‘Asian Decade’ emerging under the dark clouds of world economic woes


(eTN) – Following the onslaught of economic woes and banking losses in so-called “matured” economies and as Asian behemoths China and India becomes world economic powerhouses, is the world finally seeing the emergence of an ‘Asian Decade’
According to a study by the Institute of Management Development, in its 2007 World Competitiveness Year Book 2007 report for countries with populations of more than 20 million, Asian economic giants China and India are placed among the world’s leading trading countries along with perennial giants the US and Japan

World economists believe, with an economy even larger than China and India, Japan is the “best positioned in Asia” to act in the market place.

Dismissing the global financial turmoil in the Japanese parliament, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said it did “not come from the actual conditions of Japan’s economy.”

Meanwhile, with emphasis on development during its current ninth Malaysia Plan, tiger economy Malaysia is rated fourth for business efficiency and tenth for infrastructure development in 2007. It is the eight most competitive country, and nineteenth among the world’s leading trading nations.
“Our target is to eradicate poverty,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi. “By 2010, there will be no more poor people in Malaysia. “We have gained world recognition alongside developed countries, including the US and Japan.”

Noted economics professor Jeffrey Sachs, who has been a staunch supporter of Malaysia’s efforts in poverty eradication, said Malaysia has surpassed those carried out by countries in “similar circumstances.” He said, “The Malaysian plans are more detailed, in-depth and targeted.”

Despite the current stock market volatility and credit crunch in the US, Singapore’s government is optimistic its economy is “on track” to grow by 4.5 percent in 2008.

“If the US economy goes into recession for one or two quarters, it will have an impact on growth elsewhere,” said Goh Chok Tong, former prime minister. “But Singapore is not too dependent on the US economy.”

Kamal Nath, Indian minister of commerce and Industry who was at the recently concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, said, “This is the first time the world is looking at a possible American recession with two engines of growth, China and India. The momentum of growth is increasing year by year, and it will take a great recession to stop this momentum.”

Harvard University economics professor Richard Cooper, countering the doom and gloom at the Davos World Economic Forum, was quoted by the International Herald Tribune saying the US economy is slowing, but it would not fall into a recession.

“I doubt consumers really would cut back so sharply as to bring down the economy.”