Arjun Kashyap | December 03rd, 2020

Following the events that upended 2020 even the most conscientious marketer can be forgiven for losing faith in the argument for devoting the time and effort needed to plan a content calendar that might come to nothing. However, we continue to believe formulating broad themes that can serve as a flexible superstructure of sorts within which to build out tailored and topical thought leadership is a strategy that pays dividends.

We followed our own advice when we put out our recommendations for 2020 around this time last year, when the coronavirus was still a generic medical term. As it turned out many of our clients focused on variations of just these themes. Encouraged by this, and the promise of a brighter 2021, here are the themes that we believe could anchor content calendars in the coming year in our home region.

*China:

The V-shaped recovery: While outgoing US President Donald Trump claimed a quick economic recovery from the pandemic that has come to be characterised by the letter ‘V’, China actually seems to be on track to achieve this holy grail of growth trajectories. The fact that a V-shaped recovery is within the country’s reach is itself significant, and its implications are worth exploring for policymakers and investors alike.

Market reforms: China’s ongoing efforts to open up its markets promise to allow global investors an increasing slice of the recovery action. Ever larger sections of China’s capital markets are set to feature on global indexes, while more reforms are in the offing.

‘Dual circulation’: While this may seem like a buzzword from an HVAC convention, it describes China’s latest growth strategy, designed to help the country become more self-sufficient, especially in strategic industries such as semiconductors, while enhancing its links to the outside world.

Carbon neutrality: China had started to make serious inroads into sustainable finance well before its landmark announcement to go carbon neutral by 2060. Now, the country’s ambitious goal is expected to drive the market for everything from green bonds to solar power and electric vehicles.

Fintech regulation: China’s white hot fintech sector is all set for a shakeup as the government moves to knock down monopolistic business practices and level the playing field with new antitrust laws, which could reshape an industry dominated by mega corporations by opening the door to new entrants.

Greater Bay Area: The coming year is expected to kick the development of the Greater Bay Area into a higher gear as China’s latest five-year plan prioritises regional growth, technological development in cities like Shenzhen, which lies at the heart of the GBA, and integrating the financial and trading hub of Hong Kong into the bloc.

*Rest of APAC:

The North-South divide: Asia’s economic diversity – marked by a longstanding north-south divide that has become more pronounced over the past few months in the wake of the pandemic – signifies a vast range of opportunities and risks for global investors interested in gaining exposure to the region’s fast-growing emerging markets.

The other Asian giant: The coronavirus forced India, Asia’s third-largest economy, into its first technical recession since records began in 1996. Thought leadership addressing the country’s recovery from this record trough and the sectors expected to lead the resurgence – such as ecommerce, healthcare, IT, telecom and manufacturing – would be of significant interest to South Asia watchers.

Down (under) but not out: The US is not the only advanced economy in a fraught relationship with China. Australia is locked in a diplomatic tussle with the world’s second-largest economy and a range of sectors – from education and tourism to commodities such as beef, wine and coal – have been severely impacted. These challenges come at a time when Australia is trying to recover from its first recession in almost 30 years, triggered by the coronavirus.

We hope these topics prove useful starting points when you decide to compile that content calendar for the new year, and wish everyone a healthy, successful and, most importantly, pandemic-free 2021!

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