Asia and the Pacific is undergoing a remarkable economic transformation, which is occurring at an exceptional pace. There is clear evidence of an equally rapid epidemiological transition in the region. This article sets out the policy challenges of building healthy societies in the context of rapid economic change. The region’s location at the crossroads of contemporary globalisation, resulting in intensified population mobility, large-scale trade and investment, and pressures to take collective action on shared problems, adds to the complexity of this task. The article argues that health is integral to building stable and sustainable societies, and that there are opportunities to develop more holistic approaches that bring together hitherto separate policy spheres.