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Introduction: In Search of a Middle-Path for Globalisation

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Abstract:

China, India, and the ten member countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (i.e., Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, and Myanmar) together account for about 40 percent of the world's population, and about 10 percent of global GDP. By the middle of the 21st-century, the outputs of China and India are expected to exceed those of the US and EU. What effect this shifting configuration will have on the world is merely speculative, but one thing is certain - the world will be very different in terms of economic and geo-political influences.

The emergence of China from 1978, and India since the 1980s, is strongly correlated to the globalisation of products and services that became the ubiquitous paradigm in global economics. It emerged post-World War II as world leaders sought to forge a new era of interaction based on cooperation, inclusiveness, and a less zero-sum approach. At the international level, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provided the basic parameters of interaction from 1947. GATT morphed into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the 1990s, which then continued the work to foster trade liberalisation; the Doha Round being the most recent forum for trade negotiations.

The emergence of GATT at the international level highlighted the need for an apposite economic framework for nation-states. To this end, the eminent economist Paul Samuelson (1948) was the philosophical architect of the ‘mixed economy’ model of economic organisation. He imagined the role of government was to fill the gap in market failures, such as in the areas of inequality, public infrastructure, education, and the provision of macroeconomic stability. In other words, the progress of communities, Samuelson contended, was dependent on a mix of free-market capitalism, moderated by appropriate government intervention. The mixed economy paradigm was dominant until the global economic woes of the 1970s led to the rise of ultra-free-market libertarianism, harbouring the thesis that governments are incompetent and untrustworthy, and hence, should be excised from the provision of public goods. This view was academically assisted by small government advocates such as Frederick Hayek (1965) and Milton Friedman (1982), and put to practice in the UK.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5848/CSP.3614.00001

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • Advances in Business in Asia: The Opportunities, Threats, and Future Trends of Businesses in China, India and the ASEAN Countries
    Advances in Business in Asia examines current trends and issues facing organizations operating in a global business milieu. The book comes at a pivotal time when many businesses are emerging from the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, and are seeking a way forward in dealing with the opportunities and challenges presented by global capitalism in general, and China, India, and the ASEAN region specifically. The book is a compilation of selected papers presented at AFBE conferences. The Asian Forum on Business Education (AFBE) is a not-for-profit organization whose aim is to provide a forum of scholarly exchange in the areas of business, economics and management, with a particular focus on the Asia region.
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