The world is an ever changing organism which will either sustain itself or will become an un-inhabitable planet in future times. This part of the Newsletter will therefore look at major issues that will influence the destiny of humankind.
China and the East Asian economies are developing at a phenomenal rate compared to the industrialised economies of the West.
The Economist September 27 - October 3 1997
|% change on year ago||last 12 months $bn
|Nation||GDP||Industrial Production||trade balance||foreign reserves
|latest||12 months ago
|China ||+9.6 Q2 ||+8.4 Aug ||+32.9Aug||122.8||88.6
|Indonesia||+8.0 (1996)||+7.1 Q4||+9.0Jun ||20.2 ||15.5
|India ||+7.0 (1995)||+4.2 Jun||-5.6Jul ||26.3 ||18.3
|Malaysia ||+8.4(Q2) ||+7.2 Jul||-1.1Jul ||26.1 ||23.1
|Taiwan ||+6.3(Q2) ||+7.4 Aug||+11.8Jul||87.8 ||86.1
Armament and Military Developments
According to Yitzhak Mordechai, Israeli Defence Minister, Iran with huge aid from Russia is on the verge of completing its development of medium-range intercontinental ballistic missiles that can strike any part of Israel and many parts of the world. This disclosure was made in a recently published interview with the Jerusalem Post. The Defence Minister, a former senior army commander, stated that Israel and the United States had received intelligence reports that had made them conclude that Iran had made progress faster than previously thought on medium range ballistic and Nuclear weapons programmes. Mr Mordechai said that... "Iran is on the verge of achieving capability of producing long-range missiles that have strategic dangers for Israel as well as to American interests in the region." His worries renewed diplomatic speculation that in the near future, unless there was a dramatic change in the situation by Tehran and Moscow, Israel may have no alternative but to launch a pre-emptive strike similar to that launched against Iraqi Nuclear reactors in 1981. Known Iranian missile plants exist in Shiraz, Farhim and Semnan according to Israeli information. The Defence Minister made known that at Iran’s current rate of progress, Tehran would be able to manufacture missiles that could hit Israel, the Gulf States, Asia and parts of Europe in a mere two years time. It is therefore seen that increasing tension in the region is ready to escalate due to the consequences of short-term economic gain by a sadly misdirected and misguided Russian State. These facts should worry the West’s total strategy for peace as Russia is supposed to be a friend. It makes one think, is this really the case?
According to Eurofacts(12 September 1997) the E.U. is losing the battle concerning the manufacture of New Products and Services as they say, ..."Manufacturers inside and outside the E.U. have to comply with E.U. product standards". Except where there is flagrant and illegal discrimination(France comes to mind once more) the compliance process is just as costly for E.U. manufacturers as it is for non-E.U. manufacturers. The rate of introduction of new technologies is accelerating, product life cycles are shortening, and - unfortunately for the E.U. - a rising proportion of those crucial new technologies originate outside the E.U. This means that the E.U. has increasingly to comply with non-E.U. standards, not the other way round. The sheer quantity of non-E.U. consumer and industrial goods available inside the E.U. shows that Far Eastern manufacturers do not have much problem in meeting E.U. product standards. Only one reason amongst many why the ‘ORE’ has to be developed.
Strategic Issues - Comparison Growth in Patent Activity
Between 1991 and 1995 (the most recent data available) the S.E. Asian economies increased their respective patent activity in the world’s largest economy, the U.S.A..
Whilst the total growth of patents filed increased by 32.9% from 91 to 95, America advanced it’s patents filed activity by a mere 5.4%. Also the U. K., Germany, France, Italy and Japan all declined in the same market arena by -11.5%,-14.7%, -18.1%, -14.4% and -11.4% respectfully.
Conversely, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and China all increased their patents activity filed by +95.6%, +78.2%, +40%, +266.7% and 38.5% respectfully.
Although the patent numbers filed are still relatively low when compared to patent listings of all the industrialised economies of the ‘West’, it is the rate of acceleration or rate of increase that is of concern. Additionally Taiwan’s patent activity is now only 15.2% below that of Britain and Koreas has remarkably narrowed the gap with the U.K.’s progress to within 47.2%. In 1991 the Gap was a staggering 76.1%. Therefore the Koreans have closed by an incredible 28.9% in only 5 years on the British patenting activity. Similar things can be said for Germany, France and Italy (where Taiwan’s and Korea’s patents listing activity is now 88.3% and 17.2% respectfully greater than that of Italy).
Council Member News
Jamel El-Aref, B.Sc., M.Sc(Eng)., MICE, previous manager of finance and administration, American near Middle East Refugee Aid(ANERA) and former executive manager, United Nations Relief Organisation has been appointed Director-General of the Palestinian Housing Council, Jerusalem, Middle East. We wish Jamel well for his future efforts in the volatile peace process and rehabilitation programme in the region.