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Asia and the Pacific: A story of transformation and resurgence - economic and social survey of Asia and the Pacific 1947-2014

image of Asia and the Pacific: A story of transformation and resurgence - economic and social survey of Asia and the Pacific 1947-2014
The UN-ESCAP (and its predecessor UN-ECAFE) has been ahead of the curve in shaping the ideas on economic and social development in the Asia-Pacific region through its annual economic and social Survey. This publication aims to provide a first-hand account of what was happening during a period of unprecedented economic and social transformation. It contains a succinct narration of the countries’ reconstruction efforts and needs after the Second World War as well as their development aspirations and endeavours providing an analytical narrative of the transformation of the region infested with pervasive hunger and deprivation to the Asian miracle that lifted billions of human beings out of extreme poverty. It tells how the region from a periphery became the centre of gravity for the world economy. In short, it is an analytical story of the unfolding of the Asian drama.

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Unfavourable initial conditions

The modern development journey of the economies in the Asia-Pacific region truly began after the Second World War. That also meant a very difficult starting point as, “[t]hroughout the region, the war has left a bundle of political problems and almost every country without exception has had to pass through similar trials in their transition to self-government and independence” (Survey 1947, p. 2). “More than three years after the end of the war, countries find that in no branch of their economy have they attained prewar levels” (Survey 1948, p. xii).

English

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