The Four Asian Tigers, Four Asian Dragons or Four Little Dragons, (in Chinese and Korean, only the "dragon" terms are used), are the economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, which underwent rapid industrialization and maintained exceptionally high growth rates (in excess of 7 percent a year) between the early 1960s (mid-1950s for Hong Kong) and 1990s. By the early 21st century, all four had developed into high-income economies (developed countries), specializing in areas of competitive advantage. Hong Kong and Singapore have become world-leading international financial centres, whereas South Korea and Taiwan are world leaders in manufacturing electronic components and devices. Their economic success stories have served as role models for many developing countries, especially the Tiger Cub Economies of southeast Asia.
A controversial World Bank report (The East Asian Miracle 1993) credited neoliberal policies with the responsibility for the boom, including maintenance of export-oriented policies, low taxes, and minimal welfare states; institutional analysis also states some state intervention was involved. However, others argued that industrial policy and state intervention had a much greater influence than the World Bank report suggested.
|Four Asian Tigers|
|Literal meaning||Asia's Four Little Dragons|
|Hangul||아시아의 네 마리 용|
|Hanja||아시아의 네 마리 龍|
|Literal meaning||Asia's four dragons|
|Malay||Empat Harimau Asia|
|Tamil||நான்கு ஆசியப் புலிகள்|
Prior to the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the growth of the Four Asian Tiger economies (commonly referred to as "the Asian Miracle") has been attributed to export oriented policies and strong development policies. Unique to these economies were the sustained rapid growth and high levels of equal income distribution. A World Bank report suggests two development policies among others as sources for the Asian miracle: factor accumulation and macroeconomic management.
The Hong Kong economy was the first out of the four to undergo industrialization with the development of a textile industry in the 1950s. By the 1960s, manufacturing in the British colony had expanded and diversified to include clothing, electronics, and plastics for export orientation. Following Singapore's independence from Malaysia, the Economic Development Board formulated and implemented national economic strategies to promote the country's manufacturing sector. Industrial estates were set up and foreign investment was attracted to the country with tax incentives. Meanwhile, Taiwan and South Korea began to industrialize in the mid-1960s with heavy government involvement including initiatives and policies. Both countries pursued export-oriented industrialization as in Hong Kong and Singapore. The four countries were inspired by Japan's evident success, and they collectively pursued the same goal by investing in the same categories: infrastructure and education. They also benefited from foreign trade advantages that sets them apart from other countries, most significantly economic support from the United States; part of this is manifested in the proliferation of American electronic products in common households of the Four Tigers.
By the end of the 1960s, levels in physical and human capital in the four economies far exceeded other countries at similar levels of development. This subsequently led to a rapid growth in per capita income levels. While high investments were essential to their economic growth, the role of human capital was also important. Education in particular is cited as playing a major role in the Asian economic miracle. The levels of education enrollment in the Four Asian Tigers were higher than predicted given their level of income. By 1965, all four nations had achieved universal primary education. South Korea in particular had achieved a secondary education enrollment rate of 88% by 1987. There was also a notable decrease in the gap between male and female enrollments during the Asian miracle. Overall these advances in education allowed for high levels of literacy and cognitive skills.
The creation of stable macroeconomic environments was the foundation upon which the Asian miracle was built. Each of the Four Asian Tiger states managed, to various degrees of success, three variables in: budget deficits, external debt and exchange rates. Each Tiger nation's budget deficits were kept within the limits of their financial limits, as to not destabilize the macro-economy. South Korea in particular had deficits lower than the OECD average in the 1980s. External debt was non-existent for Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, as they did not borrow from abroad. Although South Korea was the exception to this - its debt to GNP ratio was quite high during the period 1980-1985, it was sustained by the country’s high level of exports. Exchange rates in the Four Asian Tiger nations had been changed from long-term fixed rate regimes to fixed-but-adjustable rate regimes with the occasional steep devaluation of managed floating rate regimes. This active exchange rate management allowed the Four Tiger economies to avoid exchange rate appreciation and maintain a stable real exchange rate.
Export policies have been the de facto reason for the rise of these Four Asian Tiger economies. The approach taken has been different among the four nations. Hong Kong, and Singapore introduced trade regimes that were neoliberal in nature and encouraged free trade, while South Korea and Taiwan adopted mixed regimes that accommodated their own export industries. In Hong Kong and Singapore, due to small domestic markets, domestic prices were linked to international prices. South Korea and Taiwan introduced export incentives for the traded-goods sector. The governments of Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan also worked to promote specific exporting industries, which were termed as an export push strategy. All these policies helped these four nations to achieve a growth averaging 7.5% each year for three decades and as such they achieved developed country status.
Dani Rodrik, economist at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, has in a number of studies argued that state intervention was important in the East Asian growth miracle. He has argued "it is impossible to understand the East Asian growth miracle without appreciating the important role that government policy played in stimulating private investment".
The Tiger economies experienced a setback in the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Hong Kong came under intense speculative attacks against its stock market and currency necessitating unprecedented market interventions by the state Hong Kong Monetary Authority. South Korea was hit the hardest as its foreign debt burdens swelled resulting in its currency falling between 35–50%. By the beginning of 1997, the stock market in Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea also saw losses of at least 60% in dollar terms. Singapore and Taiwan were relatively unscathed. The Four Asian Tigers recovered from the 1997 crisis faster than other countries due to various economic advantages including their high savings rate (except South Korea) and their openness to trade.
The export-oriented tiger economies, which benefited from American consumption, were hit hard by the financial crisis of 2007–08. By the fourth quarter of 2008, the GDP of all four nations fell by an average annualized rate of around 15%. Exports also fell by a 50% annualized rate. Weak domestic demand also affected the recovery of these economies. In 2008, retail sales fell 3% in Hong Kong, 6% in Singapore and 11% in Taiwan.
As the world recovers from the financial crisis, the Four Asian Tiger economies have also rebounded strongly. This is due in no small part to each country's government fiscal stimulus measures. These fiscal packages accounted for more than 4% of each country's GDP in 2009. Another reason for the strong bounce back is the modest corporate and household debt in these four nations.
A recent article published in Applied Economics Letters by financial economist Mete Feridun of University of Greenwich Business School and his international colleagues investigates the causal relationship between financial development and economic growth for Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, India and Singapore for the period between 1979 and 2009, using Johansen cointegration tests and vector error correction models. The results suggest that in the case of Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, China and India financial development leads to economic growth, whereas in the case of Thailand there exists a bidirectional causality between these variables. The results further suggest that in the case of Malaysia, financial development does not seem to cause economic growth.
In 2018, the combined economy of the Four Asian Tigers constituted 3.46% of the world's economy with a total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2,932 billion US dollars. The GDP in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan was worth 363.03 billion, 361.1 billion, 1,619.42 billion and 589.39 billion US dollars respectively in 2018, which represented 0.428%, 0.426%, 1.911% and .696% of the world economy. Together, their combined economy surpassed the United Kingdom's GDP of 3.34% of the world's economy some time in the mid 2010s.
These four countries invested heavily in their infrastructure as well as in developing the intellectual abilities of their human talent, fostering and retaining their educated population to help further develop and improve their respective countries. This policy turned out to be so effective that by the late 20th century, all four countries had developed into advanced and high-income industrialized developed countries, developing many different areas of advanced technology that give them a tremendous competitive advantage in the world. For example, all four countries have become top level global education centers with Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong high school students consistently outperforming all other countries in the world and achieving the highest top scores on international math and science exams such as the PISA exam and with Taiwan students winning multiple gold medals every year consistently at the International Biology Olympiad, International Linguistics Olympiad, International Physics Olympiad, International Earth Science Olympiad, International Mathematical Olympiad and International Chemistry Olympiad.
Additionally, these four countries are home to some of the most prestigious top ranking universities in the world such as National Taiwan University, Seoul National University, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Dentistry, which as of 2017, was ranked as the number one top dental school in the world. While Taiwan and South Korea invested in technological innovation and development, Hong Kong and Singapore pursued a different path of finances and both became world-leading international financial centers. Inspired in part by Japan's technological and economic success, two of the earliest countries to pursue a similar path of cutting edge science and technology development were Taiwan, which has the best and most technologically advanced top ranked medical care system in the world, and South Korea, which have both become advanced innovative world leaders in state of the art technologies including medical science, computer technology, biotechnology, space technology (manned spacecraft & robots), military technology stealth technology robotics and information technology manufacturing. Both Taiwan and South Korea achieved this by promoting technological innovation, research and development, and export-oriented industrialization which turned an initially post-World War 2 poor agricultural economy into two thriving economic and technological superpowers on the same competitive level as Japan and the United States.
The role of Confucianism has been used to explain the success of the Four Asian Tigers. This conclusion is similar to the Protestant work ethic theory in the West promoted by German sociologist Max Weber in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. The culture of Confucianism is said to have been compatible with industrialization because it valued stability, hard work, discipline, and loyalty and respect towards authority figures. There is a significant influence of Confucianism on the corporate and political institutions of the Asian Tigers. Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew advocated Asian values as an alternative to the influence of Western culture in Asia. This theory was not without its critics. There was a lack of mainland Chinese economic success during the same time frame as the Four Tigers, and yet China was the birthplace of Confucianism. During the May Fourth Movement of 1919, Confucianism was blamed for China's inability to compete with Western powers.
|GDP (millions of USD, 2017)||GDP per capita (USD, 2017)||Trade
|(billions of USD, 2017)||Industrial|
rate (%) (2017)
|Human Development Index
by Gini coefficient
|Median household income
(2013), USD PPP
|Median per-capita income
(2013), USD PPP
|Global Well Being Index|
(2010), % thriving
|Hong Kong||0.933 (7th)||53.7(2011)||35,443||9,705||19%|
|South Korea||0.903 (22nd)||30.2(2013)||40,861||11,350||28%|
|Taiwan||0.907 (2018, 21th)||33.8(2012)||32,762||6,882||22%|
|Average Internet connection speed
|Utilization of Renewable Energy|
|Hong Kong||26.45 Mbit/s||87%||0.3%|
|South Korea||20.63 Mbit/s||89%||2.1%|
|Property rights index
|Bribe Payers Index
|Current political status|
|Hong Kong||6.31||29.04||77||5.53||Very Easy (5th)||7.6||7.6||Executive-led Special Administrative|
Region of the People's Republic of China
|Singapore||6.32||50.95||84||5.71||Very Easy (2nd)||8.1||8.3||Parliamentary Republic|
|South Korea||8.00||23.51||53||5.07||Very Easy (4th)||5.9||7.9||Presidential Republic|
|Taiwan||7.73||23.36||61||5.33||Very Easy (15th)||6.9||7.5||Semi-Presidential Republic|
1960s in Hong Kong continued with the development and expansion of manufacturing that began in the previous decade. The economic progress made in the period would categorise Hong Kong as one of Four Asian Tigers along with Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.Asian Tigers
Asian Tigers may refer to:
Four Asian Tigers, an economic group comprising Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan
Asian Tigers (militant group), a Pakistani organizationBaltic Tiger
Baltic Tiger is a term used to refer to any of the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during their periods of economic boom, which started after the year 2000 and continued until 2006–2007. The term is modeled on Four Asian Tigers, Tatra Tiger, and Celtic Tiger, which were used to describe the economic boom periods in parts of Asia, Slovakia, and Ireland, respectively.Celtic Tiger
"Celtic Tiger" (Irish: An Tíogar Ceilteach) is a term referring to the economy of the Republic of Ireland from the mid-1990s to the late-2000s, a period of rapid real economic growth fuelled by foreign direct investment. The boom was dampened by a subsequent property bubble which resulted in a severe economic downturn.
At the start of the 1990s, Ireland was a poor country by West European standards, with high poverty, unemployment, inflation, and low growth. The Irish economy expanded at an average rate of 9.4% between 1995 and 2000 and continued to grow at an average rate of 5.9% during the following decade until 2008, when it fell into recession. Ireland's rapid growth has been described as a rare example of a Western country matching the growth of East Asian nations, i.e. the 'Four Asian Tigers'.The economy underwent a dramatic reversal from 2008, hit hard by the European economic crisis, with GDP contracting by 14% and unemployment levels rising to 14% by 2011. The economic and financial crisis lasted until 2014; the year 2015 with a growth rate of 6.7% marked the beginning of a new period of strong economic growth.East Asia
East Asia is the eastern subregion of Asia, defined in both geographical and ethno-cultural terms. The region includes China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan. People indigenous to the region are called East Asians. China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam belong to the East Asian cultural sphere.The region was the cradle of various ancient civilizations such as ancient China, ancient Japan, ancient Korea, and the Mongol Empire. East Asia was one of the cradles of world civilization, with China, an ancient East Asian civilization being one of the earliest cradles of civilization in human history. For thousands of years, China largely influenced East Asia (as it was principally the leading civilization in the region), exerting its enormous prestige and influence on its neighbors. Historically, societies in East Asia have been part of the Chinese cultural sphere, and East Asian vocabulary and scripts are often derived from Classical Chinese and Chinese script. The Chinese calendar preserves traditional East Asian culture and serves as the root to which many other East Asian calendars are derived from. Major religions in East Asia include Buddhism (mostly Mahayana Buddhism which came via trade routes from India.), Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism, Taoism, Ancestral worship, and Chinese folk religion in Greater China, Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan, and Christianity, Buddhism, and Sindoism in Korea. Shamanism is also prevalent among Mongols and other indigenous populations of northern East Asia such as the Manchus.East Asians comprise around 1.6 billion people, making up about 38% of the population in Continental Asia and 22% of the global population. The region is home to major world metropolises such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo. Although the coastal and riparian areas of the region form one of the world's most populated places, the population in Mongolia and Western China, both landlocked areas, is very sparsely distributed, with Mongolia having the lowest population density of any sovereign state. The overall population density of the region is 133 inhabitants per square kilometre (340/sq mi), about three times the world average of 45/km2 (120/sq mi).East Asian model of capitalism
The East Asian model (sometimes known as state-sponsored capitalism) is an economic system where the government invests in certain sectors of the economy in order to stimulate the growth of new (or specific) industries in the private sector. It generally refers to the model of development pursued in East Asian economies such as Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. It has also been used to classify the contemporary economic system in Mainland China since the Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms during the late 1970s.Key aspects of the East Asian model include state control of finance, direct support for state-owned enterprises in strategic sectors of the economy or the creation of privately owned national champions, high dependence on the export market for growth and a high rate of savings. It is similar to dirigisme.
This economic system differs from a centrally planned economy, where the national government would mobilize its own resources to create the needed industries which would themselves end up being state-owned and operated. East Asian model of capitalism refers to the high rate of savings and investments, high educational standards, assiduity and export-oriented policy.Economic miracle
Economic miracle is an informal economic term commonly used to refer to a period of dramatic economic development that is entirely unexpected or unexpectedly strong. The term has been used to describe periods in the recent histories of a number of countries, often those undergoing an economic boom, or described as a tiger economy.Journal of East Asian Studies
The Journal of East Asian Studies is a peer-reviewed academic journal published triannually by Lynne Rienner Publishers. It was established in 2001 and is abstracted and indexed by Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, International Political Science Abstracts, and Social Sciences Citation Index. As of 2012 the editor-in-chief is Stephan Haggard.List of companies of Singapore
Singapore is a global city and sovereign state in Southeast Asia and the world's only island city-state. Singapore has a highly developed market economy, based historically on extended entrepôt trade. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the original Four Asian Tigers, but has surpassed its peers in terms of GDP per capita. Between 1965 and 1995, growth rates averaged around 6 per cent per annum, transforming the living standards of the population. The Singaporean economy is known as one of the freest, most innovative, most competitive, most dynamic and most business-friendly. The 2015 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Singapore as the second-freest economy in the world and the Ease of Doing Business Index has also ranked Singapore as the easiest place to do business for the past decade. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, Singapore is consistently ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, along with New Zealand and the Scandinavian countries.
To start a business in Singapore, business owners have to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). ACRA is the national regulator and company registrar of business entities, accountants and service providers in Singapore.List of companies of Taiwan
Taiwan is a country in East Asia. Neighbors include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous non-UN state and the largest economy outside the UN.
Taiwan maintains a stable industrial economy as a result of rapid economic growth and industrialization, which has been dubbed the Taiwan Miracle. Taiwan is one of the Four Asian Tigers and a member of both the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. The 21st-largest economy in the world, its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy. Taiwan is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, health care, public education, economic freedom, and human development.NIES
NIES is an initialism, which may refer to:
Newly industrializing economies:
Four Asian Tigers
Newly industrialized countryVarious organizations:
National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
Northern Ireland Electricity Service
Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, China
National Industry Extension Service, AustraliaVarious tools or systems:
National Imagery Exploitation System, of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, United States Department of DefenseVarious academic studies:
Nauru Island Effect Study, carried out by the[United States Department of Energy from September 2002 to June 2003 to study the island's influence on atmospheric radiation measurement (ARM) at a measurement site located on NauruOutline of Taiwan
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Taiwan:
Taiwan – de facto state in East Asia, officially named the Republic of China (ROC). Originally based in mainland China, the ROC now governs the island of Taiwan, which makes up over 99% of its territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands. Taipei is the seat of the central government. Following the Chinese civil war, the Communist Party of China took full control of mainland China and founded the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. The ROC relocated its government to Taiwan, and its jurisdiction became limited to Taiwan and its surrounding islands. In 1971, the PRC assumed China's seat at the United Nations, which the ROC originally occupied. During the latter half of the 20th century, Taiwan experienced rapid economic growth and industrialization and is now an advanced industrial economy. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Taiwan evolved into a multi-party democracy with universal suffrage. Taiwan is one of the Four Asian Tigers and a member of the WTO and APEC. The 19th-largest economy in the world, its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy.Princess sickness
Princess sickness, alternatively known as princess syndrome or princess disease (Chinese: 公主病; pinyin: gōng zhǔ bìng; Cantonese Yale: gūng jyú behng; Korean: 공주병; Revised Romanization: gong ju byeong}), is a neologism used colloquially in East Asia to describe a condition of narcissism, egocentrism and materialism in women, or "princess" behaviour. Conversely but less commonly, men with a similar outlook may be described as having "prince" sickness.It is speculated that the term originated with the rise of the Four Asian Tigers across Asia, in which rapid economic growth may have contributed to a corresponding rise in consumerist or materialistic attitudes and upper classes investing heavily in their children, who might subsequently become accustomed to material wealth and domestic help.Singapore–South Korea relations
Singapore–South Korea relations refer to the relations between the Republic of Singapore and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The relations between the both countries started when a trade mission from South Korea visited the Colony of Singapore in 1950. The two countries established formal diplomatic relations in 1975, but South Korea established a trade office and a consulate-general, and sent a special envoy to visit Singapore before that. Both countries are the only two United Nations members in the Four Asian Tigers. In 2014, South Korea was the fourth-largest import source of Singapore.Stock market crashes in Hong Kong
A number of stock market crashes have occurred in the Hong Kong stock market since the 1960s:
Stock disaster in 1965 (Canton Trust Bank run)
Stock disaster in 1967 (Hong Kong 1967 Leftist riots)1970s
Stock disaster in 1973 (1973–74 stock market crash)1980s
Stock disaster in 1983 (Negotiation deadlock between China and United Kingdom on Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong)
Stock disaster in 1987 (Black Monday)
Stock disaster in 1989 (Tiananmen Square protests)1990s
Bear market from 1997 to 1998 (Asian financial crisis)2000s
Stock disaster in 2000 (Dot-com bubble)
Stock disaster in 2003 (SARS crisis)
Stock disaster in 2007, 2008, 2009 (Great Recession)2010s
Stock disaster in 2011 (United States debt-ceiling crisis of 2011)
Stock disaster in 2015, 2016 (2015–16 Chinese stock market turbulence) and (2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum)Taiwan Miracle
The Taiwan Miracle (Chinese: 臺灣奇蹟; pinyin: Táiwān Qíjī; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tâi-oân Kî-chek) or Taiwan Economic Miracle refers to the rapid industrialization and economic growth of Taiwan during the latter half of the twentieth century. As it has developed alongside Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong, Taiwan became known as one of the "Four Asian Tigers".Taiwanese Wave
Taiwanese Wave or Tairyu (Japanese: 台流) is a neologism originally coined in Japan to refer to the increase in the popularity of Taiwanese popular culture in the country (including: actors, dramas, music, fashion, films), and to distinguish it from the Korean Wave co-existing in Japan. Many of Taiwanese dramas, songs as well as idol actors, singers, bands or groups have become popular throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia.Tiger Cub Economies
Tiger Cub Economies collectively refer to the economies of the developing countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, the five dominant countries in Southeast Asia.Tiger economy
A tiger economy is the economy of a country which undergoes rapid economic growth, usually accompanied by an increase in the standard of living. The term was originally used for the Four Asian Tigers (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore) as tigers are important in Asian symbolism, which also inspired the Tiger Cub Economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines). The Asian Tigers also inspired other economies later on; the Anatolian Tigers (certain cities in Turkey) in the 1980s, the Gulf Tiger (Dubai) in the 1990s, the Celtic Tiger (Republic of Ireland) in 1995–2000, the Baltic tigers (Baltic states) in 2000–2007, and the Tatra Tiger (Slovakia) in 2002–2007.In the 1960s, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Myanmar were billed as the next East Asian Tiger Economies as all three countries were experiencing high growth. Internal issues however led to the economies of all three countries to falter. Israel's rapid economic growth in the 1990s, and again in the 2000s and 2010s following a brief recession, earned it a reputation as a tiger economy, and the term "Hebrew tiger" was dubbed in one newspaper.
|Hanyu Pinyin||Yàzhōu sì xiǎo lóng|
|Wade–Giles||Yachou szu hsiao lung|
|Tongyong Pinyin||Yàjhōu sìh siǎo lóng|
|Yale Romanization||Yàzhōu sz̀ syǎu lúng|
|Yale Romanization||aa jāu sei síu lòhng|
|Jyutping||aa3 zau1 sei3 siu2 lung4|
|Hokkien POJ||A-chiu Sì-sió-lêng|
|Revised Romanization||asia ui ne mari yong|
|McCune–Reischauer||asia ŭi ne mari yong|
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|Politics and economics|
|Science and technology|
|Industry and Business|
|Employment and Tax|
|Finance and Banking|
|Banking and finance|
|Industry and business|
|Employment and tax|
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|Finance and banking|
|Free Trade Agreements|
See also: Economy of North Korea