Regional Assessment Asia Essay

1322 words - 6 pages

Wikipedia, an internet encyclopedia source, defines globalization as "a social change, an increased connectivity among societies due to transculturation; the explosive evolution of transport and communication technologies to facilitate international cultural and economic exchange" (Wikipedia, 2006). In other words, globalization pertains to the connectivity that allows businesses around the world to interact thus move beyond domestic markets to other markets around the globe. A major influence on moving towards a global economy has been progressive trend toward the use of regional economic integration agreements. According to the text it "refers to the merging of historically distinct and separate national markets into one huge global marketplace. Falling barriers to cross-border trade have made it easier to sell internationally" These agreements are being touted as not just promoting spurs in economic growth and development, but also as an influencer in negotiating peace amongst the various people in the regions as well as across the globe.Asia is the world's largest continent covers approx 17.139 million square miles. Its inhabitants also make it the most populous with approximately sixty percent of the world's total population (Wikipedia, 2006). The culture and industries of Asia differ vastly throughout the various regions of the continent. Asia's economy lies primarily in agriculture. Asian countries with smaller populations such as Thailand and Vietnam are major exporters of agricultural crops such as rice, wheat, soybeans, tea, and other items. However, although producing some crops, countries with larger populations and access to power supplies, modernized transportation for people and goods, as well as access to raw materials such as lumber are more industrialized. For instance, due in part to Japanese investments in plants and cheap labor, the economy in countries such as Thailand and Singapore are booming at a steady pace. Additionally, the creation of railroad lines, linking the countries together thereby improving transportation methods in countries such as Japan, China, and India has greatly helped to improve the economies in those countries.Located in Eastern Asia, China is the most populous country in the world with approximately one-fifth of the world population (Wikipedia, 2006). The country is bordered on the west by Pakistan and Afghanistan, on the east by Russia and North Korea, on the north by Mongolia and Russia and on the south by India and Vietnam. The country also has readily available access to many water routes via the Yellow, East China, and South China Seas. China is a member of several trading blocs which include the World Trade Organization, WTO the Association of South East Asian Nations, ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC.China has experienced tremendous but fluctuating economic growth since the 1970s. Since the late 1970's the Chinese government has worked to change the economy to become more market oriented. This type of economy allows economic decisions such as pricing of goods and services to be decided by the economy's participant's and manifested by trade versus the original planned economy where decisions where made by one central agency (Wikipedia, 2006). This decentralization of control led to industrial growth for the country especially in regards to the production of consumer goods. In the 1990s, the Chinese government introduced legislature such as the opportunity for foreigners to become chairpersons of joint venture boards, which helped to enhance the country's image with other countries.The Chinese government has taken many steps in an effort to invoke progressive changes in its economy. In fact, the government has put a considerable amount of emphasis on improving global trade and investment relations in an effort to improve its standings. Primary trading partners for China include Japan, United States, and Hong Kong. 1999 IMF data shows that China's global trade stood at $363 billion with a $36 billion trade surplus.The Republic of India is the second most populous country in the world with over one billion people (Yahoo, 2006). The country is located in south Asia near Indian Ocean trade routes. Similar to China, India also participates in several regional trade blocs such as South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IORARC), and ASEAN. Trading partners include countries such as the United States, Japan, and European Union countries.Unlike China, India has continued to see robust growth in its economy since the 1990s. This has occurred in large part due to the governments efforts to ease restrictions and liberalize the economy as well as responding to a severe foreign exchange policy (Wikipedia, 2006). These efforts have allowed the company to develop into the 12th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $568 billion. There still remains need for growth in the country as India has a very high poverty level with many people unable to afford basic life necessities.There are several similarities between the Chinese and Indian economies. One of these similarities is the fact that both have an abundance of cheap labor readily available. By having these people readily accessible the economies in both countries in addition to their superb manufacturing abilities, allowed Asian companies to establish themselves in industries that were dominated by Western countries such as the United States. The influx of cheaper electronic and automobiles demonstrates how the Asian businesses were able to garner strength in those markets.The disparity in economic development of the Asian countries gives the impression that this region is not a prime location for economic integration. However, due to the desire by these nations to market themselves in a successful manner to foreign investors, as well as easing up on restrictive trade barriers, demonstrate that these countries are what is needed to continue to improve the economies of the various countries in the region. It also in many instances can be viewed as a means to work towards establishing peaceful relations in the region.Regional trade blocs are intergovernmental associations that manage and promote trade activities for specific regions of the world. The European Union, EU, North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, Southern Common Markets, SCCM and Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN are some of the better known regional trading blocs (UC Atlas, 2005).There are benefits and drawbacks associated with the use or participation in trading blocs. These organizations have assisted with improving trade relations between participating countries in a region as well as on a global stage. However, there are some concerns that the proliferation of smaller blocs such as the ASEAN and SCCM can be a hindrance to larger groups such as WTO or NAFTA that are more interested in promoting free trade throughout the world not just within a few neighboring countries.ReferencesChina FAQ's (2005). Retrieved Sunday, January 22, 2006 from http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/section/China_Economy.aspEconomic Globalization. (2005). UC Atlas of Global Inequality. Retrieved Monday, January 21, 2006 from http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/trade/subtheme_trade_blocs.phpIndia FAQ's (2005). Retrieved Monday, January 21, 2006 from http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/section/India_Economy.aspWikipedia contributors (2006). China. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:57, January 23, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=China&oldid=36261520Wikipedia contributors (2006). Globalization. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:05, January 25, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Globalization&oldid=36657760.Economy of India (2005). Retrieved Monday, January 10, 2005 from the world Wide Web: http://en.wikipedia.org

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