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This guide is intended to give market and investment news for the Greater China region and Japan. The former consists of Mainland China, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Economic Overview

China. The economic reforms instigated by Deng Xiaoping and the communist government in the 1970s led to rapid economic growth by the start of the 1990s as China moved from an agrarian centrally governed state to that of socialist market economy. Growth rates of around 6% since 2000 have led forecasters to predict that the economy will move from its current 6th position to 2nd, behind that of the US, by 2030.

Taiwan. Although relatively unaffected by the Asian financial crisis of 19981999, Taiwan suffered a recession in 2001 due to the slowdown in the global economy and poor government policy coordination. Since this date the economy has strengthened with annual growth rates of around 5% by 2005.

Hong Kong. Since returning to China in 1998, Hong Kong has retained its position as the 10th biggest economy in the world via its Special Administrative Region status and acts as the investment and trade link between Taiwan and mainland China. The economy has now recovered from the global downturn of 2000/2001 to produce a annual growth rate of 6.5% in the first half of 2005.

Japan. Growth slowed rapidly in the 1990s following over-investment during the previous decade. The Governments attempts to revive the situation were hindered by the slowdown in the Asian economies at the start of the new century although the last twelve months have brought a strong revival with growth at 4% in the first quarter 2005.

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