Asia Financial level
On the basis of e.g. GDP per population, the countries can be divided into
three economic levels: rich, middle-income and poor countries.
The rich countries have "European level"; this applies to the most heavily
industrialized countries and the oil countries. Among the first are Japan,
Israel and the so-called NIC countries (Newly Industrialized Countries) such as
Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore ("the little tigers").
They have all developed an extensive industry. The production apparatus is
modern with widespread automation, well-trained workforce, and it is supported
by research. A large part of the employment is in the service sector. This
development can be found in selected industrial areas in India, China etc.
Introduces Asia as a continent, includes a full list of countries in Asia,
and provides location map of Asia.
The oil countries include the Gulf states (Saudi Arabia, Oman, the Emirates,
Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran) as well as Brunei. The vast majority of
these countries' revenues come from huge oil production: the Gulf states alone
cover a quarter of world production and a large share of world trade.
The middle-income countries, Turkey, Thailand and some of the former Soviet
republics (e.g. Uzbekistan, Armenia and Georgia), are predominantly agricultural
countries that have developed some industries. The same applies to a certain
extent to, for example, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Countries such as Turkmenistan,
Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Kazakhstan also belong to this group. The majority of
the industry in these countries produces groceries for the domestic market with
simple, often old-fashioned technology and large labor consumption.
The poorest group includes the major countries of China and India;
furthermore, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Burma) as well as the very
poorest: Bangladesh and the resource-poor inland states of Afghanistan, Bhutan
and Nepal. In China and India, the industry at the same time includes quite
primitive and the most advanced productions, e.g. associated with aerospace and
nuclear power. The latter are often state-run; they can provide prestige but are
consistently deficit companies.
The rapid economic growth in a number of countries in East and South Asia was
halted in the second half of the 1990's, when an extensive financial crisis hit
the region. The crisis revealed the structural weaknesses in the countries'
economies and has triggered economic reforms. China was less affected by the
economic crisis than the other countries in the region, and integration into the
international economy has continued, with China's membership of the World Trade
Organization (WTO), which was established in 2001.
The industry in Asia spans almost all degrees of technical development. A
part consists of a simple further processing of agricultural goods or includes
technically simple goods that are produced in an almost artisanal way. Cigarette
production in Bangladesh can, for example, be done by filling hand-rolled
casings with a spoon of crumbled tobacco. Certain types of fabrication are
actually craft and highly labor intensive; for example, carpet weaving in Iran
is performed on series of hand-woven hand-woven fabrics, often by children. At
the same time, there are in Japan some of the world's most advanced industries,
which, for example, manufacture a significant part of all electronic components
(for computers, among other things), almost without human labor.
A large part of the industry's production includes daily consumer goods
(food, soap/detergents, textiles). These industries are found in almost all
major urban areas. In Asia, there is also a significant basic industry: Iron and
steel for further processing are produced in many places, often based on local
iron ore and coal deposits. In the basic industry, quite old-fashioned
technology is used in many places, for example in Russia, China and India, but
South Korea and Japan have very modern blast furnaces and steelworks, which work
almost exclusively with imported raw materials. In return, they produce
immensely economically and in large quantities; Japan's steel production and
consumption is among the largest in the world.
The countries with basic industry usually have a further processing metal
industry such as shipyards, car factories and manufacture of railway equipment
and aircraft etc. Russia's Asian part, China and India all have a broad spectrum
industry; they supply large domestic markets with everything from medicines to
building materials, including electronics and industrial equipment.
Developments in both India and most recently especially in China have been
strong. South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are a
group of countries working hard to develop industrial exports. Japan has had the
greatest success with an investment that began with ships and, for example,
photographic equipment (some of which were almost direct copies of well-known
products). The trend has been towards ever more advanced products, efforts of
larger capital equipment, highly trained personnel and research. Japan dominates
the market in the industries of photography, optics, electronics, radio,
television, video recorders, computers, etc., manufacturing of cars and
motorcycles, etc., and has by this effort built up a very large surplus on its
Asia has the world's largest forest areas; approximately a quarter of the
entire continent is forested. In particular, the temperate forests of Siberia
have rather unfavorable climatic and soil conditions, and productivity is not
very high. Especially in the forest tundra with polar willow and birch, the slow
tree growth is largely not utilized. The taiga in Siberia consists mostly of
larch and birch in the north, southern pine and spruce in the south. The
coniferous forests are most used along roads and rivers. The former large
deciduous forests of southwestern Siberia have now been almost cut down and the
land cultivated. Also in China, forests are greatly reduced. Japan, whose forest
percentage (approximately 67%) is on a par with Finland, has preserved its
forest in mountainous areas where rice cannot be grown. Temperate forest is also
found on the southern side of the Himalayas, but is also greatly reduced there.
The subtropical forests are found in two main types, a Mediterranean and an
East Asian. The first consists mainly of conifers, pine and cedar in Lebanon,
the second of many species of deciduous trees. Both types have almost
disappeared. Tropical forests, partly deciduous monsoon forest, partly
rainforest, covered previously vast areas in South and SE Asia. In countries
such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, there are still large areas of
forest, but many have been destroyed as a result of harmful felling of rare and
valuable trees or cleared for cultivation. Attempts are being made to save the
very species-rich tropical forests, partly by protection and partly by ordering
appropriate felling. Tropical wood, and especially hardwood, such as teak and
rosewood, is still an important export commodity from SEA-Asia, although
lesser-known woods must replace the classic ones as they are chopped away. Major
reforestation programs have been initiated in several places.
More than half of the world's fish are caught by Asians, partly in rivers and
lakes (Baikal, Aral, Tonle Sap, etc.), but especially in the oceans (including
the marginal seas off East Asia). Fishing is mostly in shallow water off the
coast or on banks and especially in the cooler sea areas. Among other things.
However, Japan, China and Russia also have large high seas fleets that exploit
more distant fish banks. In East Asia, fish is an important protein supplement
to the rice diet. Some fish, small carp species such as guppies, kept in ponds
and on the flooded rice fields. Among other things, they live of mosquito larvae
and other insect larvae. In shallow, coastal waters in East Asia, fish and
shrimp farming are of increasing importance.