The 21st Century is deemed by many as the Asian Century due to Asia’s projected dominance in politics, culture and economics. It is a diverse continent in which each of its countries has their own unique strengths. Top 10 of Asia aims to explore this ever compelling continent with its own poll results ranging from Asia’s Top Nation for Foodies to Asia’s Nation with Most Promising Growing Economy.
In the Asia’s Nation with Best Holiday Beaches category, Thailand had the most votes. Its beaches are famous for its white sand and clear blue seas. It is known as one of the best travel destinations in the world and a big part of its allure is its beaches with their warm weather and highly accommodating resorts.
As for Asia’s Top Nation for Agricultural Produce, China came out on top. China is not only number one country for agricultural produce in Asia but also the world. It is a vital industry in China employing 300 million farmers. According to the United Nations, “China has succeeded in producing one-fourth of world’s grain and feeding one-fifth of world’s population with less than 10 percent of world arable land.”
Asia has a steep history of textiles and has produced some of the world’s most exquisite textiles. For Asia’s Top Nation for Exquisite Textiles, India came out on top. India’s textiles come from a rich heritage dating back to the Indus Valley civilization which existed during the Bronze Age. Their distinct style is predominated by silk and cotton weaving.
Part of the spread of Asian culture around the world can be attributed to their rich and successful history of cinema. In Asia’s Top Nation for Producing Critically-Acclaimed Movies category, Hong Kong claimed the top spot. Hong Kong has certainly been one of the biggest influences in the modern era of Asian cinema. Some of the notable people who broke through into the cultural mainstream in the West include Jackie Chan and John Woo. In 2016, the 2000 Hong Kong movie, In The Mood for Love was voted as the second greatest film of the 21st Century by 177 film critics from around the world.
Asia’s Most Scientifically Innovative Nation honour went to Japan. From the Walkman to the android robots of today, Japan continues to offer the world important scientific innovations that improve society. Japan has one of the highest spendings on R&D and filing of patent applications. The Japanese government is encouraging various players, including start-ups and “hidden gems” among small- and medium-sized enterprises, to come up with innovative ideas.
Singapore came out on top for Asia’s Top Nation for Online Startups. Singapore has been consistently ranked as one of the top startup ecosystems in the world. Its business environment has been recognised as a leading place to do business by organisations such as the World Bank and the Economist Intelligence Unit. Its government is also highly supportive of startups offering various financial schemes and grants for startups of various types and industries. Add in the fact that Singapore has a tech-savvy population which uses English widely, it is no wonder Singapore is a hotbed for online startups.
Asia’s rich history has lent itself to many historical wonders. The vote for Asia’s Top Nation with Historical Wonders went to Cambodia. Almost everyone is familiar with the country’s biggest attraction, Angkor Wat. It is the largest religious monument in the world and often cited as one of the wonders of the world other than of course the classic version of the list. The temple of Bayon is another famous temple. It contains world-famous stone sculptures that show faces which are said to be a mixture of Lord Buddha and King Jayavarman.
Another Southeast Asian nation, Singapore, was voted as Asia’s Best Nation for Education. According to the reputable QS University rankings, Singapore is home to two of the highest ranking university in Asia, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) at first placing and National University of Singapore (NUS) at second. In the Times Higher Education ranking, NUS sits at the top. It also has a strong corporate reputation attractive to students and is a very livable country.
Indonesia was voted as Asia’s Top Nation for Cultural Diversity. According to the Indonesian Central Bureau of Statistics, Indonesia’s population has over 300 ethnic groups with living languages of more than 700. Cultural identities developed over centuries and are influenced by Indian, Arabic, Chinese, and European sources, resulting in many cultural practices being strongly influenced by a multitude of religions.
Asia’s Top Nation for Foodies is certainly a subjective category and one with stiff competition. Malaysia got the most votes as the best foodie haven. Malaysian food is ingrained in its culture and society. Its diverse cuisine draws mainly from its multi-ethnic society, mainly from Malay, Chinese and Indian influences. Food is generally affordable and offers a symphony of flavours that attracts many tourists.
In the category of Asia’s Top Nation for Medical Tourism, the vote went to India. The primary reasons why India’s medical tourism has been so successful is that it is cost-effective and that it offers treatment from accredited facilities that are on par with developed countries at a much lower cost. This rare combination of low cost and high quality sees thousands of medical tourists flock to India at an increasing number every year.
Japan came up top in the Asia’s Best Nation for Youth Development category. In the latest Youth Development Index (2016), Japan was ranked 10th out of all the countries in the world and the highest in all of Asia. The Japanese government supports the self-development of youth, social development and participation through programmes and improving counselling systems.
Singapore was crowned Asia’s Most Liveable City in our survey. According to Mercer’s 20th annual Quality of Living survey, Singapore was first in Asia and 25th in the world. With a great infrastructure, an open business environment, a world class education and low crime rate, Singaporeans enjoy a high standard of living and is one of the highest-rated destinations by expats.
The vote for Asia’s Fastest Growing Nation for Manufacturing went to Laos. This mountainous landlocked country in Southeast Asia is ranked as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, averaging 8% a year in GDP growth. Its main manufacturing goods consist of clothing/fabrics and rattan furniture. The manufacturing sector’s growth accelerated from 3.1% in 2016 to 4.4% in 2017. The sector’s positive outlook is boosted by government efforts in the right direction.
In the Asia’s Nation with Most Promising Growing Economy category, India had the most votes. India reclaimed its title as the fastest-growing major economy in the world in 2018, surpassing China. The growth has been driven by a sharp acceleration in investment, increased exports and a large contribution from consumption. According to Deloitte’s “India Economic Outlook Report 2018”, growth prospects remain promising and the economy will continue to grow at 7.2% in 2018-2019.
Asia’s Top Nation with Unique Natural Wonders vote went to Vietnam. It is home to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles of various shapes and sizes. It makes for a unique sight that is the result of 20 million years of geographical formation. Vietnam is also home to the largest cave in the world. The cave is so large it has its own river, jungle and climate.