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The Trans-Pacific Partnership: where economics and power politics collide

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been praised as a breakthrough in international free trade efforts. It has also been heavily criticised, seen as merely a smokescreen for increasing American influence in the Asia-Pacific region and the reach of its corporations. However, it is also a fascinating example of how political and economic rivalries can overlap.

Inspiration vs. perspiration: what was the key to East Asia’s economic success?

Paul Krugman wrote a famous paper in the 1990s outlining the myths surrounding the Asian miracle of the 20th century. Rather than it being a ‘miracle’, he presented a less dazzling critique of Asia’s economic success. He proposed that it was a combination of stringent government policy and the further adoption of free trade that was key to sustaining economic growth in East Asia. Most of this growth occurred in eight economies, collectively referred to as the High Performing Asian Economies (HPAEs) – Japan, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and the newly industrializing Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand [1]. The relationship between public policy and economic growth is now more important than ever, and in light of the continuing economic crisis in Europe, there are a number of lessons to be learnt from the success of the HPAEs.

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