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Four Asian Tigers
Four Asian Tigers.svg
A map showing the Four Asian Tigers
 Hong Kong  Singapore
 South Korea  Taiwan
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 亞洲四小龍
Simplified Chinese 亚洲四小龙
Literal meaning Asia's Four Little Dragons
Korean name
Hangul 아시아의 네 마리 용
Literal meaning Asia's four dragons
Skyline of Central Hong Kong's financial centre (viewed from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong)
Skyline of the Central Business District of Seoul, South Korea.
Downtown Singapore skyline before dusk.
The skyline of Taipei, Taiwan's capital city and financial center.

The term Four Asian Tigers or Asian Tigers refers to the highly developed economies of:

These regions were the first newly industrialized countries, noted for maintaining exceptionally high growth rates and rapid industrialization between the early 1960s and 1990s. In the 21st century, all four regions have since graduated into advanced economies and high-income economies. These regions are still the world's fastest growing industrialized economies. However, attention has increasingly shifted to other Asian economies which are now experiencing faster economic transformation.

All four Asian Tigers have a highly educated and skilled workforce and have specialized in areas where they had a competitive advantage. For example, Hong Kong and Singapore became world leading international financial centres, while South Korea and Taiwan became world leaders in information technology. Their economic success stories became known as the Miracle on the Han River and the Taiwan Miracle (see Sho-Chieh Tsiang) and have served as role models for many developing countries.[1][2][3]

South Korea, larger than all the other smaller Tigers combined,[4] became the only Tiger to become a High-income OECD member, join the Development Assistance Committee, join and chair the G-20 major economies, while rapidly emerging as the world's largest shipbuilder and Asia's largest exporter of oil products[5] and creating major global multinationals such as Samsung, the world's largest conglomerate and electronics maker,[6][7] LG, the world's second largest LCD maker, POSCO, the world's second largest steel maker and Hyundai-Kia, the world's fourth largest automaker.[8] South Korea has overtaken Japan as the world leader in digital technology, ranking first worldwide in the Digital Opportunity Index and East Asia's tallest building, the 133-floor Digital Media City Landmark Building will be built in Seoul by 2015.


Role of traditional philosophies

Economic success in Japan, followed by the Four Asian Tigers, has been attributed to the existence of harmonious labor-management relations (cf. W. Dean Kinzley, Industrial Harmony in Modern Japan: The Invention of a Tradition, Routledge, London & New York, 1991). “Industrial Harmony” is this unique “culture of harmony” that was consciously invented and developed over the last century in Japan. A semi-bureaucratic organization called the “Kyochokai” (The Co-operation and Harmony Society) was established in 1919 to meet the needs of an emerging industrial society. The Kyochokai took the lead in trying to define the values which would be suitable for a new Japanese-style industrial society, at the time of great social troubles in industrial Europe. The resulting "invented" tradition has played an important role in the evolution and character of Japanese economic values and behavior of social peace for economic development.[9]

Japanese experience appears to challenge unilinear theories of modernization, and to suggest that Japan’s uniqueness lies in the creation of its own kind of modernity, sharply divergent from that to be found in Western countries, and based paradoxically upon a reaffirmation of ancient Confucian values and native Japanese traditions of harmony, self-sacrifice and non-individualistic group striving in pursuit of a common cause. Japan’s emphasis on long-term growth, scrupulous market evaluation, and process engineering are all well regarded as important components of its economic development.

These "Asian values" are the foundations ("Grund" as it used to be) of "Asian political economy". Abandoning import substitution, the model advocated in the developing world following the two world wars, the Four Asian Tigers pursued an export-driven model of economic development with the exportation of goods to highly-industrialized nations. Domestic consumption was discouraged through government policies such as high tariffs. The Four Asian Tigers singled out education as a means of improving productivity; these territories focused on improving the education system at all levels; heavy emphasis was placed on ensuring that all children attended elementary education and compulsory high school education. Money was also spent on improving the college and university system.

Since the Four Asian Tigers were relatively poor during the 1960s, these nations had an abundance of cheap labor. Coupled with educational reform, they were able to leverage this combination into a cheap, yet productive workforce. The Four Asian Tigers committed to egalitarianism in the form of land reform, to promote property rights and to ensure that agricultural workers would not become disgruntled. Also, policies of agricultural subsidies and tariffs on agricultural products were implemented as well.

These places had strong industrial economies which set them apart from all other places in Asia.

See also

This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
This article contains Korean text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Hangul or hanja.


External links

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