Waves of “miracle” growth
The object of this section is to explore the reality – not the myth – of the so-called Asian Miracle in order to better understand the external environment of the region’s rapid Wave 1 and Wave 2 growth. The object is also to seed thinking on what it will take to win in the more challenging (new normal) international environment of slowing economic growth, declining trade growth and intensifying competition for foreign direct investment, which I refer to as “Wave 3.”
To better understand Asia’s post-World War II growth “miracle” must be to make explicit what we all know: that in practice there is no “Asia.” Our region is a complex portfolio of countries and economies at different stages of development, with diverse political and economic systems. Pre-crisis “miracle” performance was in reality linked to a unique and unlikely-to-be-repeated congruence of regional and global forces.