Strategic Economics

The Economic and Political Dynamics
of the Asia-Pacific Region

Ambassador Prabhat P Shukla
April 2013

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The period since the end of the Cold War has seen significant changes in the economic structure of the region, and this essay will first highlight the nature of these changes. Later, it will touch upon a few of the
important political aspects of the region.

At the end of the Cold War, in the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s, the dominant economic presence in Asia was Japan. With a GDP of $3.02 trillion, it was the second largest economy in the world, and the largest in
Asia, by a wide margin. More important, its GDP growth did not stagnate after the dramatic collapse of its stock market in 1989; indeed, its GDP continued to grow rapidly up to 1995 – from $3.0 trillion in 1989, it
reached $5.3 trillion in 1995. The total value of its exports in 1990 was $288 billion, larger than the rest of ASEAN combined. It was only after 1995 that the stagnation set in.

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