6 developing nations become developed in last 20yrs, who?

In school, we learnt that there are advanced developed countries and third world developing countries. We are also installed with the knowledge that the developed nations hailed from North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, while the rest are considered developing countries.

To qualify as developed, a nation must met the following criterias:

  1. High GNI per capita
  2. High GDP per capita
  3. High HDI
  4. Low or substainable absolute poverty rate
  5. High net wealth per citizen
  6. Free and well-developed capital, equity & foreign exchange market
  7. High per capita industrial output (in US$ value)

The millennium age (1990-2010) saw 6 new formerly developing countries and territories added to the developed list. They are:

1. Macau
Human Development Index: 0.944

A territory smaller than even some Asian towns, Macau is able to transform itself into a global entertainment center, successor of the 19th-century Monte Carlo and 20th-century Las Vegas. What used to be a backwater city, economy of Macau picked up in early 2000s when it decided to end the gambling monopoly hold by Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau and opened itself up to international entertainment and gambling corporations. It was a rewarding move, and Macau averaged the highest GDP growth rate in the world from 2000-2010, becoming the richest territory in Asia by nominal GDP per capita.

Macau has also developed itself into a tax-free offshore financial center, but is plagued by allegations that it is a haven for money-laundering operations and a platform for corrupted leaders and regimes around the world to safeguard their money there. For instance, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has bank accounts in Macau. The US has blacklisted few Macaunese banks for dealing with countries under economic sanctions like Zimbabwe or North Korea. France once tried to greylist Macau for money-laundering activities but dropped the decision after China threatened it will affect French-Chinese trading relationship.

2. South Korea
Human Development Index: 0.877

When Japan ruled Korea, it developed the North as an industrial zones (because most Korean resources came from there) and the South agricultural, hence upon the division of Korea, the existence of South Korea was immediately threatened. North Korea at that time was a bigger, wealthier economy with a more powerful military. In 1960s, South Korea was in par with Africa, and was one of the poorest in the world. The South Korean government moved quickly to identify labor-intensive heavy industries as its future.

South Korea first focused on construction, went ahead with massive infrastructure development and paving the foundation for further industrialization. Once the infrastructure is available, South Korea jumped on shipbuilding in 1970s, automobiles and armaments in 1980s, and high-tech electronics from 1990s to now. Its economic planning was highly successful, and South Korea becomes an advanced industrialized nation specialized in heavy industries and high-tech electronics production.

3. Taiwan
Human Development Index: 0.868

During the Japanese rule, to bring itself on equal foot with the West, Japan extensive swept up almost all of Taiwan’s resources. Upon gaining self-rule, Taiwan was poor, rural, resource-poor and undeveloped. The Nationalist government fled to Taiwan after losing the Chinese Civil War 1949 to the Communists. Initially hoped to use Taiwan as a base to recapture Mainland China, such hope gradually diminished with the Communist successfully established a stronghold in China. Faced with constant threats of war from China, the Nationalist government decided to develop its own economy in Taiwan.

Like South Korea, the Taiwanese government identified labor-intensive industries as its future, first moving into textiles and toys. By 1970s, Taiwan was able to upgrade (train) millions of its workers from unskilled to semi-skilled. There it then went ahead with plans for gigantic infrastructure development. The country then expanded into heavy industries and advanced electronics, eventually to IT industries which successfully transformed Taiwan into a global IT hub.

4. Israel
Human Development Index: 0.872

Israel is a different story from the rest in the list here (except maybe South Korea), all Israel neighbors were hostile to it. On the very first day Israel declared independence in 1948, it was attacked by a combined forces of several Arab nations. Despite being overwhelmed in numbers, Israel was able to defeat its foes. After the war, Arab states confiscated the wealth of and expelled their Jewish population whom were absorbed into Israel. These Jews arrived in Israel penniless, but were able to help building Israel’s preliminary industries, vital for the new country.

With the victories, Israel enjoyed a short moment of peace. Food security was especially important, as the country was constantly blockaded by Egypt and embargoed by much of Arab world, the focus was on growing enough food for the population. Being a desert country, Israel utilized technologies to turn desert into agricultural farmlands, making foodstuff industries its largest at that time, with textiles manufacturing the second most important industries.

Caught again and again in wars with the Arabs, Israel realized having a technological edge is essential to the survival of the country. It then focused heavily on science and technologies, becoming the country who spend the highest percentage proportion of GDP on R&D (Research & Development) in the world. Israel scientists and professionals have build up a matured computer sciences, electronics, genetics, medicine, optics, solar energy, software and engineering industries. With the advancement in technologies, Israel implemented it further on agriculture, military and diamonds, making Israel a world leading greenhouse food exporter, military components contractor, and diamond cutting center.

5. Hong Kong
Human Development Index: 0.862

Hong Kong, once described by a former British prime minister as the only British colonies it is proud to show the world (while Singapore, Australia, Canada and New Zealand were also ex-British colonies, they are pretty much responsible for their own success, on the other hand the development of Hong Kong was hugely credited to Britain) The economic fate of Hong Kong is highly intertwined with China. Due to its location, Hong Kong forms a natural geographic port for Guangdong province in Southeast China. In a sense, it becomes a commercial entrepot for this of Chinas most industrialized region.

In 1950s, the Communist takeover of China was completed, China then closed its door to ‘the capitalist world’. Losing its position as an entrepot serving South-China with the world, Hong Kong was awakened to the fact that it no longer can overly relied on the China trade. The territory then began its first phrase of industrialization, diversifying to clothing, electronics and plastics exports. Interestingly, the current Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka Shing, began as a plastic seller. Factories and businesses built up rapidly and Hong Kong manufacturing industries boomed, with the ‘Made in Hong Kong’ label gaining significant recognition.

In late 1970s, China again opened its door to Hong Kong and the world. By 1980s Hong Kong was losing rapidly its manufacturing base to China where labor cost is cheaper, that it decided to transform itself to a more service-oriented economy. Hong Kong then promoted itself as the most convenient link to do businesses in Communist China, arranging a regime that allows foreign investment to easily invest in or establish companies to conduct businesses in China. The transformation was drastic, Hong Kong’s low tax, free economy, freedom of capital transfer, coupled with its busy port connecting South China industrial zones to the world, attracted massive capital investment that made it a global financial center.

6. Singapore
Human Development Index: 0.846

Singapore merged into Malaysia in 1963 which didn’t go well, and left the union poorer than before. By the time it was expelled from the federation, Singapore’s standard of living was lower than Malaysia. Malaysia at that time had a bigger, wealthier economy and mightier military, whom the Singaporean government constantly feared an invasion from (which never happen) It was assumed that a tiny state like Singapore cannot survive on its own, hence economic building became a central focus and top priority of its leadership.

At time of independence, Singapore local industries have no capacity for export. All it had was a strategic port conveniently located between the East-West trade, and Singapore fully utilized this advantage. Southeast Asia is a region endowed with abundant natural resources , and Singapore transformed its port into an entrepot re-exporting ASEAN commodities to the West, and Western exports to East Asia. The entrepot trade made Singapore rich, which allowed it to finance partially the massive infrastructure upgrades and development.

By 1970s, Singapore had readied the infrastructure to proceed with its industrialization plans. Singapore was able to convince Western technological giants like Apple and Intel to setup plants on the island. Its adventure into oil refining, biotech, chemicals, electronics and wafer fabrication proved to be highly successful, now making up 26% of its GDP. By 1980s, neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia were industrializing, and realized up till certain point not only they would be zoning their own high-capacity port to circumvent Singapore, their low-labor cost too, won’t bode well for Singaporean manufacturing industries. The city-state then decided to shift into more service-oriented economy, which, just like Hong Kong did, portrayed Singapore as the entry link to do businesses in the resource-rich ASEAN. Huge capital investment abroad that followed built Singapore into a global financial center. It recently begin to venture into entertainment/casino industry.

Countries next-in-line to become developed nations, interestingly they are all countries with a lots of oil & gas but only small population to feed. Question is, now only they catch up?

1. United Arab Emirates
Human Development Index: 0.815

2. Brunei
Human Development Index: 0.805

3. Qatar
Human Development Index: 0.803

4. Bahrain
Human Development Index: 0.801

gee, i wonder where is malaysia…

looks at lowest 10
ahh, there she is…


so from poll most think singapore performed best?

actually singapore is number 6…

number 1 is macau…

bolehland lost somewhere in the jungles…

[quote=“DMsia”]actually singapore is number 6…

number 1 is macau…

bolehland lost somewhere in the jungles…[/quote]

don’t get upset on your country, as you can see, there are bright side, 2 areas are heading for developed status soon…

Human Development Index

  1. Selangor - 0.810
  2. Kuala Lumpur - 0.795
  3. Penang - 0.773
  4. Malacca - 0.742
  5. Negeri Sembilan - 0.739
  6. Johor - 0.733
  7. Terengganu - 0.730
  8. Perak - 0.719
  9. Perlis - 0.714
  10. Pahang - 0.705
  11. Sarawak - 0.692
  12. Kedah - 0.670
  13. Kelantan - 0.659
  14. Sabah - 0.643

Nationwide: 0.744

That’s 2/14 states.
Still far behind. where 4/14 are less than 0.7 index.
And from the remaining which are 8/14… only 1 of them is over the 0.75 index, Penang.
Still a long way to completion.

mevotex, my humble opinion on the ratings for states or negeri is: some states are supposed to be developed and they should be developed quick in order to stay competitive to other nations. some states, in the other hand, are better off be maintained slower pace in development, as long as the residents’ wellfare is taken care of.

japan, taiwan, new zealand, united stated, canada, ireland and germany have been doing well at this. we all know that not all human beings love to see concrete. some really love to ride horse and plant tomatoes in their huge backyard everyday.