Asianomics: Dynamics of Asia’s Economic Growth wkf2011 l 2011.10.11

Asia is currently undergoing rapid growth and industrialization spearheaded by China and India, the largest economies in terms of nominal gross domestic product (GDP) followed by, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Iran. Over the years, with remarkable economic growth and large trade surplus with the rest of the world, Asia has accumulated over $4 trillion of foreign exchange reserves - more than half of the world’s total. After the liberalization of the economy of India in 1991, the Indian economy joined forces with the Chinese economy to power Asia into being one of the hotspots for world trade. The Chinese economy was already booming since the 1980s. In 2007, the Chinese economy grew by more than 11% while India`s growth rate increased to around 9%. Meanwhile, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore emerged as the Four Asian Tigers with their GDPs growing well above 7% per year in the 1980s and the 1990s. Their economies were mainly driven by growing exports. During the 1990s, Asia became one of the largest producers of automobiles, machinery and other electronics, capitalizing on its manufacturing ability and cheap labor markets. There was a briefly hard time for the Asian economy at the end of 1997. Starting from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore were hit by the Asian financial crisis that resulted in great economic damage on the affected countries. However, by 1999, most of the countries managed to recover from the crisis. East Asian nations such as economic leaders China, Japan and Korea are projected to continue to flourish. According to the World Bank, China may become the largest economy in the world sometimes between 2020 and 2030. Furthermore, the Asian economy is forecast to account for 50% of the world’s GDP by 2050.

The 12th World Knowledge Forum (WKF) has prepared an in-depth session to focus on the Asian economy, dubbed “Asianomics,” which will be held from 10:20 to 11:30 at Vista Hall on Wednesday, October 12th. This session aims to explore into the dynamics that have led the stunning growth of the Asian economy and discuss ways to make that growth sustainable and the future of Asia. Asia has become the engine of world economic growth. In turn, Asia should take the responsibility to develop dynamics and the driving forces of economic engine. The core businessmen and leaders who lead the Asian way of economics will gather at this session to talk about the Asian economic model and its sustainability.

Asianomics speakers include Hans-Paul Buerkner, President and CEO of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Herbjorn Hansson, Chairman and CEO of Nordic American Tankers (NAT), Kim Joon-young, President of Sungkyunkwan University and Kwak Seung-jun, Chairman of the Presidential Council for Future and Vision (PCFV). BCG CEO Buerkner has worked for the past 30 years with many financial institutions to redefine their strategies, spearheaded major global expansion initiatives, and supported them in fundamental restructurings. He studied economics, business administration, and Chinese, receiving a diploma from the University of Bochum, an MA from Yale University, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. As the founder of the NAT, CEO Hansson has been retaining the position since 1993. He has been involved in various aspects of the international finance and shipping industry since 1970. President Kim Joon-young of Sungkyunkwan University is a distinguished economist and also author of several books including the bestseller, Macroeconomics. Lastly, Chairman Kwak Seung-jun of the Presidential Council for Future and Vision, an advisory body to President Lee Myung-bak, plays a key role in formulating the country’s future strategies. He is also an economics professor of Korea University College of Political Science and Economics.

At the heart of the discussion, the speakers will try to give answers to the questions as follows:
-What is the core driving force of Asian economic growth?
-Can the Asian development model be applied to global economy?
-What additional efforts are needed for Asian countries to sustain its growth for a long term?
-Can Asia be the main engine of global economy?

The moderator for the Asianomics session will be Fred Hiatt, Editorial Page Editor of The Washington Post. He has been at The Post since 1981, currently writing editorials and a biweekly column for the newspaper.


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