Asian markets

Asian markets

Asia has a longstanding history of lucrative trade routes. In the 21st century, much of the cross-frontier commerce relies on organizations utilizing the power of the internet. But its worth considering how many of Asia's key trade associations were first established, many centuries ago. A lot of these relationships persist to this day.

Innovation and good business ideas travel a great distance – and one of the fundamental drivers of this is travel. There is nothing new in this as a concept – in Asia, the routes that were most responsible for the dissemination of innovative ideas were the so-called silk roads.

The beginning of the Silk Road trade network that extended to the Roman Empire. The main route of the Silk Road traveled through China into Central Asia, Korea, India, Pakistan, Tibet, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Persia, Iraq, Turkey, Greece and the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Together with merchant caravans Buddhist monks went from India to Central Asia and China, preaching their religion. While many different kinds of merchandise traveled along the Silk Road, the name comes from the popularity of Chinese silk with the west, especially with Rome. 1271-1295. Marco Polo. The most famous of the Silk Road travelers, who, by his own account, worked for Qubilai Khan traveled the Silk Road.

Think of one of humankind's most important inventions – of all time. That would be paper. This was first created in China, during the Han dynasty, coinciding with trade becoming increasingly prevalent along the silk road. Paper was considered so revolutionary at the time, because prior to its appearance amongst the caravans plodding along the vast cross-Asian highways, written communication relied on narrow wooden strips, or cumbersome rolls of silk. But thanks to the demand for this new substance that could be satisfied with the convenience of the silk roads, the idea quickly took hold in other parts of Easy Asia.

It took longer for paper to establish itself as the writing platform of choice in the northwest of China. Apart from proving ever more popular in Buddhist temples, the surrounding towns and villages were more content to hang on to the archaic papyrus and parchment methods of writing. But with the ebb and flow of civilizations in that part of the world, the influence of the all-conquering Mongols ensured that papyrus was superseded throughout China. As the world grew increasingly open over the centuries, Chinese ingenuity began arriving in the Middle East, and then making its way to Western Europe.

Another invention that spread across the world in a westwards direction was the use of water wheels for irrigation. Attributed to ancient engineers in the Roman province of Syria, the use of pots attached to a vertical waterwheel, driven by river currents, became relied upon for lifting water from its source. The fact this could be done without the input of human or animal force made it very appealing to all manner of tradespeople.

As well as these innovations, the silk roads winding their way across the vast Asian steppes, across the Caucasian Mountains and eventually into Europe, brought with them a host of exotic foodstuffs. Oranges, grapes, spices and a tremendous range of produce began making its way across the huge distances between nations, with demand rising as products gained new audiences.

The camel caravans that once plied their trade along the silk road have long been superseded by quicker, more efficient mechanized transport. But the essential ingredients of the Asia trade sector remain unchanged. Different cultures can have their diverse demands for items satisfied. Except, with the benefit of today's technological advances, it is possible for a consumer in Europe to order services from someone in China, with a few clicks of a keyboard.