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Patterns of Economic Development


Asia’s manufacturing capacity is unevenly spread but growing quickly. Japan has a highly diversified industrial sector, constituting about one-quarter of the labor force. China, Russia, and India also have large manufacturing centers. In China, manufacturing employs some 15 percent of the workforce. It is concentrated in Liaoning province in the northeastern part of the country; in Shanghai’s port cities of Tianjin, Qingdao, and Wuhan; and in selected interior regions where raw materials are available. Steel production in particular is important. Manufacturing in Siberia is clustered near the Ural Mountains; near major urban areas along the Trans-Siberian Railroad, such as Novosibirsk; and near isolated centers in far eastern Russia. India’s manufacturing sector employs some 16 percent of the labor force. Manufacturing is heavily concentrated in and near Kolkata, in the Mumbai area, in the central peninsula, and in several other areas where resources are available.

Since the 1960s manufacturing has grown rapidly in parts of East and Southeast Asia. South Korea’s annual manufacturing output was less than one-quarter that of India’s in the 1970s, but by the early 1990s South Korea had doubled the output of India. Thailand and Indonesia, particularly near Bangkok and Jakarta, have also developed significant manufacturing industries, as have Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The trend in Southeast Asian countries is to take advantage of the relatively inexpensive labor by establishing manufacturing industries geared to export. Emphasis has been on clothing and shoes, and on electronic equipment such as televisions, video recorders, and compact disc players. In other countries, industries are more often concerned with processing local agricultural, mineral, and forest raw materials; with light manufacturing for domestic markets; and with the assembly of machinery and vehicles imported from other countries.

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