An Asian Community
It is doubtful that the idea of a common market like the European Community would work in a Third World region like Asia. The area may have been booming for a good part of the past decade but it is evident that it still does not have sufficient experience or knowledge to carry out such a demanding task.
But there is reason to believe that Asia would benefit from such a union. Standardization, as evident from the current situation of the United States and Europe, can benefit all aspects of the economy in incredulous ways. Perhaps the most important benefit derived from unionization would be a wider market. The EC's market of nearly 600 million now equates itself with the United States, one of the largest traders in the world. Unified and together, the European Community is able to trade with bigger powers at a much faster pace than as separate countries competing with each other.
Another point to mention is Asia's incredible potential. All four crucial factors of production are readily available. Japan has the entrepreneurship and the capital. China has a more than sufficient population from which to draw the labor force. Raw materials ("land" in economics) are plentiful in Thailand , India, and Malaysia. Everything is ready to set off.
But it is unfortunate that the complexity of Asia's politics and economics can not be simplified. Although they are roughly in the same region, each country is drastically different. Japan has its stubborn emperor, Thailand has its king but a corrupt and domineering government. Hong Kong is still unstable from the recent Chinese takeover. Burma and Cambodia are in persistent trouble and revolt. Malaysia is dominated by its sultans. India and China are simply huge.
Each country in the Asian region is already diversified and divided internally. To unionize and create a standard is far too tedious of a job for anyone to handle. The United States has one of the most remarkable internal systems. European nations such as Germany, before becoming a union, have already streamlined their systems. Thailand, for one, has not. To this day Bangkok Metropolitan and the provinces are dealt with differently. And Malaysia is secretly dominated by thirteen sultans who run the black market.
In order to become a union like the European Community, Asia has to take out the kink in its various gears and make them work as one. Only then can it benefit from the entire system.
. . .
Copyright (c) 1998 by Gemma Truman
| back to essays |
Another essay where my French teacher would simply have us write a certain amount of words about a topic scribbled onto the board. Ths time, the question was whether Asia could set off something like the European Community. Ha. I think not. I wrote my outline with its key ideas in English, then I wrote the actual essay from that in French. After submitting it, I roughly translated the essay back into English.