By the late 1960s, Asia was the poorest continent in the world when it came to income levels, marginal except for its large population.
By 2016, as my analysis of UN data shows, it accounted for 30% of world income, 40% of world manufacturing, and over one-third of world trade, while its income per capita converged towards the world average.
Asia’s economic transformation in this short time-span is almost unprecedented in history.
These are China, South Korea and Taiwan in East Asia; Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in South-East Asia; Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in South Asia; and Turkey in West Asia.
In the half-century economic transformation of Asia, governments performed a vital role, ranging from leader to catalyst or supporter.