The modern history of East Asia is of a succession of economic miracles.
First the rise of Japan from hermit kingdom of sword-wielding samurai to global eminence in war and peace over the past century.
Then the emergence out of rice paddies of a clutch of spectacularly successful “tiger” economies – Korea, with its leading-edge manufacturing industries; Taiwan, which at one stage accumulated the second-largest foreign-exchange reserves; Thailand, which for a decade was the world’s fastest-growing economy.
Now there is China, the coming superpower, which with an annual growth rate even after slow-down of 7 per cent, is a wealth-creating machine that Americans and Europeans can only dream about.
How have they achieved it?
According to an excellent new book* by financial journalist Joe Studwell, there have been three keys to their success:
1) Strong centralized political leadership able not only to force through necessary reforms and implement the right growth strategies, but also to curb the power of wealthy elites and of foreign companies to exploit growth for their self-advancement to the detriment of long-term national development.
Here is the full report of On Target.
The Asian feature is followed by another lengthy item: ‘How to Break Our of “Contained Depression”’, in which several luminaries offer their recipes for recovery, but none of them seem to acknowledge that it takes at least 5 to 7 years to recover from a credit crisis recession.
Eoin is quoted in the ‘Tailpieces’ section.Back to top