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Asia's industrial regions 2

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Asia's industrial regions 2

Korean car, ca 2000

  • (a) South Korea: South Korea came out of the Korean plastic goods, toiletries and car assembly are all intended to war of the 1950s as an impoverished basically agricultural meet local rather than international demands. country. Development took place with government and overseas investment, mainly from the U.S.A., Japan and some European countries, and was directed by a series of national economic development plans, mapping out which industries should be encouraged and therefore led to gradual diversification into a wider range of industries. Industrial growth really began in the early 1960s and has taken place very rapidly. The speed at which the overall economy is growing is now for greater than in Japan and is matched only by Hong Kong. The first industries to be developed were textiles and light industries, the classic industries of developing countries. Textiles still account for about 30 per cent of exports. Electronics is likely to be the major light industry in the future. Colour television sets, electronic watches, desk top calculators, as well as radios, are produced, often using imported components. There is now government encouragement to develop a wide range of more sophisticated products including microprocessors, magnetic discs of computers, and computer terminals.

    From its light industrial base South Korea has moved into heavy industries, especially iron and steel and shipbuilding and later into petrochemicals, though this is a vulnerable industry as it relies entirely on imported oil. In recent years the emphasis has again changed and has been placed on machinery manufacture to produce machines not only for export but to serve the increasing local demand as heavy industries are being set up. By 1981 the range of machinery produced in South Korea was comparable with that produced in Britain.





  • (b) Hong Kong: Hong Kong's development has much in common with that of South Korea, or indeed with that of Japan in the early days of Taiwan today. Earliest industries to be established were textiles and these together with garments and fashion goods still account for about 40 per cent of exports.
  • (c) Singapore: Singapore has much in common with Hong Kong, as agriculture on the small island is inadequate to support the large population. Industrial growth has been based on the large port and the considerable entreport trade. Timber, rubber, pineapples and vegetable oils are drawn from surrounding countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia and are processed before being re-exported. More recently shipbuilding and repairing, electrical apparatus, printing and publishing; and other industries have developed at Jurong. Singapore also has a large oil refining industry.




  • (d) Malaysia: The main industrial regions of Malaysia are in the Kelarg Valley between Kuala Lumpur, the country's capital and the largest city, and the sea around George Town, the main industrial city dealing with the agricultural products of and swan land and mineral resources e.g. iron and aluminium of the Penang on the mainland coast opposite.
  • The main characteristics of Malaysian industry are:

  • 1. Many industries are geared to import substitution. Steel is produced for the home market. Foodstuffs, footwear,
  • 2. Industrial development is encouraged by the government by tax concessions, the setting aside of free trade zones to help introduce export oriented businesses, the setting aside of industrial estates with cheap sites for factories and the building of new towns with both industrial and residential sectors to allow for balanced urban development. The government supports industrial growth as a means of reducing unemployment, especially in the towns, to reducing imports and making the country more self-sufficient and of diversifying the economy and reducing reliance on primary exports.
  • (e) Iran: Of the West Asian States, Iran has probably developed the most widely based industries. Apart from oil refining and petrochemicals it has steel, cement, electrical goods, metal goods, foodstuffs and consumer goods industries. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are developing some industries.


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