Pan-Asian predictions for 2013: new business, same politics

Will Bangladesh lead Asian economic growth? When will China's slowdown arrive? A news veteran and Asia Society executive peers into a crystal ball for 2013.

Yes, 'tis the season for copious lists of predictions for the coming year. One list published today by Salon seems set apart from the expected pack -- a set of "bold predictions for Asia" from former television journalist Tom Nagorski, who this past fall was appointed as Executive Vice President of the non-profit Asia Society.

Nagorski, who led coverage of Osama Bin Laden's death and Japan’s tsunami and nuclear crisis, among other major international stories over two decades (at ABC News), focuses on pan-Asian topics. And he ventures far beyond the two nations that tend to dominate discussions on Asia in recent years, China and India -- even addressing Mongolia's economy and Central Asia's neighbor, Iran.

Here are a few predictions from Nagorski likely to get conversations started at New Year's gatherings:

  • Politically, nothing will be resolved neatly in 2013 between Japan and China over their island-related dispute. Corruption in India will not be cleaned up in the New Year. India and Pakistan might be on better terms, thanks to initiatives in place to warm up relations between the two South Asian rivals, but U.S.-Pakistan relations are likely to be sour (Nagorski predicts new potential terrorism-related information uncovered). The U.S., Nagorski predicts, will not strike Iran next year.
  • Economically, Bangladesh will lead in Asian growth in 2013, followed by India and Mongolia. The Chinese slowdown will not arrive, despite the hype. And North Korea could allow for more visits from outsiders and an increased interest in new business ventures, as Kim Jong Un distinguishes himself from his predecessors -- now that he has "burnished his credentials" with his 2012 rocket launch, as Nagorski observes.
  • Culturally, "Gangnam Style" will still rule internationally in the coming months -- thanks to whatever song (and online video) South Korean pop music sensation Psy will release next.

Given Nagorski's combined background of two decades in the global news business and his current role heading programming at an educational institution obviously leads to a wide net of predictions. But it's an insider's list with global, and not just Asian, significance that will be interesting to look back on in December, 2013.

Image: Cacahuate/Wikimedia Commons

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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