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What Works In Asian Scenarios

Avinash Godbole

Edited by Pongsak Hoontrakul , Christopher Balding and Reena Marwah Palgrave
Macmillan, New Delhi, 2015, pp. xxii 272, $115.00


Asian economic transformation has been underway despite the hiccups of the 2008 crisis that nearly brought the world economy to a standstill. Asia, at least that part of Asia spanning from India to Japan, now has dynamic leaders in Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi, who are highly nationalist on one hand but also fairly pragmatic as seen in the last couple of years. China, as the biggest rising power in the region, has also undertaken initiatives like the One Belt One Road (OBOR) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that promise to transform the structure and the nature of intra-Asian business, networks, communication and connectivity. Leading into these times, The Global Rise of Asian Transformation: Trends and Developments in Economic Growth Dynamics, presents a well rounded backgrounder to what works and what does not in Asian political and economic scenarios. As detailed in the preface, the audience that the book seeks to address is middle-level managers and MBA students who seek careers in Asia. However, it is a good read for the students of political science and international relations as well, since its thrust is on the drivers and processes of change in Asia. What this book does it to identify the areas where the future of growth in Asia is and it also backs up its claim with more than adequate amount of statistics and charts. However, the study is largely limited to the Asian geographic area between and including India and China and how the ASEAN members relate to these two Asian powers. Pongsak Hoontrakul, who is either sole or joint author of all but one chapter in this book, identifies the five megatrends around which Asian economic future hinges. These include, i) life after quantitative easing, ii) new technologies (including ICT revolution), iii) individual empowerment and growing demands, iv) Asia’s internationalization, and v) changing demographic patterns (p. 1). It also looks at five game changers that will impact productivity in the years to come. These include, 1) rising pressures on ruling systems, 2) the energy landscape reshaped by the shale gas revolution 3) the transformation of global trade and financial flows, 4) infrastructure connectivity, and 5)talent, human capital and the middle income trap (p. 2). It has to be said that the book does adequate justice to these drivers. The drivers like rising middle class aspirations, increased as well as innovative use of ICT, as well as changing nature of ...

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