Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Far East 1948

image of Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Far East 1948

This latest edition of the Survey analyzes current economic and social developments in the region against the background of events in the world economy. It also focuses on the serios problems of growth and transformation of the area's least developed and Pacific Island developing economies.



Characteristics of Asian economy

The countries of Asia differ widely in race, language, religion and other aspects of culture. Politically, socially and economically, their developments are not of the same order. Yet homogeneity in the midst of diversity is apparent in all these countries; it lies in the predominance of agricultural production. Primary employment, as distinct from employment in secondary or tertiary industry, is still dominant in all countries of the region. Even Japan is not an exception in this respect. Of the total population gainfully employed in Japan in 1947, 52 per cent were in agriculture, as compared with 22 per cent in manufacturing, and 7 per cent in trade and commerce. India, ranking second to Japan in industrial development, in 1931 had 67 per cent engaged in agriculture, with 10 per cent in manufacturing and 5 per cent in trade and commerce. In other countries of the region, the proportion of population gainfully employed in agriculture was much greater, being 89 per cent for Siam, 73 per cent for Korea, 70 per cent for Burma, 69 per cent for the Philippines and 61 per cent for Malaya; the proportions gainfully employed in manufacturing were respectively only 2 per cent, 7 per cent, 11 per cent, 11 per cent and 12 per cent. This predominance of agriculture in Asian countries is in striking contrast to the industrially advanced countries such as Great Britain, the United States, Germany and France, where the proportions of gainfully employed population in agriculture were respectively 6 per cent (1931), 17 per cent (1940), 26 per cent (1939) and 36 per cent (1931).


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