Asian Drivers: Opportunities and Threats

Published on 1 January 2006

Not for the first time, real events have caught the research community by surprise. From the late twentieth century Asian economies began to play an increasingly important role as global producers, beginning in Japan after the 1960s, and spreading to some other East Asian economies during the last quarter of the century.

At the dawn of the new millennium, the momentum of Asia has been significantly strengthened by the very rapid growth of two very large economies: China and India. But this time, so significant is the rapidly unfolding entry of these countries into global markets, that the policy costs of the research-gap are particularly high. Hitherto, recognition of the consequences of the rise of these newly dynamic Asian economies (The Asian Drivers) has almost entirely been confined to the high-income economies.

But what are the impacts likely to be on poor countries, and poor communities in poor countries? How might the opportunities opened-up by the rise of the Asian Drivers be grasped and the threats which they pose be minimised for those countries which comprise the majority of the world’s population, but account for a minority of global GDP?

In November 2004 and May 2005, a team of researchers from IDS met with various networks of researchers to begin outlining a networked and policy-focused research programme addressing the impact of the Asian Drivers on low-income economies. This IDS Bulletin draws on participant contributions to advance the research agenda. It questions the impact that Asian Drivers will have on the developing world, a particularly apposite point given the commitment of the global community to halve the incidence of global poverty by 2015.

Table of contents


Raphael Kaplinsky

The Impact of Asian Drivers on the Developing World

IDS Asian Drivers Team

Deep and Shallow Integration in Asia: Towards a Holistic Account

David Evans, Raphael Kaplinsky and Sherman Robinson

The Asian Drivers and Sub-Saharan Africa

Rhys Jenkins and Chris Edwards

How to Identify the Trade Impact of China on Small Countries

Christopher Stevens and Jane Kennan

China and the Global Terms of Trade

Raphael Kaplinksy

Asian Drivers: Typologies and Questions

Hubert Schmitz

Rising Tiger and Leaping Dragon: Emerging Global Dynamics and Space for Developing Countries and Least Developed Countries

S.K. Mohanty and Sachin Chaturvedi

China and Brazil in the Global Economy

Afonso Fleury and Maria Tereza Leme Fleury

Post-Multifibre Arrangement Analysis of the Textile and Garment Sectors in Kenya

Dorothy McCormick, Paul Kamau and Peter Ligulu

China’s Dominance of Global Clothing and Textiles: Is Preferential Trade Access an Answer for Sub-Saharan Africa?

Mike Morris

The Asian Drivers: Financial Flows into and out of Asia – Implications for Developing Countries

Ricardo Gottschalk

China and India as Emerging Global Governance Actors: Challenges for Developing and Developed Countries

John Humphrey and Dirk Messner

Cite this publication

Kaplinsky, R. (2006) 'Asian Drivers: Opportunities and Threats', IDS Bulletin 37.


Raphael Kaplinsky

Emeritus Fellow


Raphael Kaplinsky

Emeritus Fellow

John Humphrey

Professorial Fellow

Sherman Robinson

Honorary Associate

Hubert Schmitz

Emeritus Fellow

Publication details

published by
IDS Bulletin, volume 37, issue 1


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