When you hear the phrase “four Asian tigers,” it might sound like something you’d see at the zoo.
In the world of economic development, though, we’re talking about something very different. The four tigers of Asia is a term for four small but mighty Asian nations — Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Collectively, these four nations have joined the ranks of the wealthiest countries on earth.
What’s the remarkable story behind the four Asian tigers countries? Keep reading to find out!
The Rising Tiger of Asia: Humble Origins
The year is 1960.
Between World War II and the Korean War, much of Asia has been in battle for decades — and has the economic scars to prove it. The small island nations of Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, as well as war-torn South Korea, are still considered part of the “developing” world.
Fast-forward to the 1960s, when an era of relative peace and economic prosperity settles around the globe. Long-closed borders opened and international air travel became accessible. This allowed trade and business to flourish.
And rather than get left behind, the four Asian tigers leaped into action.
The Four Asian Tigers Economic Development: How?
Let’s now briefly consider a few ways the four tigers of Asia became the economic powerhouses they are today.
Under colonial rule, each of the four Asian tigers improved and transformed their agricultural societies. By the time technology caught up in the 1960s, the groundwork for rapid industrialization was already in place. The governments provided incentives and subsidies to create strong domestic economies. This allowed them to compete and keep pace with the rest of the world.
Capitalist Development Strategies
The policies of these nations create strong public-private cooperation. While the state-controlled national resources, it also focused on favorable exchange rates while keeping inflation under control. This is one reason why investing in the Asian stock market through a company is a solid choice.
Each of the Asian tiger nations holds tremendous state power with no tolerance for dissent. A combination of authoritarian and institutional rule created stable conditions that allowed for rapid short-term growth. At the same time, the governments focused on core economic goals and policies that enabled long-term growth.
A Highly Educated Work Force
From the 1960s through the 1980s, each of these nations placed major emphasis on human resource development. Universal primary education became the norm. Soon, advanced university programs for science, technology, and medicine were also the norm. In addition, the four Asian tigers promote gender equality in both education and career advancement opportunities.
The Story of the Four Tigers of Asia: Now You Know
Considering the humble origins of these nations, the economic growth of the four Asian tigers is nothing short of miraculous. The next time you hear about one of these countries in the news, take a moment to reflect on its incredible success!
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