Monday, November 15, 2004

Are Asia and the West the warehouses of the world?

When combining a big population and a high labor productivity (translated into high standards of living), what we got may look like an "unipolar world" with one economic superpower called the United Stated of America. Even though the American population represents only 5% of all living human beings, the fact that this population enjoys a GDP/Capita almost 4 times greater than the world's average explains why the volume of the US production of goods and services contributes to more than 20% to the world's total production (world GDP).

However, this picture is misleading. It is better to talk about the Western countries's contribution as compared with the one of East Asia.

The world gross domestic product of goods and services is worth PPP$50.6 trillion.

Western countries (North America + Western Europe) produce PPP$22.4 trillion worth of goods and services. That's 44% of the world total.

The East Asia & Pacific area produces 29% of the World GDP (PPP$15.2 trillion).

If we add up to these figures the South & West Asia's productions of PPP$4.3 trillion, Western countries and Asia contribute more than 80% to the world production of goods and services.

The new Asian superpower is, notoriously, China. China's strength is due mainly to the sheer size of its population. Its fast rising GDP/Capita (still below world's average) explains why it has become a superpower.

13% of the world GDP is produced in China (PPP$6.3 trillion). This is the second biggest volume in the world - even greater than the Japanese output.

Besides, China's economic growth is so high that one can guess the size of its output will be greater than the size of US output before 2015.

As a gigantic market of 1.3 billion consumers, China consumes:
18.6% of world aluminium output
20.1% of world cellphone use
34.8% of world cigarettes output
31.0% of world coal output
19.1% of world ice-cream output
50.8% of pork, 19.2% of poultry, 32.8% of rice, 26.9% of steel, 23.2% of TVs, 18.0% of washing machines etc.

source: Fortune,18467,698777,00.html

If all the world annual production of goods and services was 100 cars (similar to one another), we would have this split:

North America & Western Europe produces 43 cars
(USA:21, Germany:4, France:3, UK:3, Italy:3, Canada:2, Spain:2, other western countries:5)
East Asia & the Pacific produces 29 cars
(China:13, Japan:7, Korea:2, Indonesia:1, Australia:1, Taiwan:1, other East Asian countries:4)
South & West Asia produces 8 cars
(India:6, other South & West Asian countries:2)
Latin America & the Caribbean produces 8 cars
(Brazil:3, Mexico:2, other Latin American countries:3)
Central & Eastern Europe produces 7 cars
(Russia: 3, other Central & Eastersd European countries:4)
Arab states produce 3 cars
Sub-Saharan Africa produce 2 cars
Central Asia doesn't produce any cars


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