By John Wong
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Extra resources for ASEAN Economies in Perspective: A Comparative Study of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand
Analytically, the argument might be weak. However, individual primary exporting countries often compare the movements in the price of their specific commodities with the unit price of their manufacturing imports. Empirically, whether or not there is any deterioration of terms of trade depends very much on the earning trends of individual commodities in question or the time reference periods covered. Thus a cogent empirical generalisation can still be made on the basis of experience of the period 1953-71; this does indicate a slow and steady rise in the price of manufactured goods and a corresponding deterioration in the Trade: an Engine for Growth and Dependency 29 terms of trade of primary producers.
6 In the Philippines, the average nominal and effective rates of the tariff structure are 30 per cent and 62 per cent respectively, but they have led to a negative valueadded at world market prices for several inefficient capitalintensive products. 7 Singapore, on account of her small domestic market and the existence of export-oriented industries, has always been liberal in her trade policies, tariffs 18 ASEAN Economies in Perspective being imposed on only a limited number of manufactured items, mainly for revenue purposes.
The existing pattern of trade relations of ASEAN is more a product of the concentrated trade structure itself. Since the region exports mainly primary products and the industrial economies of the West and Japan happen to be the biggest consumers of the world's primary commodities, close trading ties between the two groups are accordingly forged. Furthermore the industrialisation pattern of ASEAN has been so designed as to require from the West and Japan the continuous inflow of capital, technology and modern equipment.
ASEAN Economies in Perspective: A Comparative Study of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand by John Wong