What are the four Asian tigers?
The four Asian tigers are the fast growing economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Fueled by exports and rapid industrialization, the four Asian tigers have consistently maintained high levels of economic growth since the 1960s and have collectively joined the ranks of the world’s wealthiest nations.
Hong Kong and Singapore are among the world’s most important financial centers, while South Korea and Taiwan are key hubs for global manufacturing of automotive and electronic components, as well as information technology.
Key points to remember
- The four Asian tigers are the fast growing economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
- All four economies have been fueled by exports and rapid industrialization, and have achieved high levels of economic growth since the 1960s.
- The countries that make up the four Asian tigers share common characteristics, including a high concentration on exports, an educated population and high savings rates.
Understanding the Four Asian Tigers
Also known as the Asian Dragons, the countries that make up the Asian Four Tigers share common characteristics, including a high concentration on exports, an educated population and high savings rates. The Four Tigers economies have proven resilient enough to withstand local crises such as the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and global shocks such as the credit crunch of 2008.
The International Monetary Fund includes the four Asian tigers in its category of 35 most advanced economies.
In the 1960s, South Korea’s gross domestic product per capita was comparable to that of the poorest countries in Asia and Africa. But in the four decades that followed, the country experienced substantial growth, affected in part by a system of closed government, directed credit and import restrictions. In December 2020, South Korea had a total GDP of $1.59 trillion and a GDP per capita of $30,640 with a growth rate of -1.9% and a population of 51.8 million. .
Despite its contentious relationship with China, Taiwan has prospered over the past four decades. In December 2020, Taiwan’s GDP per capita was $28,180. Due to pressure from China, the country is not part of the United Nations, but it has nevertheless established itself as a reliable exporter. Its GDP was $660 billion with a growth rate of 2.5%, making this nation of 23.6 million people one of the strongest economies in Asia.
Hong Kong is considered a special administrative region (SAR) in China, which gives it freedom over all its activities except its defense until 2047, when hong kong and China will reassess their relationship. The latest reports show that the region ranks exceptionally high on scales measuring economic freedom, with a GDP of around $340 billion as of December 2020, a GDP per capita of $45,180, a growth rate of 2.9 % and a population of 7.6 million.
Despite having only 5.8 million citizens, Singapore had a GDP of $340 billion, a GDP per capita of $58,480 in December 2020 and a growth rate of -6%.Considered one of the least corrupt nations in the world, Singapore has a notoriously transparent regulatory environment and well-secured property rights, which provide valuable commercial security to its private sector.
Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia are sometimes referred to as the “small tiger economies” because although they developed more slowly than the four Asian tigers in the decades following the 1950s, they nevertheless experienced steady growth.