Southeast Asian Paper Tigers: From Miracle to Debacle and Beyond

Southeast Asian Paper Tigers: From Miracle to Debacle and Beyond

Southeast Asian Paper Tigers: From Miracle to Debacle and Beyond

Southeast Asian Paper Tigers: From Miracle to Debacle and Beyond

Synopsis

This important collection is a timely contribution to the debate on the Asian financial crisis. With chapters written by well-established international experts in Asian economics, this book constitutes a finely judged example of the varying opinions on the matter.

Excerpt

Southeast Asia’s ersatz miracle

Jomo K. S.

From the 1980s, and especially in the early and mid-1990s, there was growing international recognition of the rapid economic growth, structural change and industrialisation of the East Asian region, including four economies of Southeast Asia, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. There was a tendency to see East Asia as a much more economically coherent region than it actually is, and a corresponding tendency to see economic progress in the region as similar in origin and nature. Terms such as the ‘Far East’, ‘Asia-Pacific’, ‘Pacific Asia’, ‘East Asia’, ‘Asian miracle’, ‘yen bloc’, ‘flying geese’, ‘tigers’, ‘mini-dragons’ and so on have tended to encourage this perception of the region as far more economically integrated and similar than it actually is.

This volume mainly focuses on the three economies of Southeast Asia that have been considered part of the second generation or second tier of newly industrialising economies or countries besides Singapore, which is usually considered as one of the first generation or tier. It shows that although the economies of Southeast Asia, and hence East Asia, are quite heterogeneous, and at quite different levels of development, they have shared some policies that distinguish them from the other high-growth economies of the East Asian region.

Most importantly, the Southeast Asian high-growth economies have relied heavily on foreign direct investment (FDI) to develop most of their internationally competitive industrial capabilities. Government interventions in the region have, however, been influenced by a variety of considerations besides economic development and late industrialisation. Consequently, industrial policy has also varied in nature, quality and effectiveness. Yet, it will be shown that the economies in the region would not have achieved as much as they have without industrial policy.

The East Asian miracle and Southeast Asia

The most important and influential document recognising the rapid growth, structural change and industrialisation of much of East Asia in the last three . . .

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