In Asia, Japan was the first country to exhibit a marked positive growth after the damage caused to the nation following the world war (Stephenson 2009). This was followed by a similar trend in four other Asian nations during the 1960’s. The countries namely; Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea began a rapid trend that was marked by rapid economic growth and industrialization. The main driving force behind this trend was a shift of focus driven by availability of cheap labor, to export led growth (Stephenson 2009).
As a result of this export led growth the west including America and other western developed nations began to consume as many of the toys and clothes that came with Made in Asia labels (Stephenson 2009). This process saw the countries amass huge foreign exchange reserves and develop huge trade surpluses in the west.
This plan by the nations appears to have been similar to the initial idea of the Japanese. The Japanese had decided to develop manufacturing prowess by exploiting the large amount of cheap labor in the country (Stephenson 2009).
The approach to focus on low end consumer products has been used by numerous Asian countries to increase national wealth. As wealth increases the trend implies shifting to begin the inclusion of higher end products (Stephenson 2009). A good example of this is the Taiwanese economy that supports the nation of about 23 million.
The country is home to some very reputable producers of high tech computer and electrical products. In addition to increased manufacturing the nations citizens have also began to play a role in the international arena being the initiators of companies such as Yahoo and You Tube (Stephenson 2009).
One of the major drivers in these East Asian countries was education which these governments put education in a very strategic position (Mok 63). The governments focused on creating opportunities for education to raise the education standards of its citizens. It is a common belief in these governments that only through educational advancement can they keep pace with social and economic change (Mok 63).
During the 90’s this accelerated economic growth saw a major slump owing to economic recession in the region seriously affecting the Asian tigers (Rai122).
The main reason this recession had such a major effect in these developing nations is due to the fact economic growth had caused the export market to be over valued. As a result the recession saw the number of bad debts rise dangerously due to a large number of companies going into debt (Rai 122).
In the same 90’s era India was fortunate enough to see the unification of two like minded leaders begin their occupation of the prime minister and finance minister office (Wong 66). The Prime minister, Rao and the new finance minister Manmohan Singh can easily be quoted to be the champions of economic reform in India. Among the major reforms brought about by this team was an almost 80% elimination of licenses for industry. In one move this freed the Indian business community from the chains of the ‘License raj’.
Although this period was marked by economic chaos, India got the opportunity to benefit and readjust economic policy. The serious increase in bad debts provided the Indian business community an opportunity to buy assets at very low prices (Rai 122).
For example, the Jindal group entered an agreement during this period that saw the purchase and transfer of an entire steel plant in South Korea. Further the poor economic state provided sourcing opportunities for Indian businesses. The drop in currencies and excess supply in local and foreign markets provided a good source for Indian companies to acquire raw material.
This also gave the Indian companies an opportunity for backward integration. Further India now gained some companies with an established marketing network which may be used for similar products (Rai 122).
Mok, KA-Ho. Education Reform and Education Policy in East Asia. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.
Rai, Usha Kiran. Export-Import and Logistics Management. New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India Private Ltd, 2007. Print.
Stephenson, John. Shell Shocked: How Canadians can invest after the collapse. Ontario: John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd., 2009. Print.
Wong, Yuwa. Succeeding like Success: the affluent consumers of Asia. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd, 2007. Print.