However, as we have reported before, the region has a long way to go before it catches up with the West. In this issue, we reveal the astonishing growth of global firms from emerging markets - a growth that is already changing the balance of power in world business - and highlight the few individuals in Asia who are helping to push the region forward.
Our list of 20 Asian progressives is controversial - China's President Hu Jintao is number one, for instance, and a few others would not top any poll of liberal thinkers in the West. But these individuals are judged here on the contribution they are making today in transforming their countries' business and governance environment.
The list also includes some brave figures who publish highly popular blogs without which people would have to depend on a largely supine press.
The proper reporting, and exposure, of corruption and bad practice is vitally important in changing the behaviour of governments and organisations. The top 20 also includes some outsiders, one of whom, a US financier, uses his influence to force companies to improve their reporting procedures.
We expect this list to stir up debate - don't hesitate to write to us with your views.