However, the region is not “so tiny“. I believe that the standard map distorts size to maintain consistent latitude and longitude. Therefore countries near the equator seems to be shrunk, and those north/south nearer the poles enormous. India is signicantly larger than Greenland by several times. If you view the Peter Projection map, that shows land mass by square miles, it concludes that this is not a “tiny region” and it is still significant that Asia has not only such a high percentage of population, but high percentage of manufacturing as well. Perhaps most impact for economic changes, the largest emerging middle class /consumer segment with money to spend.
Here’s an interesting TED presentation by Hans Rosling who explains this further: http://youtu.be/fTznEIZRkLg