Asia has always recognized the role of infrastructure in creating wealth. Archeological evidence points to the exchange of goods between Mesopotamia and the Indian and the Chinese territories between 7500 and 4000 BC. The Silk Route created prosperous clusters of towns and trading posts while connecting Asia and Europe through the Middle East. In more recent history, Asian nations were openly trading with each other long before Europeans arrived in the region. And historians have argued that it is the capabilities developed through this long history of intra-Asian trade that allowed Japan and the newly industrialized economies to emerge as economic success stories in the late 20th century. What is also an interesting fact is that most of this was enabled through private initiative and enterprise.
Haruhiko Kuroda, Rajat Nag, and Rita Nangia
Finances & Economics