Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Far East 1968
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Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Far East 1968

This latest edition of the Survey analyzes current economic and social developments in the region against the background of events in the world economy. It also focuses on the serios problems of growth and transformation of the area's least developed and Pacific Island developing economies.

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The Implications of economic controls and of liberalization: Introduction You do not have access to this content

English
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ESCAP

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The evolution of the techniques and the directions of economic development in Asian countries and the evolution of their systems of economic controls have during the past ten years vied with each other for the most prominent place in policy discussion. In principle, the two sets of policies should be integrated in some sort of hierarchic order of objectives, strategies and instruments. In practice, this integration is one of the most difficult feats to achieve by economic decision and administration. The difficulty has many well-known causes. Information about the behaviour of the economy is at a low level everywhere and can improve only slowly with the acquisition of new techniques of analysis and an increase in qualified personnel. Development policy deals with a very large number of obstinately unknown factors and attempts to implement it tend to bring into the open sharp conflicts of interest. External assistance is, by definition, a factor external to the economy. Short run problems of economic management must be solved in the immediate present and typically pre-empt the services of such economic controls as exist, or lead to the establishment of new ones. The frequent inconsistencies between development policies and economic controls are in fact the most concrete instances of inconsistency between long run objectives and short-run policies, between two sets of objectives, two sets of routines and often two different sets of people in different branches of the administration. The mutual adaptation of the two kinds of policies requires a continuous struggle with hard realities, and success in this field appears to depend as much on the skilful and diplomatic work of individual civil servants and ministers as on well thought out schemes. The harmonization of policy being thus very imperfect, it is only to be expected that changes in development policy or in the system of economic controls occur separately and in spurts which force one or the other aspect of policy into the foreground.