Asia: The Last Big Sir

In most of the world's new nations, expropriation and nationalization of private businesses are a constant threat. But not in Malaya, whose rubber-based economy has become the most solvent in Southeast Asia. Malaya's success stems from a rare Asian combination of government realism and business flexibility. Wisely its five-year-old government has resisted the temptations of nationalization and left the country's 3.500,000 acres of rubber trees in private hands, even though nearly half are foreign-owned. The owners have responded by changing their colonial ways and backing the government's efforts to improve productivity.

Leading the...

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