The global financial crisis severely impacted Asia from late 2008 to early 2009 (Figure 1). Although the initial impact appeared limited, the region was directly hit when the crisis spread to the real sector and caused the volume of world trade to collapse.
According to the latest projection by the International Monetary Fund (2009), real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is forecast to decline in industrial Asia (Japan, Australia, and New Zealand) from 3.2% in 2007 to -2.3% in 20091; from 5.7% to -2.4% in Asian newly industrialized economies (Hong Kong, China; Republic of Korea [hereafter Korea]; Singapore; and Taipei,China); and from 6.3% to 0.7% in ASEAN-5 (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam). Even the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and India were severely affected, with growth in those countries expected to fall from 13% to 8.5% and from 9.4% to 5.4%, respectively. Particularly hit hard among these economies were Singapore and Taipei,China,
as their openness made them vulnerable to the sudden collapse of global trade.