What a year it has been in Asia. Growth numbers are back up, its companies are once again profitable, and what was two years ago an Asian financial crisis has turned into a full-fledged financial recovery. The 50 men and women on our annual Stars of Asia list are people committed to going beyond simple recovery toward building an even better Asia. They are pushing for more transparency, more corporate reform, more technological innovation, and more creative ways to finance Asia's restored growth. These leaders and reformers give hope to anyone who worries about the future of Asia.
While they provide inspiration, they should also be a reminder that reform and recovery aren't quite finished yet in Asia. Serious issues remain to be tackled at the top levels of governments and corporations. Japan is peppered with many more talented new innovators, managers, and financiers than we can name in our list of 50 Stars. But it still has a long list of corporate reforms ahead before it can get growth fully running again.
Hong Kong, too, while making great strides this year in jump-starting its New Economy with several Internet-related business deals, still has to deal with serious issues involving market transparency and environmental pollution. As the high standards set by our Stars of Asia indicate, reform must keep proceeding full speed ahead. Only then will Asia's recovery from the 1997-98 crisis be complete and its future prosperity assured.