The Asia-Pacific Economy by Dilip K. Das (auth.)

By Dilip K. Das (auth.)

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Australia is a large exporter of coal, wool, wheat, beef and mineral ores, while New Zealand exports are dominated by meat, dairy products, wool and forestry products. Thus, these two economies depend heavily on exports of primary products for earning foreign exchange. Much as developing countries do, they export primary goods to finance their imports of capital goods. Both economies have been recipients of foreign direct investment which brought technology and managerial skills with it. Since they relied on the other OECD economies for keeping up with technology, they had to rely on foreign direct investment.

Indonesia and the Philippines lagged because they were slow to open and, therefore, were the least open economies in the group. Note that all these economies began their exports from a very low level, therefore statistics do hide the low-base effect. 9 per cent- again, the long-term average has been adversely influenced by languid performance over the 1980s. For China, the long-term average was 8 per cent and, unlike Japan, this figure has been favourably influenced by its performance over the 1980s.

Japan also saw a large market for its manufactured and durable consumer goods exports in these two regional neighbours. Economic interdependence and common strategic interests have brought the three economies close and the mutual affinity is likely to grow. During the 1980s, Korea also became a significant trading partner of Australia and New Zealand, and the economic ties were substantially strengthened with China, Taiwan and ASEAN-4. In the process the two economies have successfully carved a regional niche for themselves.

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