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Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of EurAsia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-EurAsia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.

In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The western boundary with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural River, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas.

China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of America by Columbus in search for India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main East-West trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism (or Daoism), Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastranism, as well as many other religions.

Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may actually have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia varies greatly across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems. It also has a mix of many different climates ranging from the equatorial south via the hot desert in the Middle East, temperate areas in the east and the continental centre to vast subarctic and polar areas in Siberia.



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updated Sat. April 21, 2018

First, the Asia region remains the main engine of growth of the global economy, accounting for more than 60 percent of the global growth. Regional output is projected to grow by 5.6 percent in 2018 and 2019. That is about 4.1 percent percentage point higher than we expected in October. This over ...
A World Bank Spring Meetings panel discussed concrete climate actions and adaptation strategies to build a more climate-resilient South Asia. Last summer's monsoon hit South Asia particularly hard and left nearly 1,400 people dead and displaced millions of others. In the last sixty years, such ...

April 20, 2018. Speakers: Jihad Azour, Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF. Wafa Amr, Senior Communications Officer, Communications Department, IMF. MS. AMR: Good morning, this is Wafa Amr from the Communications Department, Welcome to the Press Briefing on the Middle East and Central ...
TOKYO -- An international consortium led by Royal Dutch Shell and includes China National Petroleum Corp., Korea Gas and Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp. is moving ahead on a long-stalled liquefied natural gas plant in Canada, as environmental concerns drive Asia toward cleaner ...
Twitter is more than 10 years old, and since this is the first example of this happening in Southeast Asia that explanation already seems inadequate at face value. More generally, the dismissive approach seems particularly naive. Twitter should be looking into the issue more closely, even if for now the ...
Annual service contract negotiations between US importers from Asia and ocean carriers are moving slower than in past cycles because many beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) are holding out for lower rates. Early progress reports suggest East Coast rates are under downward pressure because of ...

Negativity on Wall Street flowed through to Asian markets on Friday, with regional stock indexes ending the day moderately lower amid declines in the technology sector. The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.13 percent, or 28.94 points, to end at 22,162.24 as semiconductor companies declined while financials and ...
The FIFA-AFC Conference for Women's Football – a unique event featuring General Secretaries and Heads of Women's Football from 38 of the Member Associations within the AFC – proved to be a hotbed of ideas for the development of women's football in Asia. The first of its kind, the three-day meeting ...
Amid US woes, Chinese telecom giant turns to Europe, Asia ... 3 smartphone brand, is shifting its growth efforts toward Europe and Asia in the face of mounting obstacles in the United States market. Shenzhen-based Huawei, the world's largest maker of telecoms equipment, has long coveted access to the ...
Indonesia ranks first in East Asia and the Pacific in banking the unbanked (Indonesia). The World Bank has released the latest Global Financial Inclusion Index, reporting that Indonesia is ahead of the pack across East Asia and the Pacific in bringing unbanked citizens – especially women – into the formal ...
A project deadline for a major urban rail project has been delayed—again. But this has nothing to do with Honolulu's rail. This construction would connect two major urban centers in Southeast Asia. HPR's Bill Dorman has more in today's Asia Minute.
Markets in Asia closed higher on Thursday amid improved investor sentiment after U.S. stocks notched gains in the last session. Oil prices also extended gains after settling close to 3 percent higher in the last session. The Nikkei 225 added 0.15 percent, or 32.98 points, to close at 22,191.18, with the ...
But the market also symbolises how Asia's amazing biodiversity is under threat. Most of the species on sale in Tomohon have seen populations crash because of overhunting (habitat destruction has played a part too). Fewer than 6,000 crested macaques now inhabit the forests. The cuscus hangs on by its ...
Markets in Asia closed higher on Wednesday, as investor confidence firmed on the back of Wall Street's advance following strong earnings. The gains also came amid lingering concerns over trade-related developments. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose by 1.42 percent, or 310.61 points, to close at ... Markets
During the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) exams, students wore Bluetooth devices connected to mobile phones hidden in their clothes as well as flesh-colored earpieces, Channel News Asia reports. Tan reportedly sat in on the exams, using clear tape to stick an iPhone to her shirt ... Markets
Hong Kong regained the top spot last year as Asia's most expensive city for business travellers, who faced daily expenses of HK$3,971 (US$506) on accommodation, transport, meals and incidentals. The city overtook Tokyo in the regional rankings, with Singapore and Seoul tied for third, while Shanghai ... Markets
Bitcoin isn't for payments? While that may be the popular narrative of late, don't tell that to Bellatorra Skin Care, a luxury brand that has found the opposite as it's expanded internationally into markets such as China and India. Not only is bitcoin (which has seen years of declining interest from merchants as ... Markets

It has helped sustain a bilateral relationship that the U.S. Department of State describes as key to stability and prosperity in Asia. I am an alumna of the exchange program and recently published a book about its growing importance to the U.S.-Japan relationship. I argue that through the program, Japan has ... Markets
Asian markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday as investors digested the release of a raft of China data, including expectation-topping first-quarter GDP growth. The dollar also eased further while oil prices pared some overnight losses. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 edged up 0.06 percent, or 12.06 points, ... Markets
The winner of the title of Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia will compete against the top ranking buildings in the other areas for the honour of "2018 Best Tall Building Worldwide", due to be proclaimed and presented with the award in Chicago on May 31 at the conclusion of the first annual Tall + Urban ... Markets
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 13 April 2018. Short supply ... Short supply and robust demand is driving Asia and Middle East polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle grade prices higher, according to market sources on Friday. Markets
The number of customer advisors working in the Asian region has risen markedly over the past year. The Swiss banking fraternity however is facing a challenging environment there, as shows. The ten largest banks operating in the Asian growth market last year increased the number of ... Markets
MSCI's broad index of shares in Asia Pacific excluding Japan was down 0.69 percent at 3:03 p.m. HK/SIN. Despite that, U.S. stock index futures were trading higher during Asia hours, but had pared some of the steeper gains seen earlier in the day. As of 12:04 p.m. HK/SIN, the implied open for Dow futures ... Markets
“Hong Kong was originally the first choice for the Asia bureau,” said Wu'er Kaixi, an emeritus member of the group's board, and a student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen protests who escaped from China via Hong Kong. “But today China doesn't just suppress its own people, it is now increasingly exporting ... Markets
Nevertheless, taken collectively, people like Agatha are costing the company dearly, threatening to spoil the momentum of its market debut and highlighting its rocky path to profitability in Asia. In this region, limited disposable incomes along with rampant content and software piracy – a problem that remains ... Markets
TAG Aviation Asia (TAA) has opened a newtraining facility in Hong Kong. Its modern design and advanced training aids aim to provide quality simulator training to every customer and participant trainee. TAA is also the first business aircraft management company in the region to offer training services that ... Markets
“Our aircraft today has staff from 16 countries speaking 11 languages.” This announcement on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai echoed the pluralism I encountered giving lectures to a postgraduate workshop in the University of Malaya on how Europe has developed as a region compared to Asia. Markets
Jason Wu, Michelle Obama's favorite designer, wants to expand in Asia. 5 Hours Ago. Fashion designer Jason Wu talks designing dresses for Michelle Obama, robots taking over the fashion industry, and the clothing trends of today. Watch CNBC Live TV ... Markets
TOKYO -- The company that will be created through the merger of a pair of budget carriers under the wings of ANA Holdings will compete for primacy in Asia's crowded low-cost aviation market, the parent's president says. "We'll aim to become a leading low-cost carrier in Asia," Shinya Katanozaka said ... Markets
Digital innovation across borders is another opportunity Asia can seize, said Mr Tharman, who suggested Asia connect its economies digitally and link its smart cities. Asean, which Singapore is chairing this year, is developing a network of smart cities. India, too, has its mission to build 100 smart cities. Markets
Asia should maintain growth in 2018 but at a slower pace, says expert. 8 Hours Ago. Frederic Neumann, HSBC co-head of Asian Economics Research, discusses the impact U.S. tariffs and Fed rates could have on Asian markets. Watch CNBC Live TV ... Markets
Asian stocks closed mixed on Wednesday, with several regional markets giving up early gains after recent trade fears waned in the last session. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 slipped after closing higher in the past two sessions. The index closed down 0.49 percent, or 107.22 points, at 21,687.10. Financials, oil ... Markets
NEW DELHI • Indian police say a 16-day-old baby boy, believed to have been snatched by a monkey, has been found drowned in a well. Police said the infant was sleeping under a mosquito net at his home in the eastern state of Odisha last Friday when his mother saw him being taken away by a rhesus ... Markets
Since his appointment in December 2016, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has focused on rekindling regional ties in Central Asia, which had long been neglected by his predecessor Islam Karimov. Mirziyoyev's first official trip as president was to Turkmenistan, the most isolated of the five Central Asian ... Markets
Australia's recent excoriation of Russia shows it still views the relationship as expendable and “severely underestimates” the Kremlin's increasing projection of power into the Asia-Pacific region, a close observer of Russian foreign policy has warned. Curtin University's Alexey Muraviev said Australia's ... Markets
Counterfeiting has reached an alarming level, causing huge revenue losses to governments across Southeast Asia, says Piotr Stryszowski, senior economist of public governance and territorial development directorate at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Stryszowski ... Markets
No region in the world has more women in positions of power and influence in finance than Asia. explains why and names the region's top twelve female bankers. Banking in Asia is firmly male territory – not least due to the casino-like trading mentality still prevalent in many pockets of the region. Markets
The weaker investor sentiment in Asia came after major U.S. stock indexes moved into correction territory in the overnight session. On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.9 percent. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 sank 2.23 percent — re-entering correction territory and closing below its 200-day ... Markets
A lot of things are happening behind the scene in the cryptocurrency industry. As of right now, it seems a fair few companies are relocating from Asia. Given the mixed regulatory landscape in that part of the world, such changes are not uncommon. Even so, it seems Europe is quickly becoming a prominent ... Markets
Over the last five decades or so, Asia's economies have relied largely on an export-oriented development model to support rapid economic transformation and growth. But with US President Donald Trump fulfilling his promise to adopt a more protectionist approach to trade – an effort that could spur ... Markets
Asia Pacific stocks were poised for a muted open on Monday, with several markets remaining closed for the Easter holiday. Meanwhile, new tariffs imposed on U.S. goods by China were likely to be in focus. Stocks in the region looked set for a subdued start on the first trading day of the quarter, with Nikkei ... Markets
Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., waits to speak during a meeting of the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. U.S. Sen. Warren says chaos in the Trump administration is harming its ability to formulate coherent policy toward North Korea's nuclear program and other important issues in Asia. Markets
Sorry to break the news, President Trump, but Asia is way ahead of you in holding back from intervention. In 2017, remember, the Bank of Korea stood back as the won rallied 13% against the dollar. And Seoul is not alone. Chinese and Indian officials tolerated 6% gains by the yuan and rupee, and the ... Markets
NEW DELHI • Ten people died after a car crashed into a dilapidated building in central India, causing it to collapse, and bury the victims under the rubble, police said yesterday. The accident in Indore last Saturday was the latest building disaster in a country notorious for poor construction and safety ... Markets
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says chaos in the Trump administration is harming its ability to formulate coherent policy toward North Korea's nuclear program and other important issues in Asia. Vacancies in the foreign service are undermining Washington's ability to advance U.S interests, Warren told ... Markets
Otherwise, data-driven political campaigning has become commonplace in the West, and here in Asia. In the United States and Britain, millions of dollars have been spent in recent elections on data-driven digital campaigning. Barack Obama and wife, Michelle, celebrate winning the 2012 US presidential ... Markets
MACAU -- Bubbling with fountains of champagne and tabletop fields of sushi and caviar, Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Awards boasted the glitz of a red-carpet Hollywood opening and the suspense of a potboiler novel. Often referred to as the Academy Awards of Asian cuisine, there was no mishap here over ... Markets
The Asian Development Bank's March regular survey of nine domestic bond markets, with insights from the last quarter of 2017 through February, alerted the region to higher long-term government yields and private financial stability concerns around global central bank liquidity retreat and economic growth ... Markets
The Asia Society aims to create a new Tokyo facility, slated to open later this year, where experts and policymakers can come together to discuss domestic and international affairs, including North Korea's security threats and trade, an issue crucial to the region, an executive of the nonprofit organization said ... Markets
Though the U.S. still attracts the largest number of migrants, Asia has gained prominence as a destination. Puskar arrived in Japan in 2004. After attending a language school, he earned a degree in international management, hoping to start a company. While working part-time at a beef-bowl eatery, Puskar ... Markets



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