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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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Introduction

When people think about Asia, they have to think about the earliest footprints of what has been called “civilization”. They think about Assyria, Nineveh, Sumer, Persepolis, Sian, Mohenjo-Daro, Jerusalem, Mecca (Makkah), Pataliputra, Bagan, Borobudur, Angkor Wat, Beijing and Edo. Asia gave birth to: Zoroaster, the founder of the Zoroastrian faith; Siddhartha Gautama, on whose teachings Buddhism is founded; Confucius, the promulgator of an essentially secular morality that has influenced all of East Asia; Jesus, on whose teachings Christianity is based; and Muhammad, the founder of Islam – not to mention an acephalous faith, such as Hinduism. Asia originated the modern system of numbers, and most likely algebra and algorithms. Through transoceanic, transmontane and many other routes and devices of trade, Asia connected the continents of Africa and Europe, and Asians crossing over the Bering Strait peopled the Americas.

English

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