Top 50 Women Leaders in Asia

The Asia's 50 Power Businesswomen honors the "noteworthy pathbreakers" with the power to shape a significant part of the business environment. It is limited to those actively engaged in profit seeking business and is not a ranking, the magazine said.

It includes Cheung Yan, the founding chairman of Hong Kong- listed packaging material producer Nine Dragons Paper. She was once the richest woman in China and has most recently been ranked the 172th among China's richest, with 900 million U.S. dollars.

Wei Sun Christianson, chief executive officer and managing director of Morgan Stanley China and co-CEO for Asia Pacific, is also on the list, as is Sun Yafang, chairman of Huawei Technologies.

Among nine others from the Chinese mainland on the list, most are self-made entrepreneurs who have wide influence.

Six are from Hong Kong, including investment banker Jing Ulrich. Cher Wang, a businesswoman from Taiwan and co-founder and chairman of smart phone producer HTC, is also on the list.

"What was most exciting to me about the women from China on this list was the entrepreneurship that they represented," said Moira Forbes, president and publisher of Forbes Woman.

There are eight from India and five from Singapore. The others are from South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

"Through their respective realms of power and influence, these honourees span diverse industries, nations and generations, yet each has changed the face of Asian business, while creating opportunities for future leaders," Forbes said.

The youngest woman on the list is Ekta Kapoor, 36, known for making popular Indian soap operas and Bollywood movies. She is the joint managing director of Balaji Telefilms.

The oldest is Yoshiko Shinohara, 77, who led in launching the temporary job agency Tempstaff and "shows no sign of slowing down. "

The magazine also launched a list of 15 businesswomen who did not make it to the inaugural list but are strong candidates for the future. Five of them are from China, including 30-year-old Kelly Zong and 32-year-old Liu Chang, who are now active in their family businesses.

Some of the businesswomen on the list were invited to a forum co-sponsored by Credit Suisse in Singapore on Thursday for discussions on their role, business and the economy.