India’s adoption in 1961 of IR8, a semi-dwarf variety of rice capable of producing 10 times the yield of traditional rice when grown with certain fertilisers and irrigation, marked the advent of Asia’s agricultural 'green revolution'. The success of IR8 quickly spread throughout Asia and now, helped by government policies, the green revolution is spreading to other sectors as well.
Green growth is a policy focus in countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It emphasises environmentally sustainable economic progress, which fosters low-carbon, socially inclusive development, and governments such as South Korea are fine-tuning their green growth policies.The Global Green Growth Institute, based in South Korea, partnered with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to hold the first annual Global Green Growth Forum in Denmark in October 2011, with the aim of advancing public-private co-operation in the green growth area.
At the city level, Singapore is Asia’s greenest metropolis, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Asian Green City Index. Cambodia, meanwhile, is developing its 'green growth master plan' and establishing a National Committee on Green Growth, which will constitute Cambodia’s national framework for sustainable development.
At the corporate level, Asia’s adoption of green technology is still at a nascent stage, owing to the high costs associated with the early stages of development. But for early movers the area does present high profit potential, and some Asian companies are already using green technology to produce LED lighting products.
I am arranging private equity investment leads for the green production of castor oil and encouraging Japanese investors to bring their green technology investments to emerging Asian markets. These investments range from energy-saving street LED light bulbs that replace mercury, to solar panels and wind power using motor repulsion power, and to nanonised emulsion oil systems offering 20% savings. A sign that green technology deals in Asia are slowly heating up.
Lawrence Yeo is CEO and Principal Consultant of AsiaBIZ Strategy, a Singapore-based strategy and public sector consultancy providing Asia market research, market entry and expansion strategy and export/FDI promotion services. Website: www.asiabizstrategy.com