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The continuous and rapid economic growth in Asia, which shows no sign of slowing down, directly and negatively impacts the U.S. economy. Because the U.S. domestic demand is shrinking, multinational companies, especially the U.S.-based ones, know that their survival largely depends on international markets, particularly in Asia, which has an undying thirst for natural resources, know-how, technology, infrastructure, and talent.

Multinational companies know that they need to assimilate into the multiple cultures across Asia, anticipating the discerning taste of Asian consumers. This is a tall order today because it is the only pragmatic way for them to ensure sound returns on their Asian investment.

For Asia’s home-grown businesses that traditionally have been passed down for generations by their forefathers, it is important for the older generation and forefathers to appreciate and understand that times have changed and how things have changed. The Asia today is no longer the same as the Asia of yesterday. Western cultures and influences have made their significant impact into this part of the world through colonialism and imperialism.

To stay fiercely competitive in this age of globalization in a “flat world,”16 these traditional Asian businesses need to compete against multinational companies that have deeper pockets, more resources, and advanced technology.

Asian businesses need to accept the hard fact that the multinational companies have already made their mark in Asia today with their increased geographical and territorial coverage.

Against this competitive economic backdrop lies one interesting factor that has become a key differentiator and a unique selling proposition for the survival of businesses of the future. That factor is something we have all taken for granted for decades that is slowly becoming a scarce commodity: talent.

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