The Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons is a term used in reference to the highly free and developed economies of
- Hong Kong,
- South Korea and
These nations and areas were notable for maintaining exceptionally high growth rates and rapid industrialization between the early 1960s and 1990s.
These regions were the first newly industrialized countries in Asia. They are known because they had very high growth rates and fast industrialization between the early 1960s and 1990s.
The four Asian Tigers countries are now rich countries. All four Asian Tigers have a lot of people who are very educated and good at their jobs. They also did different things, and tried to do them better than other countries. For example, Hong Kong and Singapore became very good at international finance, while South Korea and Taiwan became very good at information technology.
All the Asian Tigers tried to export things to rich industrialized nations. They grew rich very quickly (they had double-digit economic growth) for decades. Each nation was not a democracy, and people were not very free in the early years. All of these countries later became freer, and people now think Taiwan and Korea are liberal democracies.
Japan, the old tiger and leading goose
South Korea, Taiwan but also Hong Kong and Singapore form the group of so called Asian Tigers. Japan is left out of this group because it emerged earlier than the other four nations and the term was coined later on after the Japanese economy had already developed. However, in another such paradigm, the so-called leading goose paradigm, Japan is seen as the lead goose followed by the four Asian Tigers. In this paradigm the Asian Tigers are followed by the main ASEAN countries Indonesia, Thailand as well as Malaysia and finally by other fast developing nations in the region: China, Vietnam, Philippines etc.