JOHN Naisbitt's first reaction to the news that Asian markets had slumped yet again last Friday was 'buy'. Buy virtually anything, but especially buy Asian infrastructure stocks. Naisbitt planned to spend Friday night tracking down his broker on the East Coast of the United States to put his money where his mouth is. It was not a short-term call - he is not a trader. In fact, nothing John Naisbitt sees is short-term. The man who has penned two No. 1 books on the New York Times best-seller list in the past 12 years uncovering global economic trends is in the market for the long term. Author of Megatrends (eight million copies sold) in 1982, which detailed the shift to decentralisation of both governments and corporates in the West, and followed up eight years later by Megatrends 2000 (No. 1 in the US, Japan and Germany) in 1990, Naisbitt is now preparing a third in the series concentrating on Asia. 'Asia is the most important thing that is going on today,' he said. 'And people in the West hardly know anything about it. Certainly, they don't know about it in the United States where the gaze is still very much turned towards Europe. 'People there are preoccupied by Eastern Europe and the possibilities of the new countries but that is all moving very slowly. In the meantime, there is phenomenally explosive economic growth in Asia and to only a little lesser extent in Latin America.' Naisbitt's book, to be published next year, is an explanation to the rest of the world about what is happening in Asia 'and how important it is to their life'. 'The economic centre of gravity has shifted to Asia. Unless the West and the entrepreneurs of the West hook up with the entrepreneurs of Asia they won't be a part of it. They could easily end up playing second fiddle to the parts of the world that are really growing.' Unshackled from the social costs that are dragging Europe into the economic backwaters, and without the blinkered vision of the United States, Asia represented the future, he said. The trends inside the region have changed to a regional economy driven by China rather than led by the Japanese. Japan was on a long slow decline. The questions asked now were not what could be done in Japan but how to climb on the China bandwagon, the former Harvard University visiting professor, IBM executive and private entrepreneur said. But he reserved his toughest criticism for Europe and the United States. Europe would not be a contributor of any significance to world economic growth while it retained its social spending agenda. Germany, the fourth biggest economy in the world, was the sick man of Europe with crushing social costs that were tearing away its competitive edge, he said. 'If Europe is not careful it will end up as a historical theme park for well-heeled Asians and people from the Americas,' he said. Meanwhile Naisbitt, who admits to taking an interest in the stock markets only in the past three years, is an ardent follower of Asian and Latin American markets. 'What we are seeing now is a stock market casino. It is not connected to the real economy. It's psychological games that are being played. 'But right now as we enter 1995, the economies of every country in the world are growing. I can't remember when this happened last. In the last decade of the 20th century we are going to have increases in trade every year, increases in economic growth and in the book value of companies.'