The term “ASIAN TIGERS” refers to a group of countries in the south east of Asia which include (1) Hong Kong, which is the administrative zone of China (2) Taiwan (3) Singapore (4) South Korea and (5) Indonesia. From 1960 to the year 2000, a period of only about forty years, these Asian economics did something “MIRACULOUS” hence they were popularly referred to as the “Asian Miracle”. There was this aggression to develop their economies. The Southeast Asian states have placed regional economic integration as a top priority.

They formed Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

 with the ambitions of becoming an official economic community by 2015. In that short period of time (40 years), those five economies really became a big part of the workshop of the world. They were not just regional players expanding locally, they were expanding globally.

The broad approach to tiger economic success is regional orientation that focuses on commodities and raw material export in their interactions. Turn over any item in your house a toaster or a television set etc, you will see the inscription made in South Korea or China. This was a period of magic, and that magic occurred in the Tigers and it is for that reason that we study them.

These Asian Tigers of China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia were grouped together and there are good reason- for that. One, they were all growing about the same time at about the same amazing rate, but there were other similarities. These were the Asian ideas. All of these economies were in Asia They seemed to have some cultural roots. When you go to the factory floors, talk to the people they seem to have an amazing will, at extraordinary work ethic.

 They were winning but they were working hard to win, and it obvious. They also seemed to have a great treat in leadership or at least more trust in their leaders than maybe other economies in the west had their own.

For this reason, a lot of observers from around the world began to look at Asian Tigers as sort of a standing lesson to the rest of the world

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For about the same period time, a lot of the old winners, the old-lion. rich economies in the west, were really slow down. There was also a belief that there mid have been some idea, some common policy? some common set of plan or secret that they shared that enabled them to grow at this super ordinary rate.


The economy of East Asia is one of the most successful regional economies of the world. It the home of some of the world’s largest and most prosperous economies of China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. Some of the factors that account for the id development of these countries in South East Asia are: High Savings rate: The Tigers barked on very high saving rates and that ant that they could also have very high investment rates, investments like joint stock ventures that they funded. Savings is more important because it is really a means to an end. It is one very stable and reasonable means to the end of making investment

They invest in hard things, plants, properties and equipment, infrastructure, roads, ‘airports and seaports, education and in people’s ills and these are the things that make you more productive, they did not have to go begging around the world, paying high interest rates or worrying that all those other economies 3 invested in them would pull out. They save for themselves, and that is not easy to do. In saving upwards of 30-40% of gross domestic product per year, the Tigers embarked upon a plan of huge investments that really transformed economy. Massive increase in productivity labour, generally come from big increase in investments.

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  • Stable and relatively low wages: The Tigers kept their wages very low. This means that they could pass, along a lot more productivity at low prices to consumers around the world. To keep the wages low, meant that they had to engage in macroeconomic policies that kept their currencies relatively cheap and to sort of sustain political support delivering goods that made the economy richer, were not receiving such high wages yet the latter was all seen as part of the plan, and it is something that really worked. It wasn’t just cheap goods for a rich west and Japan (although that was part of it) but it was holding together this economy in this particular way.
  • Good Political Stability: The Tigers enjoyed a relatively favourable political – legal environment for industrial and commercial growth. Security was needed in order to make those investments.
  •  Presence of abundance natural resources: There was abundance of various kinds of natural resources. Agricultural and mineral resources were abundantly available for the Tigers to use which aid rapid economic development of the Asian Countries.
  •  Abundance of Labour: There were also plentiful supplies of relatively low-cost skill and adaptable labour in the Tigers for rapid economic growth.
  • A relatively Open Trading systems: There was a relatively open trading systems in the far east, these was a zero or low goods, which considerably helped to stimulate cost- efficiency and change.
  • Rapid Learning Capabilities: The East Asian populations have demonstrated rapid learning capabilities, skills in utilizing new technologies and scientific discoveries were developed and putting them to good use in production. Work ethics in general tend to be highly positive.
  •  Development of large and fast growing markets: The Asian Tigers also succeeded in developing a relatively large and fast growing markets for consumer goods and services of all kinds.


The “Japanese miracle” refers to Japan’s phenomenal economic recovering following the devastation of World War II. Within a few short decades of its capitulation, Japan had joined the community of prosperous nations. In economic terms, the nation’s recovery was miraculous indeed. One common question is how much of the miracle can be attributed to the American Occupation following the war? The answer is somewhat complex. The occupation did establish the fundamental conditions of constitutional democracy and stability upon which the Japanese could build a successful peace time economy.

 In addition, occupation authorities make sure that Japan’s post war constitution prohibited the nation from developing the means to wage war in the future. The U.S military subsequently provided a security umbrella for Japan that exists to this day. With the country protected by the U.S military, Japan’s constitutional disarmament precluded a significant post war defense budget. This free up additional funds to use on more productive investments

Phases of Growth in Japanese Miracle

Three stages were involved. Starting from post war poverty: In 1945, Japan’s industrial output was about 30%i of 1935 levels. The occupation authorities (a the rest of the world) expected Japan to foe on light manufacturing: toys, simple electronic components, clothing etc. But Japanese economic planner set their sights higher, choosing to focus instead on heavy industry, Japan economic future would be found in steel automobiles and chemicals – not toys sandals.

The post war economy received an early  jump start. In 1950, war broke out on Korean peninsula and Japan’s economy benefited from U. S military contracts for a  range of supplies. Japan also became preferred destination for “rest and recreation” among American troops stationed in Korea bringing in still more dollars. By the end of the war, the Japanese economy had gotten over an initial “hump”. In 1953, the U.S was able stop all direct aid to Japan.

The next year, 1954, saw average incomes return to pre-war levels. Japan business leaders and bureaucrats now foci on developing the country’s heavy industry. They made rapid progress throughout 1950s. Living standards at the end of the de were 25% higher that they were in the middle of the decade. In 1958, a Japanese government study concluded that the nation “completely recovered” from the war The High-Growth years and Ikeda plan: In 1960, Prime Minister Ikeda Hayato unveiled the “Ikeda Plan”. The 1 plan outlined the ambitious goal of doubling the nation’s income in ten years. It detailed as of concrete steps to achieve this end which include: Investment in education and infrastructure A focus on exports. Nurturing of key heavy industries. Economists outside Japan praised the details of the Ikeda plan but claimed that no Ion could double its income in just ten years, however, the target of the Ikeda plan was reached in only seven years. The 1960’s were a decade of high growth and the benefits were more evenly distributed than in the past. Whereas only the cities had prospered during the 1950’s, now rural regions were benefiting as well.

Farm incomes jumped as the population and disposable incomes increased. Farmers not only benefited from a richer domestic market, but they also received substantial agricultural subsidies from the government. Japan was spicily moving from a primary agricultural nation Id a mostly industrial one. In 1950, half of the population was engaged in agriculture. By the nid-1980s the number would shrink to ten per cent. The economic growth of the 1960s lured many rural Japanese to abandon the farm for sore lucrative jobs in the city.

1964 was a year of two major milestones. Japan was welcomed into the community of “Prosperous” nations as the nation was invited to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

,span also hosted the 1964 Olympics. In a gesture of intentional symbolism, leaders gave nineteen years old Sakai Yoshinori the honour of lighting the Olympic flame at the opening of the Tokyo games. Sakai had been born in Hiroshima on the day the atomic bomb was dropped. The period from 1966 to 1970 was marked by continuous double-digit growth in economic output and wages. Japan became a major exporter of transistor radios, televisions, cars and consumer electronics etc. Japan’s industrial output was now greater than that of the rest of Asia combined.

  • High Growth Gives way to Slowdown: The early seventies were calm before the storm, as the Japanese economy hit the skids during two energy crisis later in the decade. There were also difficulties ahead that would be triggered by currency revaluations. Nevertheless Japan was now one of the world’s major economic players. No nation had ever come so far in the short span of thirty-five years. The bulk of the credit for the Japanese miracle therefore goes to the Japanese themselves.


The South East Asia is confronted with significant labour market challenges. The region is growing at a rapid pace, industry is becoming more diversified and job requirements are demanding more complex and sophisticated skills. This initiative aims to address the issues of unemployment and skills especially through an interaction platform for members. Some of the development strategies employed by these Asian countries include the followings

  • Investment in skills: The South East Asian region has experienced some of the highest growth rates in the world, with investments in skills playing a significant role in helping national economies to adjust to changes in working practices.
  • Advance in Technology: This has also helped the South East Asian to excel. This process have been successfully managed and significant advances have been achieved in growth rates and employment levels.
  •  Engagement of special Agencies: The engagement of special agencies like the Employment and Skills Strategies in South East Asia (ESSSA) facilitates the exchange of experiences on employment and skill development.
  • Setting up the Pilot Projects: As part of its on-going studies, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has identified many pilot projects in South East Asia which embrace skill upgrading and the integration of the disadvantaged into the workforce and seek innovatively to tackle issues around the flight of talent.
  • Involvement of some international organisation: The OECD and its LEED programme (responsible for local economic and employment development) is already engaged in a policy dialogue on the governance of employment and skills in the Asian economies who have expressed a growing interest in decentralisation, partnership and local employment and skills strategies.

In recognition of the complex form that these strategies must take in order to support a sustainable and equitable recovery, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the OECD are working together to help government institutions and other agencies to share their experiences and engage in a process of mutual learning.

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