The future of Asia’s countries lies in its cities. Asian cities are experiencing huge growth in population and wealth; they have the potential to become centers for an increasingly sophisticated workforce and consumer markets with growing purchasing power. Cities are high-productivity centers that generate much of a country’s wealth. But if urban growth is not managed well, cities will suffer from overcrowding, traffic congestion, worsening pollution, and pressures on infrastructure. The deterioration or improvement of the capacity and quality of life in urban areas depends largely on whether cities can solve these urgent challenges. However, governments that are traditionally responsible for tackling these challenges are faced with budget constraints and more demanding citizens. Businesses should become more involved—their stakes in urban growth are high. These opportunities are large and can be profitable, and businesses have the requisite skills and experience. In short, businesses enjoy an unparalleled opportunity to solve significant problems. Businesses can and should develop and finance investment projects that are strategically focused on building cities that are accessible, energy-efficient, clean, skilled, connected, and livable.
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