2013-01-17 The Middle Income Trap: Asia's Challenge
    2013-01-16 16:56:34     CRIENGLISH.com         Web Editor: Chen Cong





 

For the past decade, Asia's economy has been a success story, with China and India becoming the world's leading economies and Southeast Asian nations, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, maintaining high speed growth. Years of rapid growth has catapulted them into the ranks of middle-income countries. But now they face the common challenge of moving their average incomes to the next level.

The traction of the middle income trap is too great to overcome. Some Asian nations have been bogged down in the trap for a long time due to an inability to reform their economic structures. Malaysia is a case in point. It has long relied on foreign investment and cheap labor for growth. And now to move up the value chain requires the country to foster innovation, which is not an easy thing to do. China, too, has realized that if it wants to continue to grow, it must wean itself off of cheap labor and exports for growth.

So, how can Asian countries work to minimize the risks of falling into the middle income trap? And what are some of the successful examples in Asia?

Ni hao, you're listening to  People In the Know, bringing you insights into the headline news in China and around the world, I'm Zheng Chenguang in Beijing. This marks the second edition in our series on the middle income trap.

We speak to Dr. Tim Condon, Chief Economist, Asia for ING Bank, and Dr. Teo Wing Leong, Associate Professor of School of Economics, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.

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