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JC History Tuition Online - How did Giant become the biggest bicycle manufacturer in the world

How did Giant become the biggest bicycle manufacturer in the world?

Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 3: Rise of Asian Tigers from 1970s to 1990s [South Korea and Taiwan] 

Learn more about the Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer Giant [Video by Cycling Pulse]

Humble beginnings: A SME run by family and friends
In 1972, a 36 year-old engineer King Liu founded Giant with a group of associates, including Tony Lo, in Taichung (臺中). Lo was a business graduate from the National Taiwan University. Interestingly, Liu cycled to work at first to understand his product better.

In 1977, Liu secured a contract to produce bicycles for an overseas American company Schwinn, which was known for its 10-speed steel machines. Giant then functioned as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Liu, who was fluent in Japanese, visited Japan to study the bicycle production process, replicating suitable work practices at Giant.

An unexpected turn of events: Turning setbacks into opportunities for success
In 1981, Giant set up its own bicycle brand as an Original Brand Manufacturer (OBM). It was a bold and unusual move as products that were manufactured in Taiwan were still viewed as low-quality and cheap.

Five years later, Giant brought its bicycles to the global market, starting with the Netherlands. Lo had identified Netherlands as a suitable European headquarters due to its geographical location, comprehensive infrastructure and integrated transport network. From there, Giant exported to other European markets. By the mid-1980s, Giant exported nearly 10 million bicycles a year.

The own-branding strategy was intensified when Schwinn shifted its OEM orders to its joint China’s company (China Bicycle Company) in 1985. Under this adverse condition, Liu steered the company into a new direction, through rapidly expanding its overseas branches around the world, in order to fill up the excess capacity generated by Schwinn’s withdrawal. The overseas branches were all targeted on pursuing entrepreneurial profit by promoting its own-brand Giant bicycles. Its overseas branch was established in Netherlands in 1986, the Us in 1987, Japan in 1989, Canada and Australia in 1991, and mainland China in 1992.

An excerpt from “Entrepreneurship and Taiwan’s Economic Dynamics” by Fu-Lai Tony Yu.

In the 1985, the US-based Schwinn switched to a Chinese supplier to keep production costs low. As a result, nearly three-quarters of Giant’s revenue had been affected. Yet, Giant did not relent. Instead, the company capitalised on the low production base in China, setting up two production plants in China, namely in Shanghai (上海) and Jiangsu (江苏).

Close collaboration with the government
In 1986, Giant launched a joint project with the government-funding Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). They explored use of advanced materials to create carbon fiber bicycle frames. Giant also worked on other technology diffusion projects for aluminum welding with Chun Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST).

Giant’s R&D efforts had paid off as tts revenue rose to over NT$ one billion.

In 1987, Giant pioneered the mass production of carbon bicycles, particularly the model called Cadex 980C. Lo dubbed it ‘Project 88’. Giant had applied computer-aided design and volume production techniques to manufacture these carbon fiber road bicycles. By 1991, Giant manufactured 20 thousand units of carbon bicycles.

Now, Giant one of the top bicycle manufacturers in the world.

Giant thinks of itself as an innovator in the fields of production and design, as well as competitive strategy. Giant was one of the first to upgrade parts and begin exporting them when Taiwan’s market became too costly. Giant was also the first Taiwanese company to use chrome alloy steel in their frames and to produce single-piece graphite bicycle frames.

An excerpt from “Strategy, Structure, and Performance of MNCs in China” by Yadong Luo.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that Giant’s successes in export promotion were the result of Confucian culture?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the rise of Asian Tiger economies and the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What does United Microelectronics do - Asian Tigers Notes

What does United Microelectronics do?

Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 3: Rise of Asian Tigers from 1970s to 1990s [South Korea and Taiwan] 

Learn more about the Taiwanese semiconductor company, United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) [Video by UMC Group (USA)]

Historical context: Silicon Valley of the East
On 22 May 1980, the United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) was formed as the first-ever private integrated circuit (IC) company in Taiwan. The UMC was a product of the state-backed technology R&D institution, known as the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

Under the leadership of President Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), the government embarked on an ambitious project to encourage knowledge and skills acquisition in the private sector to intensify Taiwan’s industrial development.

The UMC occupied the Hsinchu Science Park (HSIP, 新竹科學園區), which was modelled after the Silicon Valley.

Located in Hsinchu County, approximately 80 km to the south of the capital city Taipei, HSIP had easy access to the international airport and harbours, a skilled labour force and abundant technological resources, including two national universities and the government-sponsored ITRI. Since its inception, HSIP has received over US$500 million from the government, earmarked for the acquisition and development of land and construction of housing and factories.

An excerpt from “The Silicon Dragon: High-Tech Industry in Taiwan” by Terence Tsai and Bor-Shiuan Cheng.

Enter the age of semiconductors
Under the astute leadership of Robert Tsao (曹興誠), who became president of UMC in 1982, the UMC became the first IC manufacturer in Taiwan to provide wafer foundry services.

In the late 1980s, the UMC broadened its scope of production, venturing into Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAMs) and telecommunications circuitry. Tsao believed that specialisation in foundry services was the ideal model for the UMC to thrive.

The UMC turned out to be a successful spin-off from HSIP, as seen by its entry to the Taiwan Stock Exchange in 1985. From then on, the UMC went further to build increasingly advanced chips, such as Static Random Access Memory (SRAMs).

A similar venture: The TSMC
In 1987, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) was set up. It was the second spin-off from the HSIP after the UMC. The company was a joint development with the Dutch company Philipps and the Taiwanese government.

Interestingly, the Chiang government had invited Morris Chang, who later became founder of the TSMC, to lead the ITRI in the early 1980s. Chang had put forward the idea of creating a foundry industry in Taiwan.

Originally the ERSO sent a team to RCA in the US to learn integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing technology. After the team returned to Taiwan, the members spun off from ERSO to form UMC, which began chip manufacturing.

[…] Chang led a team spun off from ITRI to form TSMC in 1987. The new business model proved effective, and TSMC became the largest semiconductor foundry in the world with $5.3 billion of sales in 2000. TSMC was therefore mainly a Taiwanese creation with state participation in ownership (48 per cent in the beginning).

An excerpt from “The East Asian High-Tech Drive” by Yun-Peng Chu and Hal Hill.

Evidently, the successes of the UMC and TSMC were partly attributed to the joint efforts of the Taiwanese and American governments (Electronics Research and Service Organization, ERSO, the Radio Corporation of America, RCA). By giving their founders and core team members the opportunities to acquire the technical know-how, the aim of creating a semiconductor industry in Taiwan could finally materialise.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view the the United Microelectronics Corporation was a crucial piece of the puzzle in explaining the remarkable growth of Taiwan in the 1980s.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the rise of Asian Tiger economies and the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - Why is Taiwan an Asian Tiger - Asian Tigers Notes

Why is Taiwan an Asian Tiger?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 3: Rise of Asian Tigers from 1970s to 1990s [South Korea and Taiwan] 

Learn more about the contributing factors that led to Taiwan’s economic miracle. [Video by Real World Economics]

Historical context: The Cold War
During the Korean War, the Truman administration committed its armed forces to defend the Republic of China (ROC) government under Chiang Kai-shek. President Truman announced on 27 June 1950 that the Seventh Fleet would be deployed to the Taiwan Strait. His intention was to protect Taiwan from any possible Chinese attack.

The US government switched its foreign policy stance towards Taiwan from a “hands-off” approach to increased military commitment. Its purpose was to contain a possible expansion of Communist influence in East Asia.

In retrospect, Truman’s new policy of 1950 disengaged the Chinese from their hot civil war while engaging them in the global Cold War.

[…] It had secured the ROC in Taiwan from a major military showdown with the PRC on the mainland in the 1950s, it had preserved the political unity and social stability of Taiwan through the 1960s, and it had provided an opportunity for the island’s economic growth in the 1970s.

An excerpt from “The History of Taiwan” by Xiaobing Li.

Export promotion and industrial restructuring
In the 1960s, Taiwan was one of the world’s primary exporter for consumers goods, such as umbrellas, toys and shoes. In 1966, Taiwan established Export Processing Zones (EPZs). The Chiang government sought to pursue an export-driven strategy as seen by the provision of tax incentives to spur businesses to engage in international trade.

In the 1970s, the government had realised that its reliance on the maturing light industry was not sustainable, given the rise of other developing countries that possessed cheap and abundant labour. As such, it embarked on heavy and chemical industrialisation (HCI), targeting steel and petrochemical production.

In 1973, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) was formed to facilitate the conduct of research and development (R&D). A year later, the Electronics Research Service Organisation (ERSO) was also set up, focusing on areas like electronic packaging, semiconductors and display devices. Similarly, the Hsinchu Science Park was created in 1980 to intensify efforts to develop high-tech industries. The government’s attempts have paid off as seen from the rise of tech firms like the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC).

In August 1974, Sun contacted Dr. Pan in the United States and invited him to Taiwan to produce a study of ways in which the government could upgrade local industry, with the electronics industry playing the leading role. […] Pan recommended that the electronics industry should focus on semiconductor technology and that the technology be acquired from abroad; that a two-part strategic planning team be formed, one part in the United States and one in Taiwan; and that an organizational capability for implementation within the state be set up. A U.S. partner was to be located for an agreement for technology transfer and training.

An excerpt from “The Role of the State in Taiwan’s Development” by Joel B. Aberdach.

The 1980s tech drive: OEM and ODM
In the 1980s, the government went through institutional reforms to integrate Taiwan into the global economy. It intensified its policies of trade liberalisation and financial deregulation, opening the economy gradually. Yet, it proved challenging following the opening of China in the late 1970s as part of Deng Xiaoping’s Four Modernisations (四個現代化). Many Taiwanese manufacturers shifted production to China in response to rising production costs.

In this decade, more Taiwanese manufacturers in the electronics and technology sectors adopted either of the following two models: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or Original Design Manufacturer (ODM). For OEM, the local companies manufactured products for transnational corporations that focused on product design and R&D. Over time, some of these firms transitioned to become ODMs, such as Acer.

While the ERSO projects were important for the PC industry, the two industry leaders, Acer and Mitac, were doing OEM for ITT since 1982 and Mitac was not part of two of the three big desktop computer projects run by ERSO. […] OEM manufacturing firms can leverage their relationships with outsourcing partners to upgrade. The experience of Mitac, Acer and other fims, such as the printed circuit board manufacturer, Compeq, confirms this theory of upgrading.

An excerpt from “Technology Transfer Between the US, China and Taiwan: Moving Knowledge” by Douglas B. Fuller and Murray A. Rubinstein.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that state intervention was indispensable in contributing to the economic miracle of Taiwan.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the rise of Asian Tiger economies, particularly Taiwan and South Korea. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

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JC History Tuition Online - What are chaebols in South Korear - Asian Tigers Notes

What are chaebols in South Korea?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 3: Rise of Asian Tigers from 1970s to 1990s [South Korea and Taiwan] 

Find out why chaebols play a crucial role in supporting the South Korean economy. [Video by Bloomberg Quicktake Originals]

Origins of Chaebols
Chaebols (재벌) are large family conglomerates that played a crucial role in the economic miracle of South Korea. The word “chaebols” refers to “financial clique”. After the Korean War (1950-1953), some entrepreneurs took advantage of the available opportunities, particularly the purchase of former Japanese-owned companies that were nationalised by the Rhee government. During Japanese colonial rule, these businesses dominated the manufacturing, trading and finance sectors.

The chaebols began to emerge under the patronage of the Rhee regime, and they paid the regime back through illicit political contributions. The major sources of chaebol accumulation during the Rhee period were selective allocation of import licenses and quotas, bargain price acquisition of former Japanese properties, aid funds and materials, cheap bank loans, and government and U.S. military contracts for reconstruction activities.

[…] Vested properties provided the initial base for many chaebols.

An excerpt from “In the Shadow of Violence: Politics, Economics, and the Problems of Development” by Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, Steven B. Webb and Barry R. Weingast.

Additionally, these Korean entrepreneurs were aided by the Rhee government through the latter’s use of import-substitution policies. The local market was insulated from foreign competition in targeted sectors, biding time for these companies to flourish. In other words, close networks between the entrepreneurs and government were vital in enabling the rise of private businesses.

Following the military coup led by General Park Chung-hee in 1961, the military government switched gears, transitioning towards an export-driven economy. The Park regime had identified local businesses to support its industrialisation plans. Through continued support in the form of incentives like preferential tariffs and low interest loans, these Korean businesses thrived.

Enter Byung-chul: Founder of Samsung
Pragmatic and competent Korean entrepreneurs like Lee Byung-chul and Chung Ju-yung had surmounted obstacles and leveraged on available opportunities to dominate local and world markets. In 1938, Lee formed Samsung Trading (삼성물산). Although the Korean War had disrupted his plans, Lee remained determined to expand his business globally. After the end of the war, he set up Samsung Trading’s branch office in Tokyo, Japan.

Whilst under the Rhee government, Lee capitalised on the business opportunities granted by the former’s import-substitution policies. He established a sugar and flour manufacturing company known as Cheil Jedang (씨제이제일제당 주식회사) in 1953 and a textile company called Cheil Mojik (제일모직) in 1954.

Lacking know-how in textile production during its early days, [Cheil Mojik] engaged in technology transfers with European and Australian firms to learn spinning, grinding, shearing, raising, and milling technologies. With the rise of export-orientation industrialization strategies during the 1960s, Cheil engaged in exports, starting with 8000 lbs. of worsted yarn, exported to Hong Kong in 1961.

An excerpt from “The Routledge Companion to Asian Family Business: Governance, Succession, and Challenges in the Age of Digital Disruption” by Ho-Don Yan and Fu-Lai Tony Yu.

After the rise of Park’s military government, Lee re-positioned Samsung Trading and Cheil Mojik as key Korean exporting companies. In 1969, Samsung was given a chance to venture into the electronics industry. Lee sought help from Japanese electronics firms Sanyo and NEC (Nippon Electric Company) to access foreign technology.

Lee Byung-chul also sought to identify and leverage other new business opportunities for Samsung, taking advantage of strong economic growth and the rapidly advancing skills of Korean engineers. The group expanded into shipbuilding through a combination of acquisitions and new shipyard constructions.

[…] In the 1980s, as Lee Byung-chul sensed global business opportunities earlier than others, Samsung took the lead among Korean manufacturers in setting up overseas factories in order to strengthen its global market presence. This new direction was particularly visible in the electronics industry, where Samsung had become a major global competitor. It invested into production sites in Portugal, the UK, and the USA.

An excerpt from “Entrepreneurship in Korea: From Chaebols to Start-ups” by Martin Hemmert and Jae-Jin Kim.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the significance of private businesses in contributing to the economic miracle of South Korea.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the rise of Asian Tiger economies. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - How did the USA help Japan's economy after WW2 - Global Economy Notes

How did the USA help Japan’s economy after WW2?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Reasons for growth of the global economy

Learn more about the post-war economic developments of Japan. [Video by ‘How’d it happen?]

A shift of US priorities in Japan: ‘Reverse Course’ policy
After Japan was defeated in World War Two, the Allied Occupation oversaw social and political reform of Japan from 1945 to 1946, ensuring that it would not endanger world peace. Under the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) led by American general Douglas MacArthur, the Japanese military was disbanded and the zaibatsu conglomerates were broken up.

Against the backdrop of the looming Cold War tensions in Europe, the US government relooked its priorities. Instead of punishing Japan for its wartime aggression, the government supported the post-war recovery of Japan, in hopes of cultivating it as a new Cold War ally. This was also known as the ‘Reverse Course’ policy (逆コース).

After the early stages of the Occupation, SCAP began showing a strong interest in stabilizing Japan’s economy near the end of 1946. In spite of the fact that the “Basic Directive” clearly stated that the Occupation would not be responsible for economic reconstruction, faced with the danger of rampant inflation unless production restarted, SCAP had no choice but to become involved in economic reconstruction.

An excerpt from “The Economic History of Japan: 1600-1990: Volume 3: Economic History of Japan 1914-1955: A Dual Structure” by Takafusa Nakamura, Konosuka Odaka and Noah S. Brannen.

Consequences of warm bilateral relations: US aid to Japan
In 1958, negotiations for a US-Japan Security Treaty (日本国とアメリカ合衆国との間の相互協力及び安全保障条約) were underway. In essence, the treaty permitted US military bases in Japan, thereby establishing a military alliance between the two countries.

At the same time, the USA provided a series of economic assistance to build up Japan as a bulwark against communist expansion in Asia. For instance, the US government offered low-interest loans to Japan. These substantial capital injections led to increase in Japanese investments that propelled economic growth.

Additionally, the USA sponsored Japan’s admission to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) organisation in September 1955. The USA feared that an absence of market for Japanese exports may possibly draw Japan into the Communist bloc for economic cooperation. As such, the Eisenhower administration rejected protectionist demands from local groups in the USA and opened American markets to Japanese exports.

The United States needed Japan as a stable capitalist country that would provide a bulwark against communism in Asia. It therefore supported Japanese membership of the IMF and GATT in 1955 and assisted Japan in improving relations with other Asian countries in the late 1950s and early 1960s, while at the same time keeping its own market open to Japanese goods and making technology and capital available to Japanese enterprises. Japanese capitalism could thus pursue its own interests on the international stage under the umbrella of U.S. world strategy.

An excerpt from “Japanese Capitalism Since 1945: Critical Perspectives” by Tessa Morris-Suzuki and Seiyama Takuro.

From 1958 to 1960, US purchases from Japan rose by more than 150%. This enabled Japan to enjoy its first-ever trade surplus. The correction of Japan’s balance of payment deficits thus allowed it to grow rapidly.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the importance of the USA in contributing to the economic miracle of Japan after 1945.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the growth of the Global Economy, including the economic miracle of Japan and Western Europe. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - When did the European Union start and why - Global Economy Notes

When did the European Union start and why?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Problems of economic liberalisation

Learn more about the origins of the European Union. [Video by CBC News]

Historical context: The end of bipolarity and desires for a Common Market
Following the historic collapse of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 that marked the end of the Cold War, the border between East and West is finally opened. Germany was united after more than 40 years, allowing its Eastern half to join the European Communities (EC) in 1990.

Apart from the political integration of Germany, member nations in the EC had expressed growing concerns about the slow economic progress by the mid-1980s. In comparison to rival economies like Japan and the USA, the EC members supported deregulation to boost production and trade.

The introduction of the Single or Internal Market Programme had the effect of launching a new phase in the integration process, spilling over into renewed efforts in institutional reform, reinforced EC social, regional and competition policies, and economic and monetary union. […] The programme was initially presented as an exercise in deregulation and received wholehearted support from the EC member states and business community.

An excerpt from “The European Union: Economics, Policy And History” by Susan Senior Nello.

Maastrict Treaty
European nations engaged in negotiations to anticipate the wave of globalisation in the 1990s. On 7 February 1992, the Maastrict Treaty was signed by twelve founding member states of the EC. Also known as the ‘Treaty on European Union’, it ushered in the next phase of regional integration. For instance, a single currency called the ‘Euro’ was introduced.

In December 1991 at Maastricht, member nations agreed on the Treaty on the European Union (EU), which became informally known as the “Maastricht Treaty”. […]Moreover, as part of the first pillar the Maastricht Treaty also called for an European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) which entails the creation of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European single currency, the Euro, by 1999.

An excerpt from “The Path to European Economic and Monetary Union” by Scheherazade S. Rehman.

Impacts of the EU on international trade
With the formation of the EU, the trading bloc had accelerated the increase in intra-regional trade. It coincided with the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of 1994, which was a joint effort between the USA, Mexico and Canada. Overall, the EU did bring about a significant increase in world trade in comparison with NAFTA and Japan.

Trade openness, as measured by the average shares of extra-EU nominal goods exports and imports in GDP, rose from 8 per cent in the early 1960s to about 10 per cent in the late 1990s. Currently, the NAFTA area and Japan show somewhat lower trade shares in GDP, with the former increasing its share over the period. Since the mid-1980s, the European Union and Japanese trade have shown a decline. This is largely due to relative price changes of energy and raw materials.

An excerpt from “The European Union’s Trade Policies and their Economic Effects” by Peter Hoeller Nathalie Girouard and Alessandra Colecchia.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that Europe had played a significant role in trade liberalisation?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the growth of the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - How does protectionism affect the global economy

How does protectionism affect the global economy?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Problems of economic liberalisation

Trade imbalances
By the late 1960s, the USA had faced economic setbacks, such as persistent trade deficits vis-à-vis Japan and Western Europe that surged to nearly US$40 billion in 1980. Throughout the 1960s, the USA had clashed with Japan over alleged dumping that hurt the profit levels of American businesses.

In particular, the automobile industry was affected by the entry of Japanese automakers which were known for their durability and fuel efficiency. The dominance of the ‘Big Three‘, namely General Motors, Ford and Daimler Chrysler, was being challenged by the Japanese counterparts.

The Nixon administration and economists generally attributed the emerging trade deficit to Vietnam War inflation, lagging productivity gains, an overvalued dollar, and ballooning energy costs.

An excerpt from “Opening America’s Market: U.S. Foreign Trade Policy Since 1776” by Alfred E. Eckes.

Trade Act of 1974
In the early 1970s, the US government contemplated on the use of protectionism to address the economic malaise. The problems were compounded by the first oil shock in 1973 that led to a surge in inflation rates.

The committee complained about the executive’s “soft” response to certain unfair foreign trade practices. “By pursuing a soft trade policy, by refusing to strike swiftly and surely at unfair trade practices, the Executive has actually fostered the proliferation of barriers to international commerce.”

As enacted, the Trade Act of 1974 appeared to represent a major shift away from the philosophy that had guided trade policy since 1934.

An excerpt from “Opening America’s Market: U.S. Foreign Trade Policy Since 1776” by Alfred E. Eckes.

Voluntary Export Restraints
In the early 1980s, the Reagan Administration negotiated a Voluntary Export Restraint (VER) with Japan to limit the number of Japanese automobile exports. The restriction was meant to ease the competition that local car producers were facing at that time. As intended, the VER had succeeded in preventing the potential collapse of the automobile industry in the USA.

By 1985, Honda was producing over 150,00 cars in Marysville, Ohio, and Nissan had started operations in Tennessee. In the years that immediately followed, Toyota, Mazda, and Mitsubishi followed suit. […] Finally, by the early 1980s, the surge in imported automobiles from Japan that occurred in the mid- and late 1970s had aged such that the demand for after market parts for Japanese cars was now increasing.

An excerpt from “The Effects of U.S. Trade Protection and Promotion Policies” by Robert C. Feenstra

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the economic problems in the 1970s and 1980s were the result of US policies?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the problems of the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What are the Seven Sisters Oil Companies - Global Economy Notes

What are the Seven Sisters Oil Companies?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Reasons for growth of the global economy

Learn more about the history of oil to understand its impacts on the global economy [Video by Geo History]

What are the ‘Seven Sisters’?
It refers to a group of integrated international oil companies that dominated the global oil markets from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s. In the 1950s, the head of the Italian state-owned company Eni Enrico Mattei dubbed these companies as the ‘Seven Sisters’.

There were seven members:

  • Anglo-Iranian Oil Company
  • Gulf Oil
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Standard Oil Company of California
  • Standard Oil Company of New Jersey
  • Standard Oil Company of New York
  • Toxaco

Some of these members took on more familiar names, partly due to mergers. For instance, Gulf Oil and Texaco are part of Chevron. Notably, among these companies, most were owned by the Americans, including the well-known Rockefeller (Standard Oil).

By 1949, they occupied 82% of the discovered oil reserves outside the United States. The main role of the Seven Sisters was to keep oil prices stable so as to prevent the problematic ‘price collapse’ that frequently haunted the oil industry.

Price setting
The Seven Sisters established a system to ascertain the pricing of crude oil. Between the 1920 and the early 1970s, there were two markets: the US and the non-US. In the US, crude oil prices were set in free markets.

Outside the US, major oil producers had greater influence on production, which affects supply. Producers used a ‘basing point’ price system to prevent the occurrence of price wars.

The goal of the basing point price system was to discourage cheating through transparency and to prevent price wars. The cement and steel industries had operated similar systems. The bane of cartels, after all, had been cheating by members tempted to illicitly sell below the price established by the cartel but still high enough to earn the clandestine seller a juicy profit. Since the base price was published for all to see and freight charges were jointly agreed, all producers could be confident they weren’t being undercut by a rival.

An excerpt from “Crude Volatility: The History and the Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices” by Robert McNally.

A new age: Enter OPEC
In the Middle East, governments in oil-rich countries began to organise themselves.

In April 1951, the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh nationalised the nation’s oil assets, angering the owners of British Petroleum (BP). In retaliation, the Seven Sister members boycotted Iranian oil exports, forcing its output to fall to almost zero. In August 1953, Mossadegh was overthrown, resulting in the reversal of the nationalisation policies.

In 1958, two anti-Western uprising took place in Iraq and Venezuela, eventually leading to the diminished influence of the Seven Sisters in the global crude oil industry. In January 1958, a revolution had toppled the military regime under General Pérez Jiménez. The new Venezuelan government requested a lawyer Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo (later known as the ‘Father of OPEC’) to form a national oil company. In six months later, Iraqi forces led a military coup against King Faisal II and the pro-Western Nuri al-Said.

In September 1960, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia gathered in Baghdad and set up the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). By then, OPEC had occupied more than four-fifths of the world’s oil exports.

Libya made the first move to challenge the dominance of the Seven Sisters. In September 1969, a military coup against King Idris I resulted in the rise of the leader Muammar Qaddafi. Qaddafi successfully demanded a hike in the per barrel price of oil. Subsequently, other OPEC members followed suit, setting off a frenzy.

Fearful of being picked off one by one, the seven majors, Total, and eight independents banded together in a united front to bargain with OPEC.

[…] The Shah played on western officials and companies’ fears, warning the former that if oil companies resisted, “the entire Gulf would be shutdown and no oil would flow,” and admonishing that the “all-powerful Six or Seven Sisters have got to open their eyes, and see they they’re living in 1971, and not in 1948 or 1949.” Washington—terrified above all of a supply cut off it no longer had ample spare capacity to offset— sided with the Shah and against oil companies, supporting OPEC’s demand for two regional negotiations.

An excerpt from “Crude Volatility: The History and the Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices” by Robert McNally.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that oil was the most significant factor that influenced the development of the global economy in the post-war years.

Join our JC History Tuition to grasp the topic on the Global Economy, namely the ‘Golden Age of Capitalism’ and the ‘Crisis Decades’. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Online - What is the role of multinational corporations in the global economy - Global Economy Notes

What is the role of multinational corporations in the global economy?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Reasons for growth of the global economy

Find out what are multinational corporations (MNCs) and how they affect host countries. [Video by Mr. Sinn]

What are multinational corporations?
By definition, a multinational corporation (MNC) is a company that operates businesses in two or more countries. In contrast with corporations that operate strictly in their country of origin, MNCs expand their scale of operations to other countries. In the post-WWII period, the United States took the lead in establishing MNCs based in different parts of the world, such as Western Europe and Japan.

The Post-War Years
In the 1950s and 1960s, the United States contributed to nearly half of the world’s manufacturing output. American MNCs made their way to host countries like Great Britain, facilitating the transfer of technology and technical know-how. In return, host countries benefited from job creation and improvement of living standards.

By 1966 US multinationals accounted for more than 80 per cent of sewing machines, typewriters, and color film, more than 60 per cent of the calculating machines, razor blades, breakfast cereals, and spark plugs, and more than 50 per cent of the automobiles made in Britain. More than 80 per cent of the computers sold in West Germany and Italy were produced by American multinationals.

An excerpt from “Transnational Corporations and the Global Economy” by Richard Kozul-Wright and Robert Rowthorn.

The meteoric rise of Western Europe and Japan: New competitors
With the continued American support, economies in Western Europe and Japan recovered quickly. MNCs from these two parts of the world began to secure a foothold in the international landscape. By the 1980s, the American firms acknowledged the remarkable feats of their innovative counterparts in Europe and Japan.

In the 1970s, Japanese electronic multinationals moved their investments into Asia, exporting popular consumer electronics like televisions. Host countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan benefited from the influx of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Similarly, Japanese automakers have gained global recognition due to its fuel-efficiency, even challenging the dominance of veteran American companies like General Motors and Ford.

The oil shocks of 1973 and 1979 increased the demand for more fuel-efficient cars, and the Japanese were well-positioned to capture an initial portion of the U.S. market. The ensuing growth during the 1980’s of foreign competition in the domestic market marked several significant transformations of the domestic automobile industry. Japanese producers priced their automobiles very competitively and consumers placed increasing emphasis on product quality and value in their purchase decisions. By 1990, Japanese firms had captured 33 percent of all U.S. car sales; European firms 5 percent; and Korean companies, 2 percent.

An excerpt from “Monthly Labour Review” by the U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992.

Vehicles of foreign investment and international trade
In addition to the role of governments in advanced economies driving the growth of the world economy, MNCs support FDI flows to accelerate the economic development of different countries. In the 1960s, Third World nations attracted nearly half of the entire world’s FDI. However, the proportion of FDI in developing countries has declined to nearly one-third by the 1970s.

An increasing proportion of world trade occurs within transnational corporations, that is, from one branch or plant of a corporation to another branch in a different country. In 1970, more than a quarter of US manufactured exports were sold by multinational corporations to a majority-owned foreign affiliate.

… Almost all foreign direct investment originates in the developed world. In 1978, the USA alone provided 41.4% of the total stock of accumulated foreign direct investment; Japan 6.8%; and Canada 3.5%. A mere 3.2% derived from developing countries.

An excerpt from “The Golden Age Illusion: Rethinking Postwar Capitalism” by Michael John Webber.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that the multinational corporations were necessary in advancing the growth of the global economy after the Second World War.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about this enriching topic. Our H2 and H1 History Tuition offer online and physical classes to match your learning preferences. Additionally, you will receive concise study notes that explore various themes based on the syllabus requirements. Join our free writing practices to improve your knowledge application skills within a limited time.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is NAFTA and what is its purpose - Global Economy Notes

What is NAFTA and what is its purpose?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Problems of economic liberalisation

Examine the contributions of the NAFTA to the affordability of goods and services [Video by Vox]

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
On 1 January 1994, the NAFTA was signed by three members – the United States, Mexico and Canada. Its purpose was to eliminate tariffs between the signatories, facilitating market integration. Furthermore, the agreement required all parties to support the gradual elimination of trade barriers over a course of fifteen years to enhance cross-border investment and the flow of goods and services.

Before the signing, the Mexican government sought US investment in the wake of the Latin American debt crisis. In June 1990, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and the American President George H. W. Bush announced the creation of a free trade area between the United States and Mexico.

Impacts on involved parties
It turns out that the NAFTA yielded tremendous benefits to the trading partners. NAFTA amounted to a $6 trillion economy with a population of 360 million. By 2004, the NAFTA area expanded to a $12.5 trillion economy.

Wonnacott believes, that in one important way, the NAFTA is superior to treaties like the GATT, which allows developing countries to maintain many of their own barriers to liberalized imports. The NAFTA has effectively told Mexico and other future participants that if they want to participate in the agreement, they must be prepared to remove their own trade barriers.

An excerpt from “Nafta As a Model of Development: The Benefits & Costs of Merging High-And Low-Wage” by Richards S. Belous and Jonathan Lemco.

From the US perspective, the NAFTA was seen as a significant step forward to achieve encourage international trade. The agreement was meant to be a signal to other participating members of the GATT to re-affirm their commitment to achieve freer trade.

I am gratified that, as Vice President Gore and Chief of Staff Mack McLarty announced 2 weeks ago when they met with President Salinas, next year the nations of this hemisphere will gather in an economic summit that will plan how to extend the benefits of trade to the emerging market democracies of all the Americas.

The United States must seek nothing less than a new trading system that benefits all nations through robust commerce but that protects our middle class and gives other nations a chance to grow one, that lifts workers and the environment up without dragging people down, that seeks to ensure that our policies reflect our values.

An excerpt from US President Bill Clinton’s speech on the NAFTA, 8 December 1993.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the USA played a crucial role in the resurgence of trade in the 1990s?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the development of the global economy. Our H2 and H1 History Tuition classes are conducted online to broaden your knowledge of diverse issues and enhance your writing skills.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to learn more.