The Digital Economy is in full swing. And Asia is leading it as one of the most  incredibly innovative and forward-thinking regions in the world. Asia thinks big and invests for the future. Visit any city and you see ambition. There is a richness and diversity of cultures across the region, and it extends to technology.

Today’s new tech leaders originate across all parts of Asia. Be it companies like Xero and Atlassian from Australia and New Zealand; Huawei, Didi and Baidu in China;  or Line in Japan, the list goes on. Innovation today is truly global and many times made in Asia.

Personally, I have a long history with Asia. I was born in Hong Kong and lived in Tokyo and Shanghai. My father was a classic entrepreneur who ran – and still owns – an import/export business in Kowloon, Hong Kong. And as he saw the future in Asia, and see it become reality, he pressed me to do the same.

The sense of aspiration and growth in Asia has always inspired me. For me, Asia represents the future. And it isn’t ironic that today, I lead a digital marketplace not unlike the physical one my father set up decades ago that is helping business across Asia transform the way they do business – particularly procurement.

Just like everything else in Asia, procurement practices are maturing. More companies have introduced the role of a CPO and are setting up procurement as a shared service. I see this in many of my customer interactions from Malaysia to Japan. And they are making investments in platforms to digitize the core procurement operations and want to be the first to innovate in areas like supplier risk and supply chain collaboration.

And these investments are critical, because without Asia, there is no global high tech supply chain. Or retail supply chain. Or natural resource chain. Asia is contributing significantly to the growth of the global economy and I see no slow-down. Suppliers in Asia have embraced digital networks to enhance the efficiency of their operations and grow their business – not only in the region, but around the world.

The combination of maturing procurement organizations and an ever-growing supplier base make Asia the place to be.  And the region to watch for innovations that keep the region rising and make not just procurement, but business in general awesome.

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