As the most dynamic and rapidly growing region in the world over the past decade, Asia has attained a new level of prosperity. Yet Developing Asia's newfound economic ascendancy remains precarious. As 2008 came to an end, every economy in the region had either slowed sharply or tumbled into outright recession. Far from having the autonomous capacity to "decouple" from weakness elsewhere in the world, export-led Developing Asia had become even more tightly tied to foreign markets than was the case a decade earlier. The once-bright future is now uncertain. Investors, business managers, policymakers, and political leaders all need to dig more deeply to uncover the challenges, opportunities, and risks that lurk in this critical region.
In Stephen Roach on the Next Asia, Morgan Stanley's Asia Chairman offers his views on where the Asian economy has been and where it is going. This collection of essays, written by Roach over the past three yearsthree of the most tumultuous years in modern economic historytells how the Asia story has played out to this point and what that saga portends for the future. Roach looks at the global economic crisis and the debate over globalization. He details China's challenges in rebalancing its economy and examines U.S.-China tensions over trade policy. And he analyzes the additional challenges facing Japan, India, and Korea. Drawing insight from what went right and wrong, the author attempts, in a concluding chapter, to paint a picture of what it may take to realize the hopes and dreams of the Asia Century. Macro risk assessment, he reveals, is critical to understanding the forces that will shape the Next Asia.
And the Next Asia is already coming into focus. Consistent with the region's penchant for change, it looks to be very different from the Asia of the past thirty years. The transition from old to new will need to be driven by a major rebalancing of its economywith export- and investment-led growth giving way to a more balanced macro structure, increasingly supported by internal private consumption. For all those who want to deepen their understanding and capitalize on these changes, Stephen Roach on the Next Asia provides an invaluable guide.