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Ling Kar-kan

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Pui-yin Ho

In 1843, the British colonial government in Hong Kong designated the northern coast of Hong Kong Island as the City of Victoria. Hindered by natural resource shortages and a poor natural environment, the government had to make use of new construction techniques and infrastructure to solve daily life problems, which included housing, transport facilities, water supply, law and order and public hygiene. The city was managed with two completely differently strategies. The Central District was mainly modelled on what was practised in the West. Commercial activities and trade were conducted in a systematic manner, and the enactment and strict enforcement of laws were key to the implementation of policies. However, the densely populated area of Sheung Wan, located in the western part of the city and inhabited by the Chinese community, was blighted by poor housing and hygiene conditions as well as high crime rates.

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Li Zhang, Richard LeGates and Min Zhao

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Li Zhang, Richard LeGates and Min Zhao

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Li Zhang, Richard LeGates and Min Zhao

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Hans-Peter Brunner

Chapter 3, taking into account field interactions in the Greater Mekong Subregion and in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation economies, demonstrates a need for policy and knowledge tools in Asia which can drive regions successfully into the ecology of clusters and economic corridors: (a) via agglomeration economies; (b) via increase in value-added share in and along regional and global value chains; and (c) via structure transformation into higher skill industries and services.
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Hans-Peter Brunner

The second and third chapters, acknowledging the differences between the Baltic Sea Region and Asia, spell out key lessons from the Baltic Sea Regional experience, which are applicable in the context of Asian regions. Chapter 2 shows how Baltic Sea Region economies quickly revived the economic mystique of the Eurasian medieval silk roads, the trading union of the ‘Hanse’, with their cooperative bottom-up and consensual regional development institutions. These resurrected institutions successfully leveraged the regional drivers of productivity growth. Productivity growth was accompanied by increased economic inclusiveness (cohesion) in the region through, among others, institutional twinning programs for human capital accumulation.
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Hans-Peter Brunner

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Hans-Peter Brunner

Chapter 4, apart from presenting a succinct roadmap for developing Asian regional cluster ecologies, recommends in detail the development of an Asian Regional Integration Observatory. Such an observatory provides a regional consensual focus for operating regionally productive and inclusive activities.