SAS co-founder and Chief Executive Jim Goodnight co-chaired the 16th World Economic Forum on East Asia in Singapore, which discussed the global shift of economic, political and social power toward that region.

The forum has the theme “The Leadership Imperative for an Asian Century,” and Goodnight highlighted two topics: innovation and leadership.

As a discussion leader for the session “Innovation Mantra: The Key to Asia Competitiveness,” he emphasized the need for governments to institute policies and incentives that encourage businesses to innovate, such as the research and development tax credit in teh U.S. He contrasted the U.S. tax credit with Europe’s growing problem with pharmaceutical industry regulations, which he said are hindering innovation and leading companies to move operations to regions with more supportive policies.

“Government polices can be restrictive and prevent innovation,” he said. “Pharmaceutical companies are no longer interested in producing new drugs in Europe, so they have moved their clinical trials and related activities to other countries, such as India.”

At another meeting, Goodnight encouraged attendees to continually fuel innovation and collaboration within their organizations.

“If innovation is an idea plus action, then leadership must be vision plus action,” he said. “Collectively, we leaders have the expertise and the experience to safely navigate our organizations through 21st century waters, but we must work together, sharing best practices and ideas.”

He also told delegates that innovation requires an educated work force.

“We’re no longer in the Cold War where we were in an arms race,” he said. “Today’s race is a race for minds, and whichever country, whichever region, can create the greatest set of minds is the one that will potentially dominate the world."