The Asia-Pacific Region:
Present Realities and Alternative Futures
by Dr. Walden Bello
The Asia-Pacific has been the site of explosive economic growth over
the last 20 years. This phenomenon has been accompanied by an intense debate on what
triggered this growth, whether it is an appropriate model for breaking out of
underdevelopment and whether it is sustainable.
Three competing paradigms have emerged in the course of this debate.
While the dominant conflict at this point is between the free market approach and the
"NIC" or "newly industrializing country" model of state-assisted
capitalism, coming up as a serious challenger to both is what we might provisionally call
the paradigm of "sustainable development".
The Free Market Explanation
The Free Market Model of East Asian development is espoused by
orthodox economists such as those connected with the World Bank, International Monetary
Fund, and the so-called "Eminent Persons Group" of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC). In their view, the market was the central mechanism of rapid growth in
Japan and the NICs in the past, and freeing market forces even more fully from government
controls is the key to continued high-speed growth.
Currently, the Free Market/Free Trade approach has been
institutionalized in World Bank and IMF-imposed structural adjustment programs (SAPs),
which promote radical deregulation, sweeping privatization, trade and investment
liberalization, export-oriented trade and investment strategies, containment of wages and
cutting back government expenditures. Purportedly inspired by the East Asia experience,
SAPs have been generalized over the last decade to Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Latin
America and South Asia.
The problem with this model, say its critics, is that hardly any of the
fast-growing countries of the region achieved "NlChood" by following the free
market formula except possibly Hong Kong and Singapore which are dependent urban economies
masquerading as national economies. The Southeast Asia stars of the last five years
Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are often portrayed in the business press as
examples of growth through the implementation of liberal economic policies. Nothing could
be further from the truth.
Malaysia, which has been experiencing a growth rate of 10 per cent
per annum in the last few years, is one of the few Third World countries that escaped
stabilization or structural adjustment by the World Bank and IMP in the 1980s. In fact,
the Malaysian state intervened heavily in economic life to give Malays more control of the
national economy, maintained a protectionist trade regime, and engaged in what is called
"picking winners," or targetting certain industries to develop through direct
government aid, subsidized credit and other incentives. It was not unfettered market
forces that produced the wildly successful Proton-Saga, also known as national car. It was
a partnership between a state enterprise and Mitsubishi that produced the car as part of a
state-managed rationalization of the car industry.1
Indonesias growth rate of five to six per cent in recent years
is often attributed to,free market policies by World Bank officials. But the reality is
that economic liberalization has been quite limited with the economy continuing to be
marked by a high degree of protectionism, control by monopolies and strong restrictions on
foreign investment. And if the Malaysian state has targetted the car industry, the
Indonesian government has heavily subsidized the creation of an increasingly sophisticated
aircraft industry which was as in the Malaysian case, roundly criticized by World Bank and
- Of all the large economies of Southeast Asia, Thailand is perhaps the closest to a
market-dominated economy. Yet one finds the seeming anomaly that the Thai economy actually
became more protectionist as it moved to a second state of import substitution in the mid
and late 1980s, precisely the period when it began to register the eight to eleven per
cent growth rates that dazzled the world.3
Dissatisfaction with both the explanatory power and prescriptive
thrust of the free-market school has pawned a school of thought that goes in the exact
opposite direction, to claim that state intervention in the NICs has been the central
factor in the take-off of these economies. Specifically, development was produced by a
strategy consisting of:
strategic economic planning managed by government, exemplified in
some countries by 5 to 10 year plans;
government targetting of industries to develop and generous
subsidization of private enterprises specializing in these industries or the establishment
of state enterprises to develop the targetted industries.
building strategic economic depth by moving in a planned fashion from
the development of consumer goods industries to intermediate goods and capital goods
reserving the domestic market for local entrepreneurs by maintaining
tight restrictions on imports and on foreign investments;
adopting a mercantilist trade strategy consisting of limiting the
entry of foreign imports to the domestic market while aggressively winning and dominating
export markets, resulting in a growing trade surplus; and
bold manipulation of "Keynesian" macroeconomic mechanisms
like deficit spending, loose credit policies and borrowing from foreign creditors to force
the pace of the development process.
To borrow economist Alice Amsdens classic phrase, this view holds
that the Asian NICs developed "not because they got relative prices right but because
they got them deliberately wrong."4 True, market mechanisms operated, but
they were deliberately distorted and much inefficiency was tolerated in the short-term to
build up strategic economic depth. For instance, Korean technocrats deliberately violated
the classical free market principle of consumer sovereignty "Give the consumer
the best product at the lowest price" - for the larger strategic goal of
strengthening national economic sovereignty. Thus, if the price of Korean-made computers
in the domestic market was three to four times that in export markets, this was in order
to allow local conglomerates and monopolies to recoup the losses they incurred in battling
the formidable Japanese in highly competitive export markets.
To take another example, in contrast to the neoclassical dictum that
macroeconomic stability is a key condition of growth, proponents of state-assisted
capitalism see imbalance as a necessary feature of development. And they point to the fact
that the heavy and chemical industry drive in Korea in the 1970s may have provoked a
lot of short-term dislocations and triggered inflation, but it also laid the basis for
Koreas successful push to export capital-intensive, high-tech products like
microchips and cars in the l980s.5
Theoretical Models and Economic Realpolitik
Exasperated by what it saw as the World Bank and IMFs
doctrinal commitment to the free market/free trade paradigm, Japans famous Ministry
of Trade and Industry (MTI), a few years ago, issued a cautious critique of World Bank-IMP
structural adjustment programs, the message of which was that dismantling of an activist
economic role for the state through indiscriminate liberalization, deregulation and
privatization was what was prolonging economic stagnation in adjusted countries.6
More important, the Japanese prodded the World Bank to review the
Asian regions development experience and came forward with the bulk of the funding
for the study. Released in late 1993, the World Bank study entitled The East Asian
Economic Mirade, grudgingly agreed that Japan, Korea and some other NICs had not
unsuccessfully employed state-activist policies such as picking
winners, compensating market failure through subsidized loans to the private
sector and strategic protectionism. But much to the consternation of the Japanese, the
World Bank asserted that these policies, while possibly successful in the earlier NICs,
were not applicable to other developing countries in East Asia and elsewhere, and that
they were constructive for certain countries only during a specific historical period,
which had passed.7
The studys guiding lesson for countries still seeking to
break out of underdevelopment was: "it is still better not to intervene than to
intervene." Interestingly, this advice against replicating the NICs experience
with industrial policy drew the following response from one prominent critic of the
There is reason to worry whether the World Banks refusal to
countenance selective industrial policies for industries with high entry barriers reflects
an underlying unwillingness to help developing countries enter industries that are already
well-established in the West, especially when Western plants have excess capacity... Given
the governance structure of the World Bank, it is not difficult to imagine why....8
Some may dismiss this as crude conspiracy theory, but the Bank
studys readiness to attribute success to market policies while raising the standard
of proof when it comes to assessing interventionist industrial policies does reflect the
fact that more than just academic and technocratic issues are at stake in the NIC debate.
Indeed, the conflicting theoretical positions have become weapons for
clashing national economic interests. If Japanese and NIC technocrats have been seeking to
articulate a distinctive NIC model of state-assisted capitalism, it is not only to
understand their own development experience or, in the case of Japan, to guide development
aid policies, but also in order to protect and legitimize the position they have attained
in the world economy.
The defensive adoption of this paradigm as an ideology is a response to
the way the United States has, ever since the mid-eighties, brazenly used free-trade and
free-market ideology to open up Japan and the NIC economies to US exports and US
investments in order to reassert US corporate hegemony in a part of the world that has
been fast spinning out of the US economic orbit.
The debate over models, in short, is one front of the ongoing trade
war, and no statement captures most graphically the link between development strategies
and national economic interests than the declaration of trade war, made by a senior US
Treasury official a few years ago: "Although the NICK may be regarded as tigers
because they are strong, ferocious traders, the analogy has a darker side. Tigers live in
the jungle, and by the law of the jungle. They are a shrinking population."9
Most of the press coverage of the US trade conflict with Asia has
focused on Japan. But the US has treated Japan relatively gently compared to the way it
has treated some of the other Asian countries, particularly Korea, probably because the
latter have less capability to retaliate. In bilateral trade negotiations with Korea and
other NICs, the United States, brandishing the ideology of free trade and free markets
with the threat of unilateral trade sanctions, has aggressively demanded the dismantling
of foreign investment restrictions, protectionist mechanisms, and other practices of
state-assisted capitalism. And the bigger and more successful the economy, the more
aggressive the US free market assault. In the case of Korea, for instance, the US economic
offensive has ballooned into a broad assault that encompasses investment practices,
intellectual property issues, the agricultural market, telecommunications, financial
services, and even health regulations and cultural preferences. Thus the Korean
governments campaigns encouraging Koreans to buy domestically produced goods as
opposed to imports were denounced by US trade officials as erecting a "trade
barrier", even as they saw as totally legitimate American corporations use of
the slogan "Buy American" in the US market. The US Commerce Department has also
targetted Korean inspection regulations as creating what they call "numerous barriers
that prohibit access or inhibit port clearance procedures without a sound scientific
basis."10 In fact, US trade officials have even criticized the
Koreans propensity to save instead of consume (presumably imports), saying that this
is really an outmoded way of relating to the world.
APEC as a Battleground
The Asian political and economic elites suspicion of the free
market/free trade model and their increasing identification with state-assisted capitalism
was recently heightened when the US pushed to have the Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC)
transformed from a consultative forum to a trading bloc with a timetable for the
disappearance of trade and investment barriers. This effort, promoted heavily at the
so-called "APEC Summits" in Seattle in November 1993 and, most recently, in
Bogor, has been seen almost universally by Asian governments as an "end run", to
borrow a term from American football as a U.S. effort to outmaneuver them by
institutionalizing, via a multilateral organization, the free trade agenda that it had
been trying to force the Asians to swallow in bilateral trade negotiations.
A key element in the American game plan was the creation of an APEC
"Eminent Persons Group" (EPG), to provide the intellectual muscle for the
free trade agenda. Made up largely of pro-free trade economists, technocrats and
policy-makers from the APEC member countries, this quasi-official body was largely set up,
with the blessings of the U.S. trade bureaucracy, by Dr. Fred Bergsten, head of the
Washington-based Institute of International Economics, to push the U.S. free trade agenda.
A stalwart of Washingtons economic establishment, Bergsten is widely known as an
unabashed promoter of U.S. economic interests via free trade, and he has served as a key
lobbyist not only for APEC but for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and
the north American Free Trade Area (NAFTA).
With aggressive self-promotion, Bergsten and the EPG have managed to
project themselves as a quasi-official body pushing a multilateral consensus rather than a
body dominated by free traders espousing the U.S. trade agenda. The blueprint they came
out with, a strategy of "open regionalism" that would have all trade barriers
down in the region by the year 2020, was in fact, adopted at the recent Bogor Summit. But
the surface unanimity on the document, in fact, masked the deep rifts among the
participants. The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and Chile are
earnest believers in the 2020 plan. But these countries are seen by Asian technocrats as
the outsiders seeking to gatecrash the party known as the "East Asian Economic
Miracle". For most of the so-called "core" Asian members of APEC, agreeing
to a statement that was long on vision but vague on implementation was less a declaration
of belief than a relatively costless maneuver to accommodate American economic power.
The opposition to the APEC free trade vision has been openly
spearheaded by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who boycotted the Seattle
Summit. But just as effective in sabotaging or, at least slowing down, the free trade plan
has been the Japanese silent refusal to go along with the U.S. design. this was not
surprising since the Japanese would be the big losers with the establishment of a free
trade area deprived of mechanisms limiting the access of U.S. goods and U.S. capital. For
the Japanese have practically integrated the region around the Japanese economy since the
mid-1980s when the appreciation of the yen forced them to transfer a substantial
part of their manufacturing operations to cheap labor sites in East Asia and Southeast
Asia. Between 1985 and 1990, for instance, some S40 billion worth of Japanese investment
swirled through the region, as Japanese conglomerates and their suppliers spread their
facilities throughout the area according to locational advantage, in the process creating
a massive export platform consisting of complementary conglomerate operations situated in
Massive Japanese investment has, in fact, been the principal
factor stimulating East Asian, particularly Southeast Asia prosperity in the last decade,
not liberalization of trade and internal economy. If Asia prospered, while Latin America
and Africa stagnated, this was largely because the latter were subjected to a cut-off of
external capital cum structural adjustment as a result of the Third World debt crisis
while the former was treated to a massive overdose of external, Japanese, capital. The
$2.2 billion worth of Japanese investment that flowed into Malaysia between 1985 and 1990
served as the engine for the countrys 10 per cent per annum growth rate, while
Indonesias 5-6 per cent growth was directly correlated with the infusion of close to
$4 billion in Japanese investment during the same period. But perhaps the relationship
between growth and the massive injection of Japanese capital is most obvious in the case
of Thailand, which has served as the strategic center of Japanese operations in Southeast
Asia. As one report notes:12
The current explanation of Thailands accelerated growth rate was
the 1985 appreciation of the value of the yen, rendering Japanese production more costly.
Japanese multinational companies were forced to look for new lower cost production
locations. In 1987, Japanese investment approvals by Thailands Board of Investments
exceeded the cummulative Japanese investment for the preceding 20 years.
But unlike the American design of integration via free trade, the
Japanese design of integration via investment has not demanded that the Asian governments
change their investment laws. It has not required that they reduce their tariffs. It has
not stipulated that they end their subsidies for local forms. And it has not demanded
unrestricted entry for Japanese goods into the domestic market. It is all very informal,
"very Asian", say envious U.S. trade officials. As one Washington-based
government analyst puts it, "The Japanese dont need free trade to create a
trading and investment bloc."13
In any event, the battle over the direction of APEC has
reinforced a sense among many of the Asian elite that they have a more strategic
partnership with Japan than with the United States, though the U.S. continues to be the
main export market for many of them. It has also reinforced a common identification with a
system of state-assisted capitalism which many are now calling the "East Asian
system". Viewing APEC as an American Trojan Horse, they were willing to lend lip
service to the Bogor vision of Asia-Pacific wide free trade but they are likely to work
with their Japanese hosts during the upcoming Osaka Summit in 1995 to stymie its
achievement in practice.
The Sustainable Development Critique
While the elite have battled to define the direction of
Asia-Pacific development along free-market or state-assisted capitalist lines, many NGOs,
peoples movements and progressive academics have, over the last few years, evolved a
powerful critique of both elite models and the beginnings of an alternative approach.
What is often referred to as the "sustainable development
approach" is not an import from the North, but one that has largely emerged from
myriads of grassroots confrontations with the alienating impact of unchecked market forces
and the repressive impact of state-sponsored "development from above". While
drawing partly from the Marxist critique and partly from Western environmentalist
thinking, the sustainable development perspective in the Asia-Pacific has been largely an
indigenous effort to reflect and address the contradictions of four decades of
western-style development.14 It is now stepping into the vacuum created by the
collapse of traditional socialist ideology, increasingly serving as the vehicle for the
articulation of the aspirations of the dispossessed and the oppressed.
The sustainable development critique holds that, despite some very real
differences, the free market and NIC models have more to unite them than divide them:
Both the free-market and NIC models fetishize economic growth as the
be-all and the end-all of development.
Both intrinsically generate and perpetuate social inequality even as,
in the case of the NIC model, rapid growth takes place. Indeed, high growth rates are
necessary to allow a rise in absolute income without having to undertake redistribution of
wealth. This conjunction of a rise in absolute income and worsening income distribution
has characterized Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand in the last 20 years.15
Both models again intrinsically are ecologically
destructive and unsustainable. In the case of the market approach, there is a rundown of
natural capital since ecological costs are typically not factored into the real costs of
production. And in the case of NIC capitalism, there is a deliberate sacrifice of the
environment to attract local and foreign capital in order to deliver high-speed growth.
Indeed, the prospect of zero investment in pollution control is one of the two
cornerstones of the NIC model, the other being cheap labor. In the NICs, market and state,
in fact, act in a complementary fashion to create an accelerated plunder of the
environment. In Taiwan, the policy of decentralized decentralization decreed by the KMT
government pushed small and medium industries to settle helter-skelter throughout the
country, beside residences and the nearest waterways, in the process decentralizing
pollution and converting the island into an ecological wasteland. In Thailand, market,
private interests and state policy has created the convergence of two ecological
catastrophes: massive deforestation and massive water pollution.
Both approaches have very destructive effects on communities: in the
case of the market approach, because of the dissolving effect of unchecked market forces
on communal and community bonds; in the case of state-assisted capitalism, through the
deliberate breaking up and resettling of organic communities that stand in the way of
state-managed development projects. In Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia,
the story is depressingly similar: big dam schemes imposed from the center, uprooting and
resettlement of communities, particularly indigenous people and the gradual erosion and
silent destruction of resettled communities.
Both the free-market and the NIC model are elite agenda, though in
the second case, the state elite has, in some cases, managed to discipline an otherwise
short-term oriented private sector along a strategic "national development"
East Asian NGOs have often been criticized as being long on critique
but short on prescription. This has, however, changed in the last few years. Though
expressed in different ways, the expressions of alternative development emerging in
Thailand, the Philippines, Korea and Taiwan exhibit a core of key ideas;
In opposition to the blind play of market forces in the free-market
approach and to state flat in the NIC model, the sustainable development perspective would
make transparent, rational and democratic decision-making the fundamental mechanism of
production, exchange and distribution.
In contrast to the impersonal control by the "invisible
hand" in the free-market model and to the hierarchical and centralizing thrust of
decision-making in the NIC model, the sustainable development model would decentralize
economic decision making and management to communities, regions or ecological zones and
make national planning a bottom-up process.
In opposition to the premium placed on economic growth by the
free-market and NIC models, the sustainable development model de-emphasizes growth in
favor of equity, the quality of life, and ecological harmony.
Whereas both the free-market and NIC models are heavily biased toward
urban-based industry, sustainable development would make agriculture and the
reinvigoration of rural society the centerpiece of development process.
While in both the free-market and NIC models, the pursuit of
profitability dictates the adoption of capital-intensive high technology in industry and
chemical-intensive technology in agriculture, the sustainable development approach would
try to reverse what it considers uncontrolled technological change at the expense of
people and the environment, favoring the development of labor-intensive appropriate
technology for industry and organize, chemical-free agro-technology.
Whereas, in the free-market model, the private sector calls the shots
and in the NIC model the estate-big business partnership has a "duopoly" over
political and economic decision-making, the sustainable development approach would
organize the popular sector, represented by NGOs, as the third pillar of the political and
economic system as a balance to state and business in the short term but with the
strategic perspective of making it the dominant force in the triad in the long term.
Finally, in contrast to a property system based on the division
between private and public ownership in both the free-market and NIC models, the
sustainable development approach supports the recognition, institutionalization and
expansion of the realm of the "commons", or community or ancestral property that
cannot be disposed of either by the market or by the state.
Success Stories of Sustainable Development
Experiments in sustainable development are now taking place all
over the region, ranging from community forestry projects in Thailand to community-run
"integrated area development" in the Philippines. There are success stories:
Mangrove forests are a vital component of complex coastal ecosystems
in the tropics. Yet they have been ravaged with breathtaking speed by logging concessions,
destructive fishing practices and especially prawn and shrimp farming. In Thailand,
villagers in Si Kao and Kan Tang districts in the southern province of Trang have
successfully created a 25-hectare community mangrove forest from which destructive fishing
methods have been effectively banned. The experiment has achieved a relatively harmonious
relationship between livelihood and forest life, and in the three years since the
destructive fishing was stopped, marine like and other indicators of coastal ecology have
improved dramatically. The Trang project has, in fact, become a model not only of
sustainable livelihood but also of working relationships among local people, NGOs,
concerned government officials and committed academics.
In the Philippines, the island of Cebu exhibits many of the
disheartening problems plaguing the countrys agrarian economy: erosion due to
massive deforestation, deteriorating living conditions of peasant smallholders, almost
total absence of government programs to support peasant productivity, and the conversion
of agricultural land into commercial real estate in order to avoid land reform. But an
exciting 14-year-old experiment in farmer self-reliance, BAPAKA, has enjoyed some success
in countering the displacement and dispossession triggered by unrestrained market forces
and uncontrolled industrialization on the island of Cebu. Now covering 27 villages in four
districts and encompassing some 2880 members, BAPAKA has evolved a multi-pronged assault
on peasant poverty consisting of a food security program resting on small production teams
mobilized to maximize yields from individual farms, a loans and savings fund to provide
for members emergency and production needs, a program to process livestock and
poultry into consumer food items, a marketing program and even a research and development
program to propagate indigenous and organic farming methods. The result, according to
Farmer News and Views, is "the organizations members are now assured of food in
their tables, can send their kids to school and meet some of the basic needs of a more
decent life." Equally important is the diffusion of a sense of "individual
So far, however, clear successes in alternative, sustainable
development are but a handful and one of the reasons is that enterprises are often
confined to the community level where they subsist as enclaves assaulted by the alienating
dynamics of broader free-market forces and topdown NIC development. To make sustainable
development a national project, an alliance of NGOs in the Philippines has successfully
pressed the government to create the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD)
by appealing to 1992 Rio de Janeiro Summits Agenda 21, to which the government
subscribed, as well as to the rhetorical commitment of the Fidel Ramos administration to
promote sustainable development. While the thrust of government economic policy is to make
the Philippines "an NIC by the year 2000", the PCSD arena has been instrumental
in allowing NGOs to question this vision and present the strategy of sustainable
development as a credible alternative in the public view. A recent major accomplishment of
the body was the joint NGO-government hosting in late July 1994 of an international
conference on "Operationalizing Sustainable Development".
Sustainable Development as a Regional Alternative
If sustainable development is only now being raised as a credible
national development alternative, its profile as a regional alternative is embryonic. And
to be a player in an increasingly economically integrated region, an alternative must
address regional issues. The American have APEC. The Japanese, Chinese and more and more
Southeast Asian elite appear to be gravitating towards Mahathirs idea of an
"East Asia Economic Group" which would leave state-assisted capitalist
structures in place while excluding from membership the US, Australia and Canada.
But already NGOs in the region have taken the first steps in making
sustainable development a viable regional mode. Two conferences, the Peoples Forum
held in Bangkok in 1991 and the Peoples Plan 21 also held in Bangkok in 1992, say
NGOs and peoples organizations from all over Asia come together not only to express
solidarity and to share experiences but also to begin articulating a different strategy
for an Asia-Pacific future.
Allow me to point out some of the ideas that are emerging in such
Rather than beginning from bringing down barriers to
inter-corporate or inter-corporate trade, an alternative strategy for regional integration
could begin by addressing the pressing crossborder problems that undercut the welfare of
people and the environment. One such problem is posed by multinational corporations that
pit one country against another by threatening to move their operations to those with the
lowest labor costs and the most tax environmental enforcement. The creation of a common
regional environmental code with tight standards and a common labor code with guarantees
of unionism and decent wage standards would be an important step in bringing about this
people-based regional integration.
As another step in this people-based integration, a common front could
be created to demand technology transfer from both Japanese and Western firms, a demand
that can now be easily ignored if it comes from individual governments and individual
companies. But beyond strengthening their hand in technology transfer, a people-based
Asia-Pacific technoeconomic bloc would pool together the regions capital and
personnel resources for directed programs at research and development, not only in high
tech but also in appropriate technology for industry and agriculture. This would be
especially important in the area of agricultural technology since farmers throughout the
area are now in desperate need for more appropriate alternatives to chemical-intensive,
Green Revolution technology which - as even the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
now concedes - has had very significant negative long-term effects on both the soil and on
the environment which may surface in food shortages and famines in the near future.
In the area of trade itself, a people-based regional integration would
move toward connecting trading communities or regions directly, creating community trading
organizations that would supplant the corporate middlemen that now siphon off most of the
profits at both ends of the trading link, at the supplier end and the consumer end. Trade
itself would have to be taken away from its present dynamics of locking in communities and
countries into a division of labor that diminishes their capabilities in the name of
"comparative advantage" and "interdependence" and transformed into a
process that enhances the capabilities of communities that ensures that initial cleavages
that develop owing to necessary division of labor do not congeal into permanent cleavages
and that has mechanisms including income and technology sharing arrangements that prevent
exploitative relationships from developing between trading communities.
This vision of an alternative regional future is very different from
the American corporate vision of regional integration via investment, and the
economists and technocrats vision of never-ending, high-speed growth.
Articulating this alternative future is, more than ever, a necessity for while the rampant
consumerism that comes with high-speed growth continues to dazzle many, there is a growing
feeling that super-industrial growth accompanied by the decline of agriculture, increasing
inequality and uncontrolled ecological degradation is a recipe for an unlivable future.
Emigration rates, one might note as an afterthought, might be a manifestation of
deep-seated apprehensions. The numbers of people leaving Korea, Taiwan and Singapore for
the West have not declined with development, perhaps reflecting a national sense that NIC
development is really a strip-mine type of development that destroys the future for the
sake of the present.
1See Ricard Doner, Domestic Coalitions and
Japanese Auto Firms in Southeast Asia, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, 1987, Pp. 511-596.
2For more details, see "Hero Flying on
Indonesias First Passenger Plane," The Australian, Nove. 10, 1994, p. 15.
3Charles Sakasakul, Lessons from the World
Banks Experience of Structural Adjustment Loans: A Case Study of Thailand
(Bangkok: Thailand Development Research Institute, 1992), p. 19.
4For good expositions of this perspective, see Alice
Amsden, Asias New Giant (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991) and
Robert Wade, Governing the Market (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992).
5See the treatment of this in Walden Bello and
Stephanie Resenfeld, Dragons in Distress: Asias Miracle Economies in Crisis
(London: Penguin, 1991), pp. 44-57.
6MJTI Memorandum (full reference not provided).
7World Bank, The East Asian Miracle (New
York: Oxford University Press, 1993).
8Robert Wade, "Selective Industrial Policies
in East Asia: Is the East Asian Miracle Right," in Albert Fishlow et al, Miracle
or Design: Lessons from the East Asian Experience (Washington, D.C.: Overseas
Development Council, 1994), pp. 74-75
9David Mulford, "Remarks before the Asia-Pacific Capital
Markets Conference," San Francisco, Nov. 17, 1987.
10U.S. Dept. of Commerce, "Korea Background Key
Issues," Washington, D.C., Nov.1992.
11For more on this, see Walden Bello, People and Power in the
Pacific (London: Pluto Press, 1992), pp. 83-101.
12Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), Thailands
Economic Structure: Summary Report (Bangkok: TDRI, 1992), pp. 2, 26.
13Dick Nanto, Pacific Rim Economic Cooperation (Washington,
D.C.: Congressional Research Service, April 3, 1989), p. 10
14See Sen Phongpit et al and Green Forum White Paper (full reference
15For these figures, see Dragons in Distress, pp. 36, 215,
309. See also Suthy Prasartset, etc. (full reference not provided).
16The contradictions of Thailands development will be more
fully explored in the authors forthcoming book tentatively entitled, "The
17Farmer News and Views (Philippines) (full reference not provided).
18These views are elaborated in People and Power in the Pacific,