Introduction: Asian Nations and Multinationals—Economic and Human Resource Challenges
Asia remains the world’s fastest growing economic region, where China is destined to be a key player. The Chinese leaders, however, rule through one-party authoritarianism, implying the ineffectiveness of Western liberal democracy as a vehicle of economic growth in developing countries. The efficacy of the Chinese template will necessarily depend on its economic success, increasingly fostered through increased productivity rather than the accumulation of production factors. In the development of the knowledge economy and concomitant human capital, China may serve as an example to other Asian nations as it plays a greater economic role in the region, as reflected in the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA). It is an open question whether an authoritarian social and political tradition will be conducive to innovation in the region.
KeywordsForeign direct investment (FDI) Authoritarianism Innovation Productivity ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) Human resource management
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