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American Knowledge-Based Economy: Consequences and Impact on the Economic Status of Asia-Pacific Cou

时间:2010-03-03  来源:  Author : CHEN Jiyong and XUTao 点击:


As China attempts to restructure its economy, attention is being placed increasingly on the knowledge-based economy (k-economy). The k-economy that is operating in the US may provide a model for other countries in the world. The k-economy has led to significant advances in the US in recent years. In view of the close economic connections between the US and Asia-Pacific countries, the development of k-economy is changing the economic relationships among the countries in this region.

There are several studies on k-economy from different perspectives undertaken by Chinese researchers but few emphasize the impact of the k-economy on the world economy and especially with reference to the Asia-Pacific area (see, for example, 陈继勇 and 彭斯达 / Chen Jiyong and Peng Sida, 2001; 陈宝森 / Chen Baosun, 2002). This paper will first examine development of the k-economy in the US and its influence on the US economy itself and various aspects relating to the global economy. This will be followed by a discussion on the changes that the development of

American k-economy has brought to Asia-Pacific countries, and a concluding section on the measures that have to be adopted in order to keep up with advances in the US k-economy.

Knowledge-based Economy and the American and World Economies

The k-economy is a new form of economy and its development, especially in the US in the 1990s, affects the world economy in many ways. Its effects may be examined with respect to changes in the US economy itself, international trade, investment, finance, technology innovation and co-operation, and competition for international talents.

The United States Economy

The emergence of the k-economy in the US has enhanced its economic status as an international economic power. This has been achieved largely through changes in the mode of economic production in the country and the consequent boost to its economic strength and confirmation of its leadership in technology innovation and ability to attract talents. Compared with the old economic mode of operation, the biggest advantage of the k-economy is that it no longer relies directly on material resources and capital, but on knowledge or the accumulation and utilization of information. In the context of the k-economy, knowledge ceases to be a mere "variable" in development but has become the core element of sustained growth. Hence, the accelerated development of the k-economy in the 1990s has brought about the longest period of growth in the US during the last 150 years of its history. US economic growth rate increased from 1.3 per cent in 1990 to 4.5 per cent in 1999 and this sustained growth was accompanied by unusually low rates of unemployment, inflation, and financial deficit (郭吴新 / Guo Wuxin, 2000).

More specifically, the k-economy has transformed the nature of the US economy in significant ways, both from the macro-economic and micro-economic perspectives. In the macro-economic sense, four types of changes are discernible. The first is that k-economy has deepened the understanding on how the US economy works. It has prompted changes in the role of the government leading to a decrease in its direct interference in the economy and thus to allow unrestrained response to the market to promote growth. Secondly, the American government begins to make adjustments to its market system, renovate the foreign trade system, reform the banks to promote technology innovation and improve American corporate competitiveness. Thirdly, the government changes its economic management from relying on taxation, controlling money supply and government payout to relying on fiscal policies. Lastly, the American economic structure has become more efficient as advanced and high-technology industries begin to form the core of the new economy, and as "traditional" forms of industries benefit from renovations made possible by the advent of advanced technologies.

In micro-economic terms, k-economy promotes improvements in American enterprise management and encourages restructuring to keep abreast of new developments. Companies are compelled to rely on computer technology in a wide range of applications and in the process have effected far-reaching changes in the mode of production in the US. Information technology has also led to greater investments by American enterprises as an increasing number participate in the international market and take the lead in competitiveness. The result has been a prolonged and stable period of unprecedented growth that stretches the US lead in the world economy. In 1990, American GDP made up 26.4 per cent of the global economy, by 2000, its share was raised further to 31.2 per cent (China Statistical Bureau, 2003).

International Trade

The second significant impact of the accelerated growth of American k-economy is on international trade. Rapid improvements in computer and communication technologies expedite the transfer of market information at high speed among corporate headquarters, manufacturing businesses and sales people, at the same time feedback on consumer preferences becomes readily available. International trade has expanded significantly in recent years both in speed and volume. In 1990, the global merchandise import and export amounted to $6,999 billion but has more than doubled to $13,109 billion in 2002. Of this total, American merchandise import and export accounted for $911 billion in 1990 and $1,896 billion in 2002. The export share of high-technology products has increased enormously accounting for about 25 per cent of total exports in the world. The American share of exports of high-technology products was more than 30 per cent while its service trade has also expanded considerably (China Statistical Bureau, 2003).

Similarly, the growing need for high-technology products in the world economy is turning the trade on information technology products and associated services into a major component of the expanding international trade. High technology demands heavy investments by developing countries which inevitably look towards developed countries for the necessary injection of capital. There is consequently a wide gap between developed and developing countries in terms of development in technology. Moreover, because of economic restructuring, developed countries begin to transfer certain industries with low value-added returns to developing countries. The resultant two-way flow of capital goods and finished products between developed and developing countries has consequently contributed directly to the expansion of international trade in recent decades.

The emergence of k-economy has changed the traditional mode of trade by the increasing use of information technologies. The growing reliance on networks and Internet infrastructures has accelerated the enormous flow of trade information. Based on "electronic data exchange", electronic business is gaining popularity as a new mode of international trade. Its speed and convenience have reduced exchange cost considerably. With these advances, international trade will continue to expand rapidly.

International Investment

The third area of economic activity that is affected by the development of the k-economy in the US is that of international investment. International investment has become more diversified as a result of the growing variety of investment markets, investors, investment channels and destinations. As transnational corporations (TNCs) turn their attention to emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific, investments are growing at the same time. Apart from direct investments, other means such as equities, bonds and funds are also used. International capital refers not only to resources and the market, but is related increasingly to knowledge-intensive areas.

In the k-economy, information on investment opportunities can flow freely and rapidly and open the way tor the globalization of international investment. At the same time, competition becomes more severe and the risks are similarly higher. The speedy exchange of investment information and the existence of large amounts of "floating" capital and "hot money" also facilitate the entry of speculative capital into specific markets at short notice, creating an unhealthy tendency that often increases risks and destabilizes markets.

International Finance

Just as American k-economy has a pervasive effect on the conduct of international investment, so also on international finance. As international trade expands, and as the need for a uniform global financial market grows, the array of new operations widens, the use of networks by international finance gains in popularity, and the trend towards market integration intensifies. Hence the unprecedented advancement in communications technology lays the foundation for this process to take place. International networks built on the basis of computer applications facilitate the rapid exchange of diversified financial information and data, whether between different financial institutions or different branches within the same institution. For example, the Society for Worldwide

Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) offers instant financial information for thousands of financial institutions worldwide, making it possible to link up financial markets more than ever before. With the need to monitor fluctuations of exchange rates as a core concern, the modern international financial system would demand a series of relevant information sources and channels. This will push computer hardware and software technologies to higher levels of possibility that in turn will stimulate innovations in financial management on a global scale.

Technology and Co-operation

Science and technology play an integral part in the emergence of the American k-economy. Almost all countries realize that they can rely on knowledge and intelligence more than on material resources in promoting development. In view of the importance of science and technology innovations, many countries often commit substantial investments on R&D with the aim to establish their own technology innovation system and to encourage human resource development to drive these innovations.

The ability to promote technology innovations has become a standard for judging a country's status in the highly competitive world. In contrast to the traditional economy, the k-economy relies on knowledge as the main input to raise productivity and as the real embodiment of the law of value. The country that invests more on science and technology will maintain its dominant position and to sustain the impetus for further development. Only by so doing can a country gain a leading position in the world. The success to exploit knowledge and technology innovations is now the yardstick to measure a country's international competitive capability. In the case of enterprises, science and technology innovations are even more crucial. For high-technology enterprises, the need for innovations is as much for survival as it is for continued expansion. To withstand competition, endless efforts are being devoted to research and product development. For instance, after the development of its Windows system, Microsoft does not rest on its laurels but continues to introduce new products to become the undisputed leader in this field. The same is true with Intel and IBM which spend vast sums of money on R&D. For traditional industries, innovations in technology are relied upon to restructure the production process and to employ "high-tech" equipments and software to keep abreast of advancements in the k-economy.

International co-operation in technology is becoming increasingly important especially in certain areas of research that are crucial for maintaining competitiveness. These areas involve costs or risks that are beyond the resources of individual countries. Furthermore, new products must be accepted by a market that is sufficiently large to yield maximum profits. An effective way to counter high risks is through co-operation in science and technology among countries or corporations. Co-operation allows the parties involved to make full use of each other's advantages, talents and other resources to improve efficiency through technology innovations.

International Competition for Talents

Lastly, the American k-economy has intensified international competition for talents. Technology innovations are derived from new knowledge which is in turn highly dependent on the availability of relevant human resources and talents, training and education. That the k-economy first appeared in the US is probably because this country has the most advanced educational system and superior human resource administration in the world. The favourable environment by which talents are freely tapped and put to productive use creates a virtuous cycle through which large and varied teams of foreign talents are attracted to work in the US. The role of intellectual talents in the development of American k-economy has convinced many countries of the importance of nurturing talents. This realization has generated an intense international competition for the talented on the one hand and efforts by many countries to expand investment on human resource training on the other. As a result, the role of education has become more important than ever and many countries are making attempts to establish a good education system to attract talents as a national priority.

American Knowledge-based Economy and Asia-Pacific Countries

The impact of American k-economy development in the world presents opportunities as well as challenges to other countries. In the Asia-Pacific region, the k-economy has implications on economic thinking as well as the national standing of individual countries in the region and the world. No country in the region has escaped the pervasive influence of American k-economy but the impact varies according to countries or sub-regions. The differential impact on the US itself, China, Japan and ASEAN is discussed below.

Stable and Dominant America

Since the Second World War, America has been the most important power in the Asia-Pacific region. East and Southeast Asian countries rely heavily on American aids and market access. The k-economy has accentuated this situation.

The rise of the k-economy has helped the US to consolidate its dominant position in the new science and technology revolution and to reinforce its economic power. First, it improves American economic structure and deepens its knowledge base. In the 1990s, American technology made remarkable progress and the information industry emerged as the leading sector in the country. High-technology exports accounted for 34 per cent of total US exports in 2000, and the export of computers and information service amounted to 43 per cent of its entire service export (China Statistical Bureau, 2003). High and new technology has reinvigorated American traditional industries such as steel, automobile and semi-conductor. The development of the k-economy has stimulated advances in knowledge and innovations that are translated into higher productivity. Secondly, it has led to innovations in the management system. The American economy is now being managed more rationally than before, with emphasis on maintaining economic development. The market system has become more perfect and R&D in advanced technology is actively encouraged. The banking and fore'gn trade systems have also been reformed to improve financial operation efficiency and to expand exports. Lastly, the k-economy has altered enterprise management and strengthened American international competitive power. Overall, the k-economy has allowed American companies to gain many advantages over foreign enterprises in new technologies and new products in many fields. The net effect is seen in enhanced profits of American enterprises. Consequently, the development of k-economy has greatly augmented the volume and power of American TNCs. World Bank statistics show that from 1992 to 2001. American GDP rose at an annual average rate of 3.4 per cent and the global competitive power of the US has occupied the top spot since 1994 (Switzerland International Management Academy, 1994-2003).

In view of its ever-increasing economic power, America's links with Asia-Pacific countries have deepened and so has its dominance. In 1990, American GDP accounted for 48 per cent of the aggregate GDP of 21 APEC countries. Since then, this percentage has increased to 50 per cent as the region enters the 21st century (China Statistical Bureau, 1991-2002).

The k-economy has contributed to the restructuring of the American economy as traditional industries are being shifted to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In the early 1970s, America began to transfer various traditional industries with low added-value returns to selected developing countries, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. America utilized the cheap labour force in these countries to produce traditional consumable goods for its own market through the investment of capital and technology but retained R&D efforts within its own borders. American companies engaged actively in developing advanced technologies and exported high value-added technology products and other services to developing countries. According to the World Bank (1991-2000). during the 1990s, the export of high-technology products made up more than 30 per cent of American exports. In 2001, American service export was valued at $276.3 billion, of which the value of computer and information exports was $5.1 billion or four times those of Japan (China Statistical Bureau. 2003).

Asia-Pacific countries are the main trade and investment destinations of America. From 1995 to 2000, 60 per cent of American exports were destined for this region. During the same period. America obtained 70 per cent of its imports from the Asia-Pacific (陈继勇 / Chen Jiyong, 2003). It is noted that almost all the countries in this region depend on America as the biggest trade partner. In 2000. for example, Chinese exports to North America (US and Canada) made up 28.5 per cent of its total exports, comprising largely of commodities and finished industrial products; the proportion for Japan was about 30 per cent, but mainly in the form of traditional products such as automobiles and steel. The relatively more developed countries of ASEAN such as Thailand. Singapore and Malaysia sent about one-fifth of their total exports to the American market, mainly in the form of raw materials as well as finished products. In contrast, these countries import from America high-technology products and related services. Accompanying the expansion in trans-Pacific trade, America is investing increasingly in Southeast and Cast Asia including China, where labour is abundant and the market is huge. American investment is focused largely on secondary industries. In China, American investment, mostly from TNCs, began to increase rapidly in the 1990s. By 2002, the contractual and utilized FDI from America were $80.3 billion and $42.3 billion respectively, making up 9.7 per cent and 9.5 per cent of the total FDI in China (陈继勇等  / Chen Jiyong ct al., 2004).

Elevation of China's Economic Status

The rise of American k-economy created conducive conditions for China's development. As developed countries devote more attention to promote high-technology industries and begin to adjust their industrial structure by transferring traditional industries to developing countries that possess not only low-cost labour but also large potential markets, China emerges as one of the ideal destinations for FDI from these countries. From 1979 to 2002. the total actual FDI in China amounted to $448.2 billion, and the Chinese economy grew by an impressive rate of 9 per cent per annum. In 2002. China's GDP exceeded $1.000 billion and became the sixth largest economy in the world. Driving the Chinese economic growth was a manufacturing boom that transformed China into the largest producer of manufactured goods in the world.

Fast Chinese economic growth provides a fresh impetus for Asia-Pacific development. The Chinese success in economic reform, thanks in part to the favourable influence of American k-economy, has allowed China to become one of the fastest growing economies during the past 20 years. Its high GDP growth rate is accompanied by accelerated expansion in international trade. Chinese imports accounted for 5.3 per cent of the world total by value and its exports for 5.9 per cent, and thus ranked China as a major trading nation in the world.

The dynamism of Chinese development is a boost to the economic growth of Asia-Pacific countries. The US, Japan, South Korea. Australia and several ASEAN countries are taking full advantage of opportunities available in China. The benefits are clearly reflected in international trade (Table 12.1). The volume of China-US trade is large and increasing, except in 2002, by more than 15 per cent per annum between 1999 and 2003 (Ministry of Commerce of China. 2004). Japan was the biggest trading partner of China for 11 years up to 2003 and. between 1999 and 2003, expansion of Japanese exports to China failed to exceed 20 per cent only in 200!. Indeed, in 2003, it leaped by 39 per cent. Japan has already declared that China is not a threat but an opportunity, as the country benefits considerably from Chinese economic growth. ' Several ASF.AN countries have tried hard to tap opportunities in the Chinese market which requires large quantities of products and materials from ASEAN. Not surprisingly, ASEAN exports to China have been rising rapidly, at a rate of 49 per cent in 2000, 34 per cent in 2002 and 52 per cent in 2003. It is obvious that China's high-speed growth has been a strong economic stimulant to the Asia-Pacific region and China itself is being recognized as an economic powerhouse.

The advent of a k-economy has widened the developmental scope of the Chinese economy. In the past 20 years, Chinese economic growth was driven largely by secondary industries especially in manufacturing. Following American k-economy development and global shifts in manufacturing industries, China has increased its investment on R&D and to embark on new and high-technology industries. Although R&D investment as a percentage of China's GDP has remained unchanged, it has increased considerably in absolute terms. China has introduced relevant policies to encourage foreign enterprises to invest in high-technology industries and to set up R&D centres. That China is climbing up the technological ladder is evident. Per capita telephone ownership rose manifold from 10.8 units per 1.000 persons in 1990 to 202 units in 2000; for mobile telephone, the ratios were 0.4 and 38.5 respectively; for computers, the increase was from 3.6 per 1,000 persons in 1996 to 15.9 in 2000, and in terms of Internet penetration, the rate rose sharply from less than 2 per 1,000 households in 1995 to 265 in the year 2000 (China).


In foreign trade. Chinese trade structure continues to evolve in keeping with the promotion of efficiency and quality in industries and national development. In 2003. electro-mechanical product imports and exports each exceeded $200 billion for the first time, reaching a total value of $225 billion and $227.5 billion respectively, with both registering an increase of 45 per cent over the previous year. As for high-technology products, the $100 billion target was attained for the first time, with imports valued at $1 19.2 billion and exports at $110.2 billion, representing respective gains of 44 and 63 per cent over 2002. Similarly, the combined trade in services also exceeded $100 billion in 2003 for the first time, of which service imports were worth $55 billion and exports $47 billion, making China one of the tenth largest trading nations in services in the world and among the biggest in the developing world. In global terms, its trade in services export was 2.7 per cent and import 3.2 per cent of the world total in 2003.

Relative Decline of Japanese Economic Status

Japan failed to match the US in the development of a k-economy and consequently lost ground to America in restructuring its economy. Instead, Japan suffered economic stagnation during the 1990s and slipped into recession on several occasions. After the Second World War, under the patronage of the US, the Japanese economy expanded rapidly during the 1960s and 1970s and boasted an almost unprecedented record of achievements. However, during the 1990s, with America leading a k-economy "boom" on the one hand, and the threat of a bubble economy in Japanese real estate and traditional industries on the other hand, Japan failed to recognize the importance of the k-economy and lost momentum in the development of new and advanced technologies as means to optimize its industrial structure. Japan went through a decade of economic slow-down with an annual growth rate of about 1 per cent throughout the 1990s. Unemployment increased from 2 per cent in 1991 to 4.9 per cent in 2000, and reached a record level of 5.5 per cent in 2002.

The major problem of the Japanese economy, apart from the burden of bad debts, is the weight of an industrial structure that is not able to withstand global competition. The existence of many industries with low efficiency and the lack of new industries undermine Japan's economic strength. The result is a decline in international competitiveness from first place in the 1989-1993 period to 20th in 1998-2001. In 2003. it slumped further to 30th position (Switzerland International Management Academy, 1989-2003).

In comparison with America and China. Japan is losing its many advantages in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world. Its economy has declined relative to other economic powers because of several factors. Firstly. Japanese economic stagnation in the 1990s has led to a diversion of Southeast Asian countries from Japan to China to which they now have increasingly close economic ties. Secondly, Japan regards Southeast Asia as a source of raw materials and as a market for its own products. At the same time, its domestic market is largely closed to the agricultural and traditional manufacturing products from the region. Lastly, the rise of China as an economic power within the context of declining Japanese economic influence in the region has led Japan to deepen its economic ties with China as a boost to its own development. As a result, the Japanese economy is more reliant on China than ever before.

As Japan realizes the importance of the k-economy, it will begin to adopt a development strategy of encouraging more high-technology industries. Although Japan lags behind America in k-economy development, it is still the second largest economy in the world. Since 1990, its GDP has always accounted for up to 25 per cent of the GDP of the Asia-Pacific region. Although its GDP is less than one-half of America's, it is four times larger than that of China's. In trade and investment. Japan has always been second only to the US. Moreover, it has embarked upon a programme of reform and has emphasized the role of science and technology innovations by building up a new science and technology management system. Although it has lost some of its advantages in the area of technology, yet as a pioneer in production techniques and standards, these reforms will play an essential role in Japanese industrial restructuring as a means to re-assert its economic leadership.

New Challenges and Opportunities in ASEAN

The advent of the k-economy and attendant changes have affected ASEAN countries in many ways. ASEAN occupies a delicate position in relation to the three major economies of China. America and Japan. ASEAN countries are not powerful hut occupy a strategic location that many other countries seek to control. Traditionally, most ASEAN countries rely heavily on America in politics, economy and security. In the context of the development of American k-econoim. Southeast Asia plays an important role for American industrial restructuring and the international division of labour. In return, ASEAN reliance on America has increased to an extent that American influence in this region is accepted by all. Japan continues to pay attention to this region as it is the main sea route for its foreign trade. Occupied by Japan during the Second World War, this region did not receive much attention in trade and investment from Japan until the 1980s. Since then, Japan has tried to expand its influence in the region.

The end of the Cold War era has witnessed a reshuffling of the balance of powers at the global scale. In the Asia-Pacific region, the effects of many forces are intertwined. ASEAN, as an organization with common interests, is playing a unique role in international relations. On the one hand, it maintains close economic relations with Japan and America and is in favour of US military presence, on the other hand, it also actively seeks a share of the opportunities created by China's vibrant economic growth. By acting as a single entity, ASEAN is able to play a constructive role in the region and. in efforts to promote regional co-operation, is shifting its collective attitude towards China from one of uneasiness to that of active engagement.

The arrival of the age of k-economy is presenting ASEAN with new challenges as well as opportunities. In the late 1990s, ASEAN economic development was severely tested by the Asian currency crisis. ASEAN had been a popular destination for foreign investment and in the late 1980s, the ANIEs, also known as Asia's mini "dragons", began to shift some of their industries to neighbouring countries as their economic growth slowed down. Substantial inflows of foreign investments into the ASEAN region boosted growth rates that exceeded those of the ANIEs. In the mid-1990s, the combined GDP of ASEAN was as large as that of China and the total value of its imports was equal to that of Japan (compiled from the data of China Statistical Bureau. 2003). Nevertheless, there are still many problems that plague ASEAN economic growth. The ASEAN economy is export-oriented and its total export value accounts for a large share of its GDP. The heavy reliance on exports and the imperfect economic structure will have a negative effect on its growth and expose the region to uncertainties and instability arising from adverse changes in international situations. One such occasion was the currency crisis of 1997-98 when ASEAN suffered heavily in competitiveness, carried inflated trade deficits, and bore the crushing load of foreign debts. The result was a loss of investor confidence and the flight of foreign capital and investment. In 1998, substantial depreciations of ASEAN currencies led to a decline of 37 per cent in its GDP over 1997 in dollar terms (China Statistical Bureau, 2003).

ASEAN countries have taken a series of measures aimed at economic reform including the promotion of high-technology industries and increased investments to promote the development of a k-economy. Reform measures have bore considerable fruits as the regional economy began to regain its growth momentum (Table 12.2). To a large extent, its path towards economic recovery is dependent on the health of the American economy. As the American k-economy expands and spreads across the world, East Asia has become the biggest production and supply base of the world for electronic and information products. The export of these products contributes to about a third or more of their total exports. Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippine and Indonesia are the production base of American high-technology industries mainly in computer parts and semi-conductor. In the event of an economic slow-down in the US, the effects on the exports of these countries would be severe.


China's unprecedented achievements in economic development pose
serious challenges as well as immense opportunities to ASEAN. China's rapid development in the 1990s has changed the balance of power in East Asia and has exerted a heavy impact on ASEAN countries, to the extent that, as an engine of growth, China has a decisive influence on the development and stability of Pacific Asia embracing a region from Korea to Indonesia. ASEAN countries are beginning to realize that the rise of China is more an opportunity than a challenge to them. China and its well-educated but low-cost labour force and large market are irresistible attractions to investment and have also diverted the inflow of some FDI away from ASEAN. High quality and inexpensive Chinese products have increased the competitive pressure on ASEAN countries in the international market. On the other hand, however, China is the only major country with a high rate of economic growth and a stabilizing force in a global economy that is hampered by a downturn. In this role, China has to some extent acted as a "safety valve" by providing a vast market for both primary commodities and manufactured goods from Southeast Asia. For instance, in 2003, ASEAN countries increased its exports to China by 51 per cent 
over the previous year and at a rate unmatched by other major markets (Ministry of Commerce of China, 2004). The "China factor", in which China is both an engine of growth and a competitor, has featured in the attempts of neighbouring countries to restructure their economies. Singapore, for example, has taken measures to adjust its industrial structure and to expand high-technology industries to cope with changes in the regional economic environment brought about by the rise of China. With the US pre-occupied with its war on terrorism, China, as well as Japan and Korea, has strengthened ties with Southeast Asia with a Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation in recent years. China has proposed to establish a free trade area with ASEAN and Japan has suggested an "East Asia Community". These efforts have contributed positively to the economic prospects of ASEAN.


The advent of k-economy in the US has exerted much more than a "ripple" effect on Asia-Pacific economies. In the context of numerous other influences arising from world politics and the development of the individual countries, the importance and role of k-economy cannot be ignored. There is therefore a need to adopt necessary measures to cope with the demands of a k-economy. All countries in the Asia-Pacific region need to invest more heavily in education, encourage invention and innovations, restructure their economies and to develop communication and other high-technology industries. Only then can these countries keep abreast of, or at least not to be left behind by, a k-economy that has emerged and fast changing the economic landscape in the US and the world.


1. Koizumi Junichiro. Prime Minister of Japan, at a press conference on 19 March 2004.


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