Viewpoint: Unlocking the Untapped Opportunity in Asia Through Impact Investing
By Dr. James Gifford and Joyce Chee
There is a huge, untapped market opportunity in Asia, driven by under-served populations. Today, there are over one billion people in Asia who live in poverty. Yet, they are already spending over US$2 trillion annually on basic goods and services such as food, housing, clothing and telecommunications. And poverty levels across Asian countries have been declining in the recent years, with income levels of the poor in Asia expected to increase significantly over the next decade.
According to Brookings, by 2030, there will likely be more than 600 million people who would have transitioned out of poverty. In the next 10 years, they will not only be buying more goods and services, but also demanding higher quality.
At the same time, the region is experiencing rapid growth in digitalisation. According to Statista, Internet penetration in Asia has doubled in the last 10 years (from 25 per cent to 48 per cent) and is expected to continue to grow, reaching 62 per cent by 2025. This equates to another 900 million people in Asia who will be online, primarily via their mobile phones.
Photo courtesy of KX Studio.