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Asian developing countries have had varying experiences in trade and agriculturaldevelopment in the 1980s, attributable in part to their differing stages of economicdevelopment and structural characteristics. Other important influences relate to the externaleconomic environment and the policy choices made by their governments not onlyduring the period but also in the preceding decade.The achievements of Asian developing countries under the adverse external conditionsof the 1980s are discussed in terms of their macroeconomic and agricultural growth, thecommodity structure of agricultural growth, their food production and trade, the expansionand diversification of their agricultural exports, and the policy and nonpolicy factorsaffecting them. Special attention is given to the role of policy reforms implemented in Chinaand the South Asian countries, following similar policy developments in Northeast andSoutheast Asia in the 1960s and 1970s, toward greater openness in their trade regime andincreased private-sector participation in the economy. These reforms have contributed tothe observed acceleration in GOP, agricultural, and export growth in the 1980s. However,macroeconomic imbalances have emerged that threaten the sustainability of economicliberalization in those countries.The major challenges for the 1990s also differ among the Asian developing countries. Inthe industrially advanced Northeast economies of Taiwan and South Korea, the primaryneed is to ease the transition of the remaining rural population as farm incomes continue tofall and workers move to industrial and service activities. This challenge has to be addressedin the context of growing external pressure to further open their domestic market for agricultural imports. Among the Southeast and South Asian countries, there is a need toreduce the existing policy biases against agriculture, particularly against export crop production.Moreover, China and the South Asian countries face the additional challenges ofcontinuing to deregulate their trade regime and internal markets, and of promotingmacroeconomic stability.Despite the external trend recently toward regionalism, Asian developing countriesgenerally seem committed to an open trading system, on which in fact their past impressiveeconomic performance has been predicated. An important challenge for them in the 1990sis to play an active role in arresting and reversing any protectionist tendencies arising fromthe formation of regional trading blocs and to support multilateral initiatives such as theUruguay Round that promote global trade liberalization.

Subject(s): International Development

International Relations/Trade

Issue Date: 1993-06

Publication Type: Journal Article

PURL Identifier: Published in: Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, Volume 08, Issue 4 Page range: 345-375

Total Pages: 32

Record appears in: International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) > Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists

Autor: Bautista, Romeo M.


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