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It can be easy to forget about other continents. Regulatory talk about Dodd-Frank and Basel III -- not to mention economic worry about the fiscal cliff and Eurozone debt crisis -- can leave you thinking that there’s nothing beyond North America and Europe.

 

Innovation in Asia 01-16-2013-ASo regulators called for greater regional influence at this week’s Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong. The chairman of Malaysia’s Securities Commission even advocated official collaboration on a unified position relative to the rest of the world.

 

But Asia appears prominently on the map when we talk about innovation.

 

Targeting individual customers with personalized offers is a decades-old marketing theory that has only recently blossomed, thanks to new technology. And Asian enterprises are determined to capitalize on it.

 

“A lot of our retail customers here in Asia [are] looking to establish a deeper relationship one-to-one with their consumers,” Jason Yotopoulos, SAP’s global head of Next Business and Technology, told the BBC’s Asia Business Report. “We’re doing this ... through the mobile phone.”

 

Innovation will be critical to emerging economies in 2013, Yotopoulos told Asia Business Report’s Rico Hizon -- from a curious distance. These nations must cultivate entrepreneurship from the ground up, and get ahead of the competition.

 

 

Innovation in Asia 01-16-2013-B
SAP’s Jason Yotopoulos discussed the importance of innovation with the BBC.

“They see an important strategic advantage to get out early [and] try new things as these markets are shifting and growing,” Yotopoulos said. “Those that move most quickly with these new technologies get the advantage.”

 

But governments in Asia may not always be as helpful as they should.

 

“Businessmen ... feel that they are not getting enough support from the government and even worse, that government is ‘killing’ their businesses,” columnist and lawyer Emmanuel M. Dalman wrote in The Philippine Star Tuesday. “Instead of helping the local entrepreneurs develop their businesses ... the government allows big-time foreign investors to come and compete with our local entrepreneurs.”

 

Continual support for startups and the entrepreneurial spirit will be crucial to Asia maintaining its edge in the world of innovation. And it will be key to the region’s effort to get itself on other maps.

 

Related Media:

 

Asia Needs Bigger Voice in International Financial Rulemaking” on Risk.net

 

SAP increases investment in its Asia research centres” on BBC.co.uk

 

Are We Protecting Our Entrepreneurs?” in The Philippine Star

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