in an arms race. Today’s race is a race for minds and which ever country, which ever region can cr-eate the greatest set of minds are the ones that will eventually dominate the world.”

While some Asian countries are stamping their mark on the global stage, only

two from the region — Singapore and Japan — were in the top 10 of the WEF’s latest international survey on competitiveness, WEF officials have noted.

Speakers at the WEF said governments will play an important role in nurturing creativity among their people.

Liu Jiren, chairman and chief executive of Chinese technology firm Neusoft, sa-id China’s challenge is cultivating a culture of innovati-on among its huge pool of ta-lent that sees six million students graduating every year.

‘Use forex’:

SINGAPORE: Asia sho-uld use some of the $3 trillion lying idle in foreign exchange coffers for sorely needed infrastructure projects that are crucial for the regi-on’s development. “Foreign exchange reserves have to be first of all used exactly as reserves — to protect your currency,” Rajat M Nag sa-id. “But beyond a level you have to make sure that those reserves are made best use of.”— AFP