Asia’s business leaders should prepare themselves for potential turbulence as global dynamics shift and challenges escalate. Over the past three decades, Asia has reaped more benefits from a globalizing world than any other region, but that landscape is becoming more contested, and risks are rising. The region’s rise to prominence could mean that it finds itself in the eye of the storm.

This article was developed by McKinsey, in collaboration with the Asia Business Council. It draws on new research from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), “Asia on the cusp of a new era” and features the results of a new survey conducted by the Council, in collaboration with MGI, and interviews of Council members.

The survey reveals broad optimism among business leaders and a conviction that the region can maintain its momentum even in the face of disruptions and volatility. More than 80 percent of respondents say that they are optimistic about a new era for Asia. Among them, about 20 percent are highly optimistic, but many more—61 percent—are cautiously optimistic. One executive said, “Confidence coexists with uncertainty. Even top leaders are unsure of how unpredictable political and economic transitions will impact their strategy.”