Great Asia Partners
South Asia: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal.
Asia is the largest and most populous continent or region, depending on the definition. It covers 8.6 percent of the Earth's total surface area, or 29.4 percent of its land area, and it contains more than 60 percent of the world's human population.
Asia is traditionally defined as part of the landmass of Africa-Eurasia –
with the western portion of the latter occupied by Europe – lying east of the
Suez Canal, east of the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains and
the Caspian and Black Seas.
However, in terms of exchange rates (nominal GDP), Japan has the largest economy in Asia and second-largest of any single nation in the world, after surpassing the Soviet Union (measured in net material product) in 1986 and Germany in 1968. (NB: A number of supernational economies are larger, such as the EU, NAFTA or APEC). Economic growth in Asia since World War II to the 1990s had been concentrated in few countries of the Pacific Rim, and has spread more recently to other regions.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japan's economy was almost as large as that of the rest of the continent combined. In 1995, Japan's economy nearly equalled that of the USA to tie the largest economy in the world for a day, after the Japanese currency reached a record high of 79 yen. But since then, Japan's currency has corrected and China has grown to be the second-largest Asian economy, followed by India, in terms of exchange rates. It is expected that China will surpass Japan in currency terms to have the largest nominal GDP in Asia within a decade or two.
Asia is the largest continent in the world by a considerable margin, and it is rich in natural resources, such as petroleum and iron.
High productivity in agriculture, especially of rice, allows high population density of countries in the warm and humid area. Other main agricultural products include wheat and chicken.
Forestry is extensive throughout Asia, except in Southwest and Central Asia. Fishing is a major source of food in Asia, particularly in Japan.
Manufacturing in Asia has traditionally been strongest in East and Southeast Asia, particularly in mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. The industry varies from manufacturing cheap goods such as toys to high-tech products such as computers and cars. Many companies from Europe, North America, and Japan have significant operations in Asia's developing countries to take advantage of its abundant supply of cheap labor.
One of the major employers in manufacturing in Asia is the textile industry. Much of the world's supply of clothing and footwear now originates in Southeast Asia.
Financial and other services
Asia has three main financial centers: in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.
Call centers and business process outsourcing (BPOs) are becoming major
employers in India and the Philippines, due to the availability of a large pool
of highly skilled English speaking workforce. The rise of the business process
outsourcing industry has seen the rise of India and China as other financial
The coastal periphery was home to some of the world's earliest known civilizations, each of them developing around fertile river valleys. The civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze shared many similarities. These civilizations may well have exchanged technologies and ideas such as mathematics and the wheel. Other innovations, such as writing, seem to have been developed individually in each area. Cities, states and empires developed in these lowlands.
The central steppe region had long been inhabited by horse-mounted nomads who could reach all areas of Asia from the steppes. The earliest postulated expansion out of the steppe is that of the Indo-Europeans, who spread their languages into the Middle East, India, and the borders of China, where the Tocharians resided. The northernmost part of Asia, including much of Siberia, was largely inaccessible to the steppe nomads, owing to the dense forests, climate, and tundra. These areas remained very sparsely populated.
The center and the peripheries were mostly kept separated by mountains and deserts. The Caucasus and Himalaya mountains and the Karakum and Gobi deserts formed barriers that the steppe horsemen could cross only with difficulty. While technologically and socially, the urban city dwellers were more advanced, in many cases they could do little in a military aspect to defend against the mounted hordes of the steppe. However, the lowlands did not have enough open grasslands to support a large horsebound force; for this and other reasons, the nomads who conquered states in China, India, and the Middle East often found themselves adapting to the local, more affluent societies.
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Pets Not Allowed
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