Asia's New Little Dragons
The Dynamic Emergence of
Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia

1991 by Steven Schlossstein
370 pages, Contemporary Books
(Source notes, Bibliography, Index)
ISBN 0-8092-4038-6


In the 1970s and 1980s, in the wake of Japan's stunning postwar growth, the so-called "little dragons" — South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong — prospered as well. Can Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia follow suit and become the Little Dragons of the 1990s?

If so, what strategies and public policies should the United States adopt in response to these booming economies — and in response to the influence of the Big Dragon, Japan, on the region?

As the West confronts the challenge of a new Pacific Age, these are vital questions, and in Asia's New Little Dragons, East Asia expert Steven Schlossstein answers them by examining both economic and non-economic aspects of these three emerging nations and reaches conclusions that are always thoughtful and often surprising.

Through lively interviews with top Indonesian, Thai, and Malaysian businesspeople and policymakers, Schlossstein unravels the fascinating complexities of the culture, history, economy, politics, and foreign policy of the three nations, each one unique and little understood by Westerners.

He shows Indonesia, the fifth-most populous country in the world (and the world's largest Muslim country) poised for economic takeoff; Thailand, beset by a gridlocked infrastructure and the growing menace of an AIDS epidemic, in a less certain position despite a homogeneous Buddhist society, a high literacy rate, and diversified foreign investment; and Malaysia, an Islamic nation seriously hampered by an unstable political system, pervasive corruption, and often extreme racial tensions.

Schlossstein discusses how Japan is already investing aggressively in these diverse nations, and suggests specific American strategies for competing in what will soon be Asia's new little dragons. Essential reading for businesspeople, educators, and leaders in government and finance, this important book speaks to all Americans concerned about the U.S. and Japanese roles in the emerging powerhouse economies of southeast Asia.