tiger of asia?

Posted by Analyse at 11:50 AM

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The french and european leader in beauty products and perfumery distribution Marionnaud has been bought by a chinese business tycoon Li Ka-Shing, owner of AS Watson among others.

Read on.

An investor from a developing country to a developed country. A new twist in the global economy. It wasn't of course the first investment but this new development marks China's quest to conquer the business world. Not only it presents as a production haven for investors, it also highlights its intention to be one of the important actors in the competitive business world.

Looking back, there was a time when Philippines was the Tiger of Asia. Where are we now?


Anonymous said...

They were right, one day China will rule the world!
Sometimes I ask myself if I should have learned Mandarin instead of French.

Analyse said...

yeah right. everybody's teasing each other here about having mandarin as the third language (english as the second) because of these actualities - china's explosion to the world market. i have heard that china will equal USA's economy in 2020! investors have china on the head of their list - low manpower cost and the future market of the world, imagine those billions of consumers concentrated in that part of the continent?

with the jobs coming, their pruchasing power will of course increase, thus making them the target market of all investors!

hay naku, how will pinas - an english-speaking country, compete with our neighboring countries? this sad fact has always frightened me.

one of the biggest export product of the philippines is - manpower! the most competitive has only one thing in mind - move out of the country! how i wish job will instead come to the philippines and improve the purchasing power of our fellow kababayans. i hope the government could do something about this.

sparks said...

if my memory serves me right, we were never a "tiger." although the ramos administration liked to think so, and was never shy in proclaiming that we were, even if we weren't.

mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

Pre world war two asian countries were predominatly feudal in nature

the four great dictators of asia just after the war: marcos, park, lee, and soeharto all tried to smash feudalism by creating their own.

marcos was basically cold towards the existing feudals just before he declared martial law. most of them went abroad or stayed put but consolidated their holdings and avoided expansion, lest they incure the ire of marcos and his cronies.

his cronies were there to, among other things, break the monopoly of the older families.

you know more or less what happened.

most of the korean chaebol directors were either relatives or cronies of park chung hee. most of the leading families in singapore also were close associates of lee kwan yew. in japan, it's a different thing. the kieritsus like mitsui, sumitomo, koban, etc. are owned by noble families. some are more than 400 years old.

why the other countries managed to industrialize while the philippines was left in the mud is still a mystery to some. it certainly wasn't due to lack of effort. marcos built the following:

the biggest copper smelter in asia
the world's biggest nickel refiner
the biggest cement plant in southeast asia
the biggest food terminal in southeast asia
and a nuclear plant to boot.

all these were started by marcos and his cronies but the grand industrialization plan just didn't pan out.

I attribute this to the failure of Marcoses' cronies to create value even if they were given all the resources they needed...

after marcos left, the old families were back. and what do they have to show for it?

two business districts
a very big beer brewery
several sardine and corned beef canneries
an outmoded telecom company
a cheeky tv station.

the new families (mostly tsinoy) haven't contributed much besides upgrade commercial and retail trading activities in metro manila. malls, malls and more malls. more sardine canneries, a new beer maker, etc., etc.

again, the old families is failing to create value even if they have the resources...

hope this helps unravel the mystery for you...

for more views like this, you know where to go! :D

Analyse said...

Sparks, sorry for the inaccuracy, I should have written, ‘we were named as the NEXT tiger of Asia’ by the Newsweek magazine because of Ramos’ administration’s effort to upsurge the economy. True enough, I was one of the benefactors of this industrial boom. I graduated during this era and honestly, I never had the need to write a motivation letter as it was the companies who searched us – the new graduates! A lot of my batchmates were hired even before having their prof license. I had my first job a week after I had mine. I see the difference now when I lurk in my alma mater’s forum and read the insecurities of the students / graduates – us who pride ourselves as ‘in demand’, will we list this in the category of ‘those were the days’ classification? But actually, it’s not because we’re not ‘in demand’ anymore, it’s because there is no job! Anyways, those were my sentimientos about our current economy. I would rather adapt Ramos’ tactics in claiming that we are the tiger knowing that we have something promising instored than staying in one corner claiming nothing. Why we never became the tiger? Mell clearly listed down our economic history during the Marcos era (thanks Mell). Local investors (and rampant tax evasions) are not sufficient to sustain our ailing economy. We need foreign investors and honest-to-goodness conscientious government.

I guess I already blogged about this topic, but in the company where I work, I have seen projects originally destined to the Philippines fleeing to other Asian plants. Due to what? – Government instability, terrorism, insecurity. The promised expansion has never seen its light.

mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

• Its one thing to perceive the results of the failure of our elite, which has spilled to the general populace.

• It is yet another thing to realize what they have done wrong.

• And it is yet another thing to know what to do to change things.

• Filipinos have this sense of powerlessness and have gone overseas for greener pastures.

• What if the Marcos cronies did a better job of using plundered resources?

• If the Marcos cronies succeeded, we would not detest Marcos at all. Most people don’t know it, but Marcos is the most effective President we have had since the 1960’s.

• What if the elite (old and the new families) invested in more value added industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, software development, etc.?

• We would have a fighting chance. But the truth is, the elite feels powerless against globalization that is why they would rather build businesses in retail and distribution. Of course there are a few exceptions.

• Collectively we have a hand in this failure. But it is not enough to perceive the results of this failure. It is necessary to change, to do this we need to realize our failings, which we seem to pin on others. Stop! Think about it.

sparks said...

marcos was basically cold towards the existing feudals just before he declared martial law.even though marcos had a chance to eradicate the landed oligarchy, they were too powerful to do so as most of them were directly involved in government. they were legislators, judges and bureaucrats.

the korean landed elite were already weak by the time the japanese colonized the peninsula in 1910. when land reform was enacted in the 40s, the first president was backed by the american gov't (syngman rhee) and didn't have much opposition.

most of the korean chaebol directors were either relatives or cronies of park chung hee. the thing is, in korea, the state dictated business because the state created business. in the philippines, its the business and landed elites who dictate the state.

all these were started by marcos and his cronies but the grand industrialization plan just didn't pan out.industrialization would have been impossible without total and effective land reform. international trade was dominated by the agrarian elite thru dependent trade agreements of agricultural products with the US. and the US didn't need anything from us but raw goods. for semi-manufactured goods it had countries like taiwan and korea. we never had a chance of diversification.

Analyse said...

Land reform - only the common tao was affected. We had no acres of land, but still, part of our property was subjected to land reform!

My dad had always talked highly of the former Pres Marcos, of how effective and intelligent he was…but power has gotten into him…and the rest is history.

We have to move on.

With the economic situation and the resources that we have right now, the question is still the same, how could we compete with our neighbouring countries? How could we uplift our current situation? We are being left behind...How could we assure jobs for the newly graduates? How could we decrease the unemployment rate?

There are a lot of thoughts to ponder on…and that scares me..

A friend of mine told me one time why the fuss I have to worry about the sinking peso when I’m a euro earner…? Any thoughts?

mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

even its busy season for auditing you guys are inspiring me to write, I will be back for more comments. :)

mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

sparks, I agree that the failure of land reform programs is one of the biggest cause of the lack of economic development of the philippines. Per De Sotto,(renowned economist) land control (via owernership) is the key to the capital market.

analyse asked: How could we uplift our current situation?

I wrote an article that addresses your question above: Here is an excerpt.

In my last article I introduced the idea of micro-lending as a tool to alleviate the economic station of the poorest Filipinos in the barrio. I must admit that the impact of micro-lending is somewhat limited, but it is effective in keeping the very poor "productive" and "participating" instead of being unemployed and a burden to society.

See the entire article in my blog...

Anonymous said...


The idea was OK but I don’t think those poorest Filipinos in the barrio are burdens to the society. What kind of help does government provide them anyway? I’m an authentic dalagang bukid from the barrio  and I assure you, we survive on our own account.

And yes, before they could be considered as a burden to the society, they have to be unemployed first. And before being counted to the long list of unemployed, they have to be graduates / professionals (im not sure though on how they count unemployment ?  ). And to be graduates, they have to go to universities…and sad to say that even education is somewhat inaccesible in the Philippines…

Opportunities, we need more of that.


mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

Let me clear something up. I was not trying to insinuate that barrio folks are a burden to society.

The concepts that I outlined could be applied to the urban poor too or whomever needs help.

Also, what I am proposing is not for government to run these programs, but for private enterprises to get into these types of businesses.

We already know that the government is too corrupt to run programs successfully.

I just thought that more capital in the barrios would help develop the agriculture some more.

My folks are from the barrio too, until the NPA went berzerk. Believe me there are industrious barrio folks that would benifit much from capital. :D