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Asia – populated, energetic, colorful, and exotic – is home to 60% of the world’s population and has a share of 40% in world GDP. As it rises up the league tables, the landscape of Asian cities, as we know them, will change dramatically.
Every week, 1.5 million people, chasing better economic prospects, move to urban areas. Estimates suggest that two thirds of the world’s population is set to live in cities by 2050. A large part of this incremental growth in urban population is expected to come from Asian cities as they have the highest densities and growth rates in the world. Of a total of 30 megacities globally, 20 are in Asia, and each of these megacities has large living and housing requirements. This explains why Asia is an exciting place for KONE.
But China, in particular, is uniquely positioned in this dynamic and fast-moving region. It represents over 70% of the world’s high-rise market for new construction and 62% of the global elevator market. It also has the largest number of high-rise projects. Last year 128 buildings that were over 200 meters tall were completed around the world. Of these, 107 were in Asia and 84 were built in China alone.
The growth in the construction market in China has been driven by remarkable speed of construction, strong project management in terms of the flow of people and materials, and a continuous development construction and operations. The CITIC Tower project is a case in point. It is a fast-track construction with over 4000 construction workers onsite. KONE’s UltraRope and JumpLift technologies have played a key role in the development of this project.
Going forward, efficiencies are expected to improve with increasing digitalization in urbanization. Armed with this knowledge, KONE is riding the digital wave. While its smart building technologies provide better information about the performance of building equipment, its condition-based maintenance – powered by monitoring, smart sensors and data analytics – ensure better system performance and lead to optimized cost of operations with much lesser downtime.
The Asian market has given us the opportunity to expand our horizons and service new customers and segments in a better and more holistic way. Not only are more and more people aspiring to live and work from taller and better buildings, they are also demanding safe, reliable and efficient infrastructure for public transportation (airport, metro and railways, transit centers, etc.). We at KONE, hear them. We believe we can play a crucial role in shaping both the construction market and the infrastructure sector in these economies.
We are equipping ourselves to innovate and offer a host of new and effective solutions to keep pace with this spectacular growth story of the region. Our Asian journey is underway.