RP SHOULD EMULATE NORTH ASIAN NATIONS TO ACHIEVE TENABLE ECO GROWTH
MANILA, MAY 29, 2010 (MANILA TIMES) BY KATRINA MENNEN A. VALDEZ Reporter - The Philippines should emulate North Asian nations such as Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan to achieve sustainable economic growth, a United Nations official said on Friday.
On the sidelines of the 10th Anniversary Regional Celebration of Asian Public Intellectuals (API) Fellowship, Jomo Kwame Sundaram (K.S.), the assistant secretary general for economic development in the UN for economic and social affairs, said that the Philippines should stop emulating its Southeast Asian neighbors and instead learn from its “used to be” contemporaries so it could find its niche in the global economy.
“The Philippines used to have the highest population of professionals and intellectuals in the world, while with respect to Asia, it [Philippines] was [once] second to Japan,” K.S noted.
K.S. is a prominent Malaysian economist and was the founding chairman of International Development Economics Associates. He also sat on the Board of the UN Research Institute for Social Development in Geneva, Switzerland.
“The Philippines is competing with its regional peers, which should not be the case since it [Philippines] has more and distinct [things] to offer. The Philippines happened to be among the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] members only by geographic location but it is more on an equal footing with North Asian countries,” he said.
According to K.S., the Philippines cannot be on equal footing with its regional neighbors who enjoy abundance of oil like Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, which also are all predominantly Muslim countries.
He said that the Philippines used to be in a better position compared with its regional peers before World War II, when the country’s academic quality was superior and only a notch lower than Japan’s.
“By looking at South Korea, Taiwan and China, something is missing and that is the Philippines. The reason being is that the Philippines failed to make itself fully industrialized as against these countries I mentioned, which is very ironic as the Philippines has had better economists and politicians before the World War II,” K.S. added.
South Korea made substantial development in education, economy and culture since the 1960s and emerged from being one of Asia’s poorest to one of the world’s wealthiest nations. It also suffered a lot of damage during the Korean War.
Taiwan’s rapid economic growth in the decades after World War II has transformed the country into an advanced economy and one of the four Asian “tigers.”
Taipei’s technology industry plays a major role in the global economy, where it is particularly dominant in consumer electronics.
“The Philippines should be fully industrialized and build its position in the economic arena as one with the most intellectual and highly competent people without having to export them, because only those countries benefit from the Philippines’ strong workforce,” K.S. said.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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