The Economies of Southeast Asia, Second Edition
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The Economies of Southeast Asia, Second Edition

Before and After the Crisis

Jose L. Tongzon

This updated and fully revised second edition provides a comprehensive examination of issues of paramount importance for Southeast Asian economies including: the economic implications of the 1997 Asian crisis for both older and newer members of ASEAN; the role of government and FDI in ASEAN economic growth and development; trade patterns with the US, Japan and the EU and the economic implications of China’s accession to the WTO for ASEAN countries; the environmental consequences of industrialisation and growth; the emergence of economic growth triangles and their contribution to ASEAN growth and regional cooperation; the prospects and challenges of ASEAN economic cooperation before and after the crisis; and the key challenges facing ASEAN member countries in the aftermath of the crisis.
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Chapter 2: ASEAN economic development: an overview

Jose L. Tongzon


Economic development in the current literature refers to a consistent rise in real per capita income accompanied by structural transformation, poverty alleviation and improved distribution of income. It is, therefore, more than just about economic growth. There are other equally important aspects to economic development such as high life expectancy, better educated workforce, quality of housing and health care, lower incidence of poverty and so on. It is, therefore, a multidimensional process involving physical and social transformation with the fruits of economic growth being widely shared. This chapter attempts to explain the economic development performance of the ASEAN group of countries before the 1997 crisis, focussing on the ASEAN5 (particularly the remarkable economic success achieved by Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand and the economic recovery of the Philippines) in the early 1990s.1 Despite the two serious crises (1985 and 1997), the past two decades had witnessed a remarkable economic progress achieved by the ASEAN4 economies (ASEAN5 minus the Philippines) so that these countries were often dubbed as ‘new Asian tigers’. Before doing so, however, it is useful to present, first, an overview of the ASEAN6 economies (that is, the ASEAN5 and Brunei) in terms of their common characteristics, economic strengths and weaknesses. 2.1 2.1.1 OVERVIEW OF THE ASEAN6 ECONOMIES Common Characteristics The ASEAN6 economies are highly diverse economically and socially (that is in terms of size, historical background, resource endowments, stages of economic development, and culture). However, they have a number of common economic characteristics that can define ASEAN as...

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