Asian studies involve an in depth research on the Asian people, their languages, culture, art, history, economy and politics. All these aspects of Asian studies are critically looked at from a traditional as well as contemporary perspective. Asia is quickly gaining prominence in the world’s affairs and as such, it is no wonder many universities, not just any but the most influential ones have incorporated its studies in their programs to cater for the growing demand to know about Asia as a whole. It forms a part of postgraduate studies in most of theses universities.
If you are looking for a place to take these studies, here are a few universities you can check out to find the one that suite you best. My personal favorite happens to be University of Pittsburg. The others include Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Studies, Yale and University of Illinois at Urban Campaign. Every university out there has some form of oriental studies that include offers education on the continent.
Along with these, many resources that have been set up purely dedicated to make these studies easy as well as accessible to most anyone, both in the internet and physically. One such resource center is the ASS website, which offers information about this large continent and is open to anyone who is interested in Asia.
What’s more, it also provides links to other resources of its kind. They also have an online journal called Education About Asia that is easy to subscribe to and it keeps you well informed on the current issues on Asia. Besides, offering information about Asia, these resource centers also provide platforms that allow teachers to interact, share teaching materials, sample lessons and an assortment of various teaching material along with reviews from other interested parties that will definitely help you out as a student.
Other resources that you might want to visit to broaden your studies and find just the right place are Asia for Educators. Asia Society, Asia Pacific Journal, ASlANetwork. The list doesn’t end there but there are plenty resources that will make your Asian studies a lot easier, informative and enjoyable.
Guest post by Andy Freeman
One of the reasons that Asia weathered the great recession is that financial institutions located in Asia detested from indulging in toxic subprime securities that affected Wall Street most iconic institutions. However, today, financial analysts are now ringing their alarm bells because debts in Asia pacific region are rising at an unprecedented rate. According to a reliable study from HSBC based on ratio of bank credit to GDP for Asia pacific region, leverage is not at a higher rate compared to 1997 Asia financial crisis. According to information from Standard & Poor external lending to corporate and households between 2005-2012 has jumped from 143% to 202%, 66% to 113%, 112% to 130%, 91% to 117% and 112% to 166% in 2012 in Hong Kong, Vietnam, China, Singapore, and South Korea respectively.
Debt has been surging because financial lending is encouraged by super low interest rates that are now available everywhere. HSBC has also revealed that these high growth Asian economies require more cash to keep on growing, which is a very disturbing sign that Asia based economies are not as robust as their GDP growth rates suggest, and because economic growth is directly credit dependent, more cash needs to be borrowed in order to generate more percentage point of GDP growth. Analyst also point to the fact that Asia debt crisis will burgeon because of the incredible easy money conditions available globally. Financial institutions are under intense pressure to continue lending more money, and this implies that they have to relax their credit requirements.
Financial institutions based in china have also to grapple with Non-performing loans, which is strangling the entire Asia banking industry. It is being estimated that NPL’s in comparison to total loan share has peaked 12 percent in Malaysia, 16 percent in Philippines, 18 percent in South Korea & Thailand, 26 percent in Indonesia, and 28 percent in China. In order for indebted organizations to maintain their competitive advantage they are forced to come to the market looking for funds either in terms of right issues or corporate bonds. This clearly indicates that Asian based economies will continue borrowing more.
Does Asia have financial infrastructure to survive a severe debt crisis or will they need to ask for debt help from the rest of the world. Only time will tell.
Most countries especially Europe and the US, have stalled in the quest for more industrialization. They have adopted a settled syndrome, and relaxed in the knowledge that they have made it. However, this is a very ill advised tact. The effect of the industrialization in India and China and other Asian countries mean that they rely less on imports. This exposes countries such as the UK to economic collapse just like Greece.
Though the economy in India has significantly slowed down in the last couple of years, the future is quite bright in terms of growth and continued stability. The estimated growth is a significant 8.3% from 2014-2020. This is on the back of increased spending on the infrastructure, very strong entrepreneurship spirit, a more solid service sector and a healthy consumer base.
However, according to experts, there exists a bottleneck that must be sorted out for more reassurance. This includes creating conducive environment in the manufacturing, farming and mining sectors. Others include much needed tax reforms, and international trade reforms akin to the ones that opened up India in 1991.
The backbone of China’s exponential growth in the last twenty years has been major investments in the infrastructure including roads, bridges, manufacturing plants combined with the presence of cheap exports and a large work force. Take note that these are fixed assets, and the plateau in growth was bound to happen. The massive exports mean more cash inflow, than outflow, thereby flooding the market. The only way that China can continue to grow is to shift reliance on cheap exports to internal consumption, investments and much needed reforms. However, with a much satisfied labour force (Chinese workers benefit from frequent wage hikes), and promises for key reforms, their economy will continue to grow.
The major benefit of the two countries is the large labour force. Couple this with the fact that the pace of the growth caught them by surprise, such that they still have the hunger to work more and prosper. An average employee in Asia puts in almost double the working hours of a UK counterpart. This is regardless of the fact that the tax is higher in UK, thus exposing the Britons to more employee debt.