Asian cities need sustainability

Environment, productivity and work hours are all big issues

Asia is home to some of the largest urban centres in the world.

Jakarta, in Indonesia, is home to some 25 million people. Manila is huge. Tokyo and Seoul are both large. Smaller Hong Kong and Singapore are large by any standard. High urbanisation rates are making these cities even larger, but not necessarily more sustainable.

As Cornelia Zou reports in China Daily Asia Pacific last week the challenges are quite significant, but so are the opportunities for Asian cities to start taking issues of sustainability seriously and make significant leapfrogs in terms of the environments, quality of life, education, even work hours and governance.

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World Cup economics benefits are virtually nill

The World Cup is finished, much to the chagrin of our favorite Argentine team that came so close to taking a third cup only to see their chances vanish on a single but great German goal in overtime.

The World Cup is the most watched sporting event in the world. The governing body of football, FIFA, says something like 3.2 billion people watched at least a minute of the World Cup. It is a lot of people. Many of them are in Asia. And almost none of them see any economic benefits.

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Another burst in Japan: drug approvals

Japan’s healthcare industry has been marked by a fascinating dichotomy for the last couple of decades. A dichotomy that hurt patients most of all.

On the one hand, Japan is home to the second largest pharmaceutical and biopharma market in the world. A market populated by world-class multinationals that develop leading drugs.

On the other hand, the country’s regulatory system has long been notoriously slow to approve new drugs. As a result, patients there would often have to wait years for new drugs that were already available in markets like the U.S., Canada, Australia or the E.U.

This seems to be changing.

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Healthcare Research Suggests More Growth in the Offing

Japan’s efforts to recreate its healthcare funding system provides at least one reason behind the ongoing bull market in healthcare and biotech.

Japan is creating a new National Institute of Health (NIH) that follows the U.S. funding model for the healthcare industry. That is good news for drug and medical device companies that may now have easier access to funds and for the entire healthcare industry in Japan as a whole, which has been stalled for a couple of decades.

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