Posted October 21st, 2011 at 05:56am
The economy of Japan is the third largest in the world after the United States and the People's Republic of China, and ahead of Germany at 4th. According to the International Monetary Fund, the country's per capita GDP?PPP?was at $33,805 or the 24th highest in 2010.Sony VAIO VGN-CR11H/B Battery For three decades from 1960, Japan experienced rapid economic growth, which was referred to as the Japanese post-war economic miracle. With average growth rates of 10% in the 1960s, 5% in the 1970s, and 4% in the 1980s, Japan was able to establish and maintain itself as the world's second largest economy from 1968 until 2010, when it was supplanted by the People's Republic of China.Sony VAIO VGN-CR11S/L Battery However, in the second half of the 1980s, rising stock and real estate prices caused the Japanese economy to overheat in what was later to be known as the Japanese asset price bubble. The economic bubble came to an abrupt end as the Tokyo Stock Exchange crashed in 1990-92 and real estate prices peaked in 1991. Sony VAIO VGN-CR11S/P Battery Growth in Japan throughout the 1990s at 1.5% was slower than growth in other major developed economies, giving rise to the term Lost Decade. The problems of the 1990s may have been exacerbated by domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets.Sony VAIO VGN-CR11S/W Battery With government efforts to revive economic growth throughout the 1990s unsuccessful, Junichiro Koizumi adopted policies to promote exports, effectively raising GDP on an average of 2.1% annually from 2003 to 2007. Subsequently, the global financial crisis and a collapse in domestic demand saw the economy shrink 1.2% in 2008 and 5.0% in 2009.Sony VAIO VGN-CR11Z/R Battery Japan has the world's highest gross sovereign debtamounting at 225% of GDP or US$10.55 trillion. A mountainous, volcanic island country, Japan has inadequate natural resources to support its growing economy and large population.Sony VAIO VGN-CR120E/L Battery Although many kinds of minerals were extracted throughout the country, most mineral resources had to be imported in the postwar era. Local deposits of metal-bearing ores were difficult to process because they were low grade. The nation's large and varied forest resources, which covered 70 percent of the country in the late 1980s, were not utilized extensively.Sony VAIO VGN-CR120E/P Battery Because of political decisions on local, prefectural, and nation levels, Japan decided not to exploit its forest resources for economic gain. Domestic sources only supplied between 25 and 30 percent of the nation's timber needs. Agriculture and fishing were the best developed resources, but only through years of painstaking investment and toil. Sony VAIO VGN-CR120E/R Battery The nation therefore built up the manufacturing and processing industries to convert raw materials imported from abroad. This strategy of economic development necessitated the establishment of a strong economic infrastructure to provide the needed energy, transportation, communications, and technological know-how.Sony VAIO VGN-CR120E/W Battery Deposits of gold, magnesium, and silver meet current industrial demands, but Japan is dependent on foreign sources for many of the minerals essential to modern industry. Iron ore, copper, bauxite, and alumina must be imported, as well as many forest products.Sony VAIO VGN-CR125E/B Battery In 2010 GDP Growth in the final three months was -2.9% but total GDP Growth for 2010 was 4.0%, one of the highest growth rates for about 20 years. But Japan's economy was disrupted in March 2011 due to the earthquake and the effect of the tsunami. GDP contracted by 3.5% in Q1 of 2011. Sony VAIO VGN-CR13/B Battery As Japan's economy has suffered two quarterly contractions in a row, Japan reentered recession. In 2008-09 the economy had contracted 6.4%. However, output is expected to bounce back in the second half of 2011, as supply constraints ease and reconstruction accelerates.Sony VAIO VGN-CR13/L Battery From 1992 up until now Japan has had economic problems with an average GDP growth of 1%-2% growth. 2011 GDP is expected to Contract 0.7%, 2012 GDP Growth is expected to be at 2.9%, according to the OECD.
Economic historyThe economic history of Japan is one of the most studied economies for its spectacular growth in three different periods. Sony VAIO VGN-CR13/P Battery First was the foundation of Edo (in 1603) to whole inland economical developments, second was the Meiji Restoration (in 1868) to be the first non European power, third was after the defeat of World War II (in 1945) when the island nation rose to become the world's second largest economy.Sony VAIO VGN-CR13/R Battery
First contacts with Europe (16th century)Japan was considered as a country immensely rich in precious metals, mainly owing to Marco Polo's accounts of gilded temples and palaces, but also due to the relative abundance of surface ores characteristic of a massive huge volcanic country,Sony VAIO VGN-CR13/W Battery before large-scale deep-mining became possible in Industrial times. Japan was to become a major exporter of copper and silver during the period. Renaissance Japan was also perceived as a sophisticated feudal society with a high culture and a strong pre-industrial technology. It was densely populated and urbanized. Sony VAIO VGN-CR131E/L Battery Prominent European observers of the time seemed to agree that the Japanese "excel not only all the other Oriental peoples, they surpass the Europeans as well" (Alessandro Valignano, 1584, "Historia del Principo y Progresso de la Compania de Jesus en las Indias Orientales).Sony VAIO VGN-CR13G Battery Early European visitors were amazed by the quality of Japanese craftsmanship and metalsmithing. This stems from the fact that Japan itself is rather poor in natural resources found commonly in Europe, especially iron. Thus, the Japanese were famously frugal with their consumable resources; what little they had they used with expert skill.Sony VAIO VGN-CR13G/B Battery The cargo of the first Portuguese ships (usually about 4 smaller-sized ships every year) arriving in Japan almost entirely consisted of Chinese goods (silk, porcelain). The Japanese were very much looking forward to acquiring such goods, but had been prohibited from any contacts with the Emperor of China, as a punishment for Wak? pirate raids. Sony VAIO VGN-CR13G/L Battery The Portuguese (who were called Nanban, lit. Southern Barbarians) therefore found the opportunity to act as intermediaries in Asian trade.
Edo period (1603-1868)The beginning of the Edo period coincides with the last decades of the Nanban trade period, during which intense interaction with European powers, on the economic and religious plane, took place.Sony VAIO VGN-CR13G/P Battery It is at the beginning of the Edo period that Japan built her first ocean-going Western-style warships, such as theSan Juan Bautista, a 500-ton galleon-type ship that transported a Japanese embassy headed by Hasekura Tsunenaga to the Americas, which then continued to Europe. Sony VAIO VGN-CR13G/R Battery Also during that period, the bakufu commissioned around 350 Red Seal Ships, three-masted and armed trade ships, for intra-Asian commerce. Japanese adventurers, such as Yamada Nagamasa, were active throughout Asia. In order to eradicate the influence of Christianization, Japan entered in a period of isolation called sakoku, during which its economy enjoyed stability and mild progress.Sony VAIO VGN-CR13G/W Battery Economic development during the Edo period included urbanization, increased shipping of commodities, a significant expansion of domestic and, initially, foreign commerce, and a diffusion of trade and handicraft industries. The construction trades flourished, along with banking facilities and merchantassociations. Sony VAIO VGN-CR13T/L Battery Increasingly, han authorities oversaw the rising agricultural production and the spread of rural handicrafts. By the mid-eighteenth century, Edo had a population of more than 1 million and Osaka and Kyoto each had more than 400,000 inhabitants. Sony VAIO VGN-CR13T/P Battery Many other castle towns grew as well. Osaka and Kyoto became busy trading and handicraft production centers, while Edo was the center for the supply of food and essential urban consumer goods. Rice was the base of the economy, as the daimyo collected the taxes from the peasants in the form of rice. Sony VAIO VGN-CR13T/R Battery Taxes were high, about 40% of the harvest. The rice was sold at the fudasashi market inEdo. To raise money, the daimyo used forward contracts to sell rice that was not even harvested yet. These contracts were similar to modern futures trading.Sony VAIO VGN-CR13T/W Battery During the period, Japan progressively studied Western sciences and techniques (called rangaku, literally "Dutch studies") through the information and books received through the Dutch traders inDejima. The main areas that were studied included geography, medicine, natural sciences, astronomy, art, languages, Sony VAIO VGN-CR15/B Battery physical sciences such as the study of electrical phenomena, and mechanical sciences as exemplified by the development of Japanese clockwatches, or wadokei, inspired from Western techniques.
Prewar period (1868-1945)Since the mid-19th century, after the Meiji restoration, the country was opened up to Western commerce and influence and Japan has gone through two periods of economic development. Sony VAIO VGN-CR150E/B Battery The first began in earnest in 1868 and extended through to World War II; the second began in 1945 and continued into the mid-1980s. Economic developments of the prewar period began with the "Rich State and Strong Army Policy" by the Meiji government. Sony VAIO VGN-CR190 Battery During the Meiji period (1868-1912), leaders inaugurated a new Western-based education system for all young people, sent thousands of students to the United States and Europe, and hired more than 3,000 Westerners to teach modern science, mathematics, technology, and foreign languages in Japan (Oyatoi gaikokujin). Sony VAIO VGN-CR190E/L Battery The government also built railroads, improved road, and inaugurated a land reform program to prepare the country for further development. To promote industrialization, the government decided that, while it should help private business to allocate resources and to plan, the public sector was best equipped to stimulate economic growth.Sony VAIO VGN-CR190E/P Battery The greatest role of government was to help provide the economic conditions in which business could flourish. In short, government was to be the guide and business the producer. In the early Meiji period, the government built factories and shipyards that were sold to entrepreneurs at a fraction of their value. Sony VAIO VGN-CR190E/R Battery Many of these businesses grew rapidly into the larger conglomerates. Government emerged as chief promoter of private enterprise, enacting a series of probusiness policies. In the mid 1930s, the Japanese nominal wage rates were 10 times less than the one of the U.S (based on mid-1930s exchange rates), while the price level is estimated to have been about 44% the one of the U.S.Sony VAIO VGN-CR190E/W Battery
Postwar period (1945-present)From the 1960s to the 1980s, overall real economic growth has been called a "miracle": a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s and a 4% average in the 1980s. By the late Eighties, Japan had moved from being a low-wage to a high-wage economy.Sony VAIO VGN-CR19VN/B Battery Growth slowed markedly in the late 1990s also termed the Lost Decade, largely due to the Bank of Japan's failure to cut interest rates quickly enough to counter after-effects of over-investment during the late 1980s. Some economists believe that because the Bank of Japan failed to cut rates quickly enough, Japan entered a liquidity trap. Sony VAIO VGN-CR19XN/B Battery Therefore, to keep its economy afloat, Japan ran massive budget deficits (added trillions in Yen to Japanese financial system) to finance large public works programs. By 1998, Japan's public works projects still could not stimulate demand enough to end the economy's stagnation.Sony VAIO VGN-CR20 Battery In desperation, the Japanese government undertook "structural reform" policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Unfortunately, these policies led Japan into deflation on numerous occasions between 1999 and 2004.Sony VAIO VGN-CR21/B Battery In his 1998 paper, Japan's Trap, Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman argued that based on a number of models, Japan had a new option. Krugman's plan called for a rise in inflation expectations to, in effect, cut long-term interest rates and promote spending.Sony VAIO VGN-CR21E/L Battery Japan used another technique, somewhat based on Krugman's, called Quantitative easing. As opposed to flooding the money supply with newly printed money, the Bank of Japan expanded the money supply internally to raise expectations of inflation. Initially, the policy failed to induce any growth, but it eventually began to affect inflationary expectations. Sony VAIO VGN-CR21E/P Battery By late 2005, the economy finally began what seems to be a sustained recovery. GDP growth for that year was 2.8%, with an annualized fourth quarter expansion of 5.5%, surpassing the growth rates of the US and European Union during the same period. Sony VAIO VGN-CR21E/W Battery Unlike previous recovery trends, domestic consumption has been the dominant factor of growth. Despite having interest rates down near zero for a long period of time, the Quantitative easing strategy did not succeed in stopping price deflation.Sony VAIO VGN-CR21S/L Battery This led some economists, such as Paul Krugman, and some Japanese politicians, to speak of deliberately causing hyperinflation.In July 2006, the zero-rate policy was ended. In 2008, the Japanese Central Bank still has the lowest interest rates in the developed world, deflation has still not been eliminated and the Nikkei 225 has fallen over approximately 50% (between June 2007 and December 2008).Sony VAIO VGN-CR21S/P Battery The Economist has suggested that improvements to bankruptcy law, land transfer law, and tax laws will aid Japan's economy. In recent years, Japan has been the top export market for almost 15 trading nations worldwide.Sony VAIO VGN-CR21S/W Battery
InfrastructureAs of 2005, one half of energy in Japan is produced from petroleum, a fifth from coal, and 14% from natural gas. Nuclear power in Japan makes a quarter of electricity production and Japan would like to double it in the next decades.Sony VAIO VGN-CR21Z/N Battery Japan's road spending has been large.The 1.2 million kilometers of paved road are the main means of transportation.Japan has left-hand traffic. A single network of speed, divided, limited-access toll roads connects major cities and are operated by toll-collecting enterprises. Sony VAIO VGN-CR21Z/R Battery New and used cars are inexpensive. Car ownership fees and fuel levies are used to promote energy-efficiency. Dozens of Japanese railway companies compete in regional and local passenger transportation markets; for instance, 7 JR enterprises, Kintetsu Corporation,Seibu Railway, and Keio Corporation. Sony VAIO VGN-CR220E/R Battery Often, strategies of these enterprises contain real estate or department stores next to stations. Some 250 high-speedShinkansen trains connect major cities. All trains are known for punctuality. There are 176 airports and flying is a popular way to travel between cities. Sony VAIO VGN-CR23/B Battery The largest domestic airport, Tokyo International Airport, is Asia's busiest airport. The largest international gateways are Narita International Airport (Tokyo area), Kansai International Airport (Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto area), and Ch?bu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya area). The largest ports include Nagoya Port.Sony VAIO VGN-CR23/L Battery Given its heavy dependence on imported energy, Japan has aimed to diversify its sources. Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, Japan has reduced dependence on petroleum as a source of energy from more than 75% in 1973 to about 57% at present. Other important energy sources are coal, liquefied natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower.Sony VAIO VGN-CR23/N Battery Demand for oil is also dampened by higher government taxes on automobile engines over 2000 cc, as well as on gasoline itself, currently 54 yen per liter sold retail. Kerosene is also used extensively for home heating in portable heaters, especially farther north. Many taxi companies run their fleets on liquefied gas with tanks in the car trunks. Sony VAIO VGN-CR23/P Battery A recent success towards greater fuel economy was the introduction of mass-produced Hybrid vehicles. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was working on Japan's economic revival, signed a treaty with Saudi Arabia and UAE about the rising prices of oil.Sony VAIO VGN-CR23/R Battery
ServicesJapan's service sector accounts for about three-quarters of its total economic output. Banking, insurance, real estate, retailing, transportation, and telecommunications are all major industries such as Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho, NTT, TEPCO, Nomura, Mitsubishi Estate, Tokio Marine, Mitsui Sumitomo, JR East, Seven & I, and Japan Airlines counting as one of the largest companies in the world. Sony VAIO VGN-CR23/W Battery The Koizumi government set Japan Post, one of the country's largest providers of savings and insurance services for privatization by 2014. The six major keiretsus are the Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Fuyo, Mitsui, Dai-Ichi Kangyo and Sanwa Groups. Japan is home to 326 companies from the Forbes Global 2000 or 16.3% (as of 2006).Sony VAIO VGN-CR240E/B Battery
IndustryJapanese manufacturing is very diversified, with a variety of advanced industries that are highly successful. Industry is concentrated in several regions, in the following order of importance: the Kant? region surrounding Tokyo, especially the prefectures of Chiba,Kanagawa, Saitama and Tokyo (the Keihin industrial region);Sony VAIO VGN-CR240N/B Battery the T?kai region, including Aichi, Gifu, Mie, and Shizuoka prefectures (the Chukyo-Tokai industrial region); Kinki (Kansai), including Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, (the Hanshin industrial region); the southwestern part of Honsh? and northern Shikokuaround the Seto Inland Sea (the Setouchi industrial region);Sony VAIO VGN-CR25G/N Battery and the northern part of Ky?sh? (Kitaky?sh?). In addition, a long narrow belt of industrial centers is found between Tokyo and Fukuoka, established by particular industries, that have developed as mill towns.Sony VAIO VGN-CR290EAL Battery The fields in which Japan enjoys high technological development include consumer electronics, automobile manufacturing, semiconductormanufacturing, optical fibers, optoelectronics, optical media, facsimile and copy machines, and fermentation processes in food and biochemistry.Sony VAIO VGN-CR290EAN Battery
AgricultureOnly 12% of Japan's land is suitable for cultivation. Due to this lack of arable land, a system of terraces is used to farm in small areas. This results in one of the world's highest levels of crop yields per unit area, with an overall agricultural self-sufficiency rate of about 50% on fewer than 56,000 km (14 million acres) cultivated.Sony VAIO VGN-CR290EAP Battery Japan's small agricultural sector, however, is also highly subsidized and protected, with government regulations that favor small-scale cultivation instead of large-scale agriculture as practiced in North America. Imported rice, the most protected crop, is subject to tariffs of 490% and was restricted to a quota of only 7.2% of average rice consumption from 1968 to 1988. Sony VAIO VGN-CR290EAR Battery Imports beyond the quota are unrestricted in legal terms, but subject to a 341 yen per kilogram tariff. This tariff is now estimated at 490%, but the rate will soar to a massive 778% under new calculation rules to be introduced as part of the Doha Round. Sony VAIO VGN-CR290EAW Battery Although Japan is usually self-sufficient in rice (except for its use in making rice crackers and processed foods) and wheat, the country must import about 50% of its requirements of other grain and fodder crops and relies on imports for most of its supply of meat. Sony VAIO VGN-CR29XN/B Battery Japan imports large quantities of wheat,sorghum, and soybeans, primarily from the United States. Japan is the largest market for EU agricultural exports. Apples are also grown, mostly in Tohokuand Hokkaid?; Pears and Oranges are mainly grown in Shikoku and in Ky?sh?. Sony VAIO VGN-CR305E/RC Battery Pears and oranges were first introduced by Dutch traders, in Nagasaki in the late 18th century.
FisheryJapan ranked second in the world behind the People's Republic of China in tonnage of fish caught 11.9 million tons in 1989, up slightly from 11.1 million tons in 1980. Sony VAIO VGN-CR31S/D Battery After the 1973 energy crisis, deep-sea fishing in Japan declined, with the annual catch in the 1980s averaging 2 million tons. Offshore fisheries accounted for an average of 50 % of the nation's total fish catches in the late 1980s although they experienced repeated ups and downs during that period.Sony VAIO VGN-CR323/W Battery Coastal fishing by small boats, set nets, or breeding techniques accounts for about one third of the industry's total production, while offshore fishing by medium-sized boats makes up for more than half the total production. Deep-sea fishing from larger vessels makes up the rest.Sony VAIO VGN-CR33 Battery Among the many species of seafood caught are sardines, skipjack tuna, crab, shrimp, salmon, pollock, squid, clams, mackerel, sea bream, saury, tuna and Japanese amberjack. Freshwater fishing takes up about 30% of Japan's fishing industry. Among the species of fish caught in the rivers of Japan are many different types and some freshwater crustaceans.Sony VAIO VGN-CR382 Battery Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch, prompting some claims that Japan's fishing is leading to depletion in fish stocks such astuna. Japan has also sparked controversy by supporting quasi-commercial whaling.Sony VAIO VGN-CR490EBL Battery
Labor forceThe claimed unemployment rate for June 2009 is 5.2% (5.4% male (up 0.1% from May 2009), 4.9% female (up 0.3% from May 2009)).This is regarded as an under-estimate. Even part-time workers with extremely low hours are classified as employed.Sony VAIO VGN-CR490EBN Battery In July 2006, the unemployment rate in Japan was 4.1%, according to the OECD. At the end of February 2009, it stood at 4.4% This seemingly modest rate however understates the situation. According to The Economist, the ratio of job offers to number of applicants has declined to just 0.59, from almost 1 at the start of 2008, while average work hours also declined. Sony VAIO VGN-CR490EBP Battery Average wages also went down by 2.9% over the 12 months ending in February. In 2008, Japan's labor forceconsisted of some 66 million workers 40% of whom were women and was rapidly shrinking. One major long-term concern for the Japanese labor force is a low birthrate. Sony VAIO VGN-CR490EBR Battery In the first half of 2005, the number of deaths in Japan exceeded the number of births, indicating that the decline in population, initially predicted to start in 2007, had already started. While one countermeasure for a declining birthrate would be to remove barriers to immigration, the Japanese government has been reluctant to do so.Sony VAIO VGN-CR490EBT Battery In 1989, the predominantly public sector union confederation, SOHYO (General Council of Trade Unions of Japan), merged with RENGO (Japanese Private Sector Trade Union Confederation) to form the Japanese Trade Union Confederation. Labor union membership is about 12 million.Sony VAIO VGN-CR490EBW Battery
Law and governmentJapan ranks 15th of 183 countries in the Ease of Doing Business Index 2010. Japan has one of the smallest tax rates in the developed world. After deductions, the majority of workers are free from personal income taxes. Value-added tax rate is only 5%, while corporate tax rates are high.Sony VAIO VGN-CR50B/W Battery Shareholder activism is rare despite the fact that the corporate law gives shareholders strong powers over managers. Recently, more shareholders have stood up against managers. The government's liabilities include the second largest public debt of any nation. Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called the situation 'urgent'. Sony VAIO VGN-CR51B/W Battery Japan's central bank has the second largest foreign-exchange reserves after People's Republic of China. Overview Nemawashi (???) in Japanese culture is an informal process of quietly laying the foundation for some proposed change or project, by talking to the people concerned, gathering support and feedback, and so forth. Sony VAIO VGN-CR520E/J Battery It is considered an important element in any major change, before any formal steps are taken, and successful nemawashi enables changes to be carried out with the consent of all sides. Japanese companies are known for management methods such as "The Toyota Way". Kaizen (??, Japanese for "improvement") is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life.Sony VAIO VGN-CR52B/W Battery When applied to the workplace, Kaizen activities continually improve all functions of a business, from manufacturing to management and from the CEO to the assembly line workers.By improving standardized activities and processes, Kaizen aims to eliminate waste (see Lean manufacturing). Sony VAIO VGN-CR590EBL Battery Kaizen was first implemented in several Japanese businesses during the country's recovery after World War II, including Toyota, and has since spread to businesses throughout the world. Ironically, Japanese workers work amongst the most hours per day even though kaizen is supposed to improve all aspects of life.Sony VAIO VGN-CR590EBN Battery Some companies have powerful enterprise unions and shunt?. The Nenko System or Nenko Joretsu as it is called in Japan, is the Japanese system of promoting an employee in order of his or her proximity to retirement. Sony VAIO VGN-CR590EBP Battery The advantage of the system is that it allows older employees to achieve a higher salary level before retirement and that it usually brings more experience to the executive ranks. The disadvantage of the system is that it does not allow new talent to be merged with the experience and those with specialized skills cannot be promoted to the already crowded executive ranks. Sony VAIO VGN-CR590EBR Battery It also does not guarantee or even attempt to bring the "right person for the right job". Relationships between government bureaucrats and companies are often cozy. Amakudari (??? amakudari?, "descent from heaven") is the institutionalised practice where Japanese senior bureaucrats retire to high-profile positions in the private and public sectors. Sony VAIO VGN-CR590EBT Battery The practice is increasingly viewed as corrupt and a drag on unfastening the ties between private sector and state which prevent economic and political reforms. Lifetime employment (shushin koyo) and seniority-based career advancement have been common in the Japanese work environment.Sony VAIO VGN-CR590EBW Battery Recently, Japan has begun to gradually move away from some of these norms. Salaryman (?????? Sarar?man?, salaried man) refers to someone whose income is salary based; particularly those working for corporations. Sony VAIO VGN-CR60B/L Battery Its frequent use by Japanese corporations, and its prevalence in Japanese manga and anime has gradually led to its acceptance in English-speaking countries as a noun for a Japanese white-collar businessman. The word can be found in many books and articles pertaining to Japanese culture. Sony VAIO VGN-CR60B/P Battery Immediately following World War II, becoming a salaryman was viewed as a gateway to a stable, middle-class lifestyle. In modern use, the term carries associations of long working hours, low prestige in the corporate hierarchy, absence of significant sources of income other than salary, wage slavery, and kar?shi. The term salaryman refers almost exclusively to males.Sony VAIO VGN-CR60B/R Battery An office lady, often abbreviated OL (Japanese: ???? ?eru), is a female office worker in Japan who performs generally pink collar tasks such as serving tea and secretarial or clerical work. Like many unmarried Japanese, OLs often live with their parents well into early adulthood. Sony VAIO VGN-CR61B/L Battery Office ladies are usually full-time permanent staff, although the jobs they do usually have little opportunity forpromotion, and there is usually the tacit expectation that they leave their jobs once they get married. Freeter (????? fur?t??) (other spellings below) is a Japanese expression for people between the age of 15 and 34 who lack full time employment or are unemployed, excluding homemakers and students. Sony VAIO VGN-CR61B/N Battery They may also be described as underemployed or freelance workers. These people do not start a career after high school or university but instead usually live as parasite singles with their parents and earn some money with low skilled and low paid jobs.Sony VAIO VGN-CR61B/P Battery The low income makes it difficult for freeters to start a family, and the lack of qualifications makes it difficult to start a career at a later point in life. Kar?shi (??? kar?shi?), which can be translated quite literally from Japanese as "death from overwork", is occupational sudden death. The major medical causes of kar?shi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress.Sony VAIO VGN-CR61B/R Battery S?kaiya (??? s?kaiya?), (sometimes also translated as corporate bouncers, meeting-men, or corporate blackmailers) are a form of specialized racketeer unique to Japan, and often associated with the yakuza that extort money from or blackmail companies by threatening to publicly humiliate companies and their management, usually in their annual meeting (?? s?kai?).Sony VAIO VGN-CR62B/L Battery Sarakin (????) is a Japanese term for moneylender, or loan shark. It is a contraction of the Japanese words for salaryman and cash. Around 14 million people, or 10% of the Japanese population, have borrowed from a sarakin. In total, there are about 10,000 firms (down from 30,000 a decade ago); however, the top seven firms make up 70% of the market. Sony VAIO VGN-CR62B/N Battery The value of outstanding loans totals $100 billion. The biggest sarakin are publicly traded and often allied with big banks. The first "Western-style" department store in Japan was Mitsukoshi, founded in 1904, which has its root as a kimono store called Echigoya from 1673. Sony VAIO VGN-CR62B/P Battery When the roots are considered, however,Matsuzakaya has an even longer history, dated from 1611. The kimono store changed to a department store in 1910. In 1924, Matsuzakaya store in Ginza allowed street shoes to be worn indoors, something innovative at the time. Sony VAIO VGN-CR62B/R Battery These former kimono shop department stores dominated the market in its earlier history. They sold, or rather displayed, luxurious products, which contributed for their sophisticated atmospheres. Another origin of Japanese department store is that from railway company.Sony VAIO VGN-CR70B/W Battery There have been many private railway operators in the nation, and from 1920s, they started to build department stores directly linked to their lines' termini. Seibu and Hankyu are the typical examples of this type. From the 1980s onwards, Japanese department stores face fierce competition from supermarkets and convenience stores, gradually losing their presences. Sony VAIO VGN-CR71B/W Battery Still, dep?to are bastions of several aspects of cultural conservatism in the country. Gift certificates for prestigious department stores are frequently given as formal presents in Japan. Department stores in Japan generally offer a wide range of services and can include foreign exchange, travel reservations, ticket sales for local concerts and other events.Sony VAIO VGN-CR72B/W Battery
KeiretsuA keiretsu (???, lit. system or series) is a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings. It is a type of business group. The prototypical keiretsu are those which appeared in Japan during the "economic miracle" following World War II.Sony VAIO VGN-CR90HS Battery Before Japan's surrender, Japanese industry was controlled by large family-controlled vertical monopolies called zaibatsu. TheAllies dismantled the zaibatsu in the late 1940s, but the companies formed from the dismantling of the zaibatsu were reintegrated. Sony VAIO VGN-CR90NS Battery The dispersed corporations were re-interlinked through share purchases to form horizontally-integrated alliances across many industries. Where possible, keiretsu companies would also supply one another, making the alliances vertically integrated as well. Sony VAIO VGN-CR90S Battery In this period, official government policy promoted the creation of robust trade corporations which could withstand heavy pressures from intensified world trade competition. The major keiretsu were each centered around one bank, which lent money to the keiretsu's member companies and held equity positions in the companies.Sony VAIO VGN-CR92HS Battery Each central bank had great control over the companies in the keiretsu and acted as a monitoring entity and as an emergency bail-out entity. One effect of this structure was to minimize the presence of hostile takeovers in Japan, because no entities could challenge the power of the banks.Sony VAIO VGN-CR92NS Battery There are two types of keiretsu: vertical and horizontal. Vertical keiretsu illustrates the organization and relationships within a company (for example all factors of production of a certain product will be connected), while a horizontal keiretsu shows relationships between entities and industries, Sony VAIO VGN-CR92S Battery normally centered around a bank and trading company. Both are complexly woven together and self-sustain each other. The Japanese recession in the 1990s had profound effects on the keiretsu. Many of the largest banks were hit hard by bad loan portfolios and forced to merge or go out of business. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/Q Battery This had the effect of blurring the lines between the keiretsu: Sumitomo Bank and Mitsui Bank, for instance, became Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in 2001, while Sanwa Bank (the banker for the Hankyu-Toho Group) became part of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/R Battery Additionally, many companies from outside the keiretsu system, such as Sony, began outperforming their counterparts within the system. Generally, these causes gave rise to a strong notion in the business community that the old keiretsu system was not an effective business model, and led to an overall loosening of keiretsu alliances. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/W Battery While the keiretsu still exist, they are not as centralized or integrated as they were before the 1990s. This, in turn, has led to a growing corporate acquisition industry in Japan, as companies are no longer able to be easily "bailed out" by their banks, as well as rising derivative litigation by more independent shareholders.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery
Current economic issuesThe Koizumi administration, which held office until 2006, enacted or attempted to pass (sometimes with failure) major privatization and foreign-investment laws intended to help stimulate Japan's economy.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery Although the effectiveness of these laws is still ambiguous, the economy has begun to respond, but Japan's aging population is expected to place further strain on growth in the near future. Keynesian economists tend to claim that Japan's economy is far stronger than generally believed.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery Some mainstream economists acknowledge that Japan, which unlike most developed countries has maintained its industrial base, and has vast capital reserves, currently has a strong economic outlook.
Posted October 19th, 2011 at 03:18am
Just how long the trajectory could continue, however, remained unclear. Sony VAIO VGN-Z21VN/X Battery According to the 11th five-year plan, China needed to sustain an annual growth rates of 8% for the foreseeable future. Only with such levels of growth, the leadership argued, could China continue to develop its industrial prowess, raise its citizen's standard of living, and redress the inequalities that were cropping up across the country. Sony VAIO VGN-Z21WN/B Battery Yet no country had ever before maintained the kind of growth that China was predicting. Moreover, China had to some extent already undergone the easier parts of development. In the 1980s, it had transformed its vast and inefficient agricultural sector, freeing its peasants from the confines of central planning and winning them to the cause of reform. Sony VAIO VGN-Z21XN Battery In the 1990s, it had likewise started to restructure its stagnant industrial sector, wooing foreign investors for the first time. These policies had catalysed the country's phenomenal growth. Instead, China had to take what many regarded as the final step toward the market, liberalizing the banking sector and launching the beginnings of a real capital market.Sony VAIO VGN-Z21ZN/X Battery This step, however, would not be easy. As of 2004, China's state-owned enterprises were still only partially reorganized, and its banks were dealing with the burden of over $205 billion (1.7 trillion RMB) in non-performing loans, monies that had little chance of ever being repaid. Sony VAIO VGN-Z25 Battery The country had a floating exchange rate, and strict controls on both the current and capital accounts.
Regional developmentThese strategies are aimed at the relatively poorer regions in China in an attempt to prevent widening inequalities:Sony VAIO VGN-Z25/B Battery
Key national projectsThe "West-to-East Electricity Transmission," the "West-to-East Gas Transmission," and the "South-North Water Transfer Project" are the government's three key strategic projects, aimed at realigning overall economic development and achieving rational distribution of national resources across China. Sony VAIO VGN-Z27 Battery The "West-to-East Electricity Transmission" project is in full swing, involving hydropower and coal resources in western China and the construction of new power transmission channels to deliver electricity to the east. The southern power grid line, transmitting three million kW from Guizhou to Guangdong, was completed in September 2004. Sony VAIO VGN-Z27/B Battery The "West-to-East Gas Transmission" project includes a 4,000 km trunk pipeline running through 10 provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities, conveying natural gas to cities in northern and eastern China. This was finished in October 2004 and has a design capacity of 12 billion cu m per year.Sony VAIO VGN-Z27TN/X Battery Construction of the "South-to-North Water Diversion" project was officially launched on 27 December 2002 and completion of Phase I is scheduled for 2010; this will relieve serious water shortfall in northern China and realize a rational distribution of the water resources of the Yangtze, Yellow, Huaihe, and Haihe river valleys.Sony VAIO VGN-Z29N Battery
Hong Kong and MacauIn accordance with the One Country, Two Systems policy, the economies of the former European colonies, Hong Kong and Macao, are separate from the rest of the PRC, and each other.Sony VAIO VGN-Z29N/X Battery Both Hong Kong and Macau are free to conduct and engage in economic negotiations with foreign countries, as well as participating as full members in various international economic organizations such as theWorld Customs Organization, the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, often under the names "Hong Kong, China" and "Macao, China".Sony VAIO VGN-Z31MN/B Battery
Macroeconomic trendsIn January 1985, the State Council of China approved to establish a SNA (System of National Accounting), use the gross domestic product (GDP) to measure the national economy. China started the study of theoretical foundation, guiding, and accounting model etc., for establishing a new system of national economic accounting. Sony VAIO VGN-Z31VN/X Battery In 1986, as the first citizen of the People's Republic of China to receive a Ph.D. in economics from an overseas country, Dr. Fengbo Zhang headed Chinese Macroeconomic Research - the key research project of the seventh Five-Year Plan of China, as well as completing and publishing the China GDP data by China's own research.Sony VAIO VGN-Z31WN/B Battery The summary of the above has been included in the book Chinese Macroeconomic Structure and Policy (1988) Editor: Fengbo Zhang, collectively authored by the Research Center of the State Council of China. This is the first GDP data which was published by China.Sony VAIO VGN-Z31ZN/X Battery The State Council of China issued "The notice regarding implementation of System of National Accounting" in August 1992, the SNA system officially is introduced to China, replaced Soviet Union's MPS system, Western economic indicator GDP became China's most important economic indicator (WikiChina: China GDP, The First China GDP).Sony VAIO VGN-Z35 Battery The table below shows the trend of the GDP of China at market prices estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with figures in millions (Chinese yuan). See also. For purchasing power parity comparisons, the US dollar is exchanged at 2.05 CNY only.Sony VAIO VGN-Z35/B Battery
Systemic problemsThe government has in recent years struggled to contain the social strife and environmental damage related to the economy's rapid transformation; collect public receipts due from provinces, businesses, and individuals;Sony VAIO VGN-Z35TN/B Battery reduce corruption and other economic crimes; sustain adequate job growth for tens of millions of workers laid off from state-owned enterprises, migrants, and new entrants to the work force; and keep afloat the large state-owned enterprises, most of which had not participated in the vigorous expansion of the economy and many of which had been losing the ability to pay full wages and pensions.Sony VAIO VGN-Z36GD Battery From 50 to 100 million surplus rural workers were adrift between the villages and the cities, many subsisting through part-time low-paying jobs. Popular resistance, changes in central policy, and loss of authority by rural cadres have weakened China's population control program.Sony VAIO VGN-Z36GD/B Battery Another long-term threat to continued rapid economic growth has been the deterioration in the environment, notably air and water pollution, soil erosion, growing desertification and the steady fall of the water table especially in the north. China also has continued to lose arable land because of erosion and infrastructure development.Sony VAIO VGN-Z36GD/J Battery Other major problems concern the labor force and the pricing system. There is large-scale underemployment in both urban and rural areas, and the fear of the disruptive effects of major, explicitunemployment is strong. The prices of certain key commodities, especially of industrial raw materials and major industrial products, are determined by the state. Sony VAIO VGN-Z36TD/B Battery In most cases, basic price ratios were set in the 1950s and are often irrational in terms of current production capabilities and demands. Over the years, large subsidies were built into the price structure, and these subsidies grew substantially in the late 1970s and 1980s.Sony VAIO VGN-Z36TD/J Battery By the early 1990s these subsidies began to be eliminated, in large part due to China's admission into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, which carried with it requirements for further economic liberalization and deregulation.Sony VAIO VGN-Z37D Battery By 2010, rapidly rising wages and a general increase in the standard of living had put increased energy use on a collision course with the need to reduce carbon emissions in order to control global warming. There were diligent efforts to increase energy efficiency and increase use of renewable sources; Sony VAIO VGN-Z37D/B Battery over 1,000 inefficient power plants had been closed, but projections continued to show a dramatic rise in carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels.
Regulatory environmentThough China's economy has expanded rapidly, its regulatory environment has not kept pace. Sony VAIO VGN-Z37GD Battery Since Deng Xiaoping's open market reforms, the growth of new businesses has outpaced the government's ability to regulate them. This has created a situation where businesses, faced with mounting competition and poor oversight, take drastic measures to increase profit margins, often at the expense ofconsumer safety. Sony VAIO VGN-Z37GD/X Battery This issue became more prominent in 2007, with a number of restrictions being placed on problematic Chinese exports by the United States.
InflationDuring the winter of 2007-2008, inflation ran about 7% on an annual basis, rising to 8.7% in statistics for February 2008, released in March 2008.Sony VAIO VGN-Z39D Battery Shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel developed in the fall of 2007 due to reluctance of refineries to produce fuel at low prices set by the state. These prices were slightly increased in November 2007 with fuel selling for $2.65 a gallon, still slightly below world prices.Sony VAIO VGN-Z39D/X Battery Price controls were in effect on numerous basic products and services, but were ineffective with food, prices of which were rising at an annual rate of 18.2% in November 2007.The problem of inflation has caused concern at the highest levels of the Chinese government. Sony VAIO VGN-Z41MD/B Battery On January 9, 2008, the government of China issued the following statement on its official website: "The Chinese government decided on Wednesday to take further measures to stabilize market prices and increase the severity of punishments for those guilty of driving up prices through hoarding or cheating."Sony VAIO VGN-Z41WD/B Battery Pork is an important part of the Chinese economy with a per capita consumption of a fifth of a pound per day. The worldwide rise in the price of animal feed associated with increased production of ethanol from corn resulted in steep rises in pork prices in China in 2007. Sony VAIO VGN-Z45GD/B Battery Increased cost of production interacted badly with increased demand resulting from rapidly rising wages. The state responded by subsidizing pork prices for students and the urban poor and called for increased production. Release of pork from the nation's strategic pork reserve was considered.Sony VAIO VGN-Z45TD/B Battery By January 2008, the inflation rate rose to 7.1%, which BBC News described as the highest inflation rate since 1997, due to the winter storms that month.China's inflation rate jumped to a new decade high of 8.7 percent in February 2008 after severe winter storms disrupted the economy and worsened food shortages, the government said March 11, 2008.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46GD/B Battery Throughout the summer and fall, however, inflation fell again to a low of 6.6% in October 2008. By November 2010, the inflation rate rose up to 5.1%, driven by a 11.7% increase in food prices year on year. According to the bureau, industrial output went up 13.3 percent.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46GD/U Battery As supplies have run short, prices for fuel and other commodities have risen up.
Labor shortages and rising export costsBy 2005, there were signs of stronger demand for workers being able to choose employment that offered higher wages and better working conditions, Sony VAIO VGN-Z46MD/B Battery enabling some to move away from the restrictive dormitory life and boring marige work that have characterized export industries in provinces such as Guangdong and Fujian. Minimum wages began rising toward the equivalent of 100 U.S. dollars a month as companies scrambled for employees, with some paying as much as $150 a month on average. Sony VAIO VGN-Z46SD/B Battery The labor shortage was partially driven by the demographic trends, as the proportion of people of working age fell as the result of strict family planning. It was reported in The New York Times in April 2006 that labor costs continued to increase and a shortage of unskilled labor had developed with a million or more employees being sought. Sony VAIO VGN-Z46TD/B Battery Operations that relied on cheap labor were contemplating relocations to cities in the interior or to other low-cost countries such as Vietnam or Bangladesh. Many young people were attending college rather than opting for minimum-wage factory work.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46TD/R Battery The demographic shift resulting from the one-child policy continued to reduce the supply of young entry-level workers. Also, government efforts to advance economic development in the interior of the country were beginning to be effective at creating better opportunities there.Sony VAIO VGN-Z47GD/X Battery A follow-up article in The New York Times in late August 2007 reported acceleration of this trend. The minimum wage a young unskilled factory worker could be hired at had increased to $200 with experienced workers commanding more. Sony VAIO VGN-Z48GD/X Battery There was strong demand for young workers willing to work long hours and live in dormitory conditions, while older workers, over forty, were considered unsuitable. Rising wages were being, to a certain extent, offset by increases in productivity, but in 2007, a slight rise in the cost of imports from China was recorded by the United States government: Sony VAIO VGN-Z48TD/X Battery "After falling since its inception in December 2003, the price index for imports from China rose 0.4 percent in July 2007, the largest monthly increase since the index was first published in December 2003. The July increase was the third consecutive monthly advance. Over the past year, import prices from China increased 0.9 percent."Sony VAIO VGN-Z51WG/B Battery By February 2008, concerns were being raised that rising wages and inflation in China were beginning to create inflationary pressure in the United States and Europe, which had depended on cheap prices for consumer goods from China exerting downward pressure on prices.Sony VAIO VGN-Z51XG/B Battery On January 1, 2008, China introduced a new Labor Law, increasing the rights of the workforce, this caused many foreign and private companies, whose operations in China were based on low wages, to move to countries with lower labor costs, like Thailand, Vietnam or Bangladesh. Sony VAIO VGN-Z530N/B Battery In the summer of 2008 the growth in export orders began to fall sharply as the sub-prime crisis in export markets reduced demand in Guangdong province, particularly in toy and textile manufacture. According to Chinese Government sources 20 million jobs in 67,000 factories were reported to have been lost.Sony VAIO VGN-Z540EBB Battery The government initially was happy to see factories close down in labour intensive low wage factories, and the Labor law was seen as a means of helping to eradicate them, but the global financial crisis led to a far more rapid process of private sector collapse in Guangdong than was expected, raising fears of a contagious spread of social unrest.Sony VAIO VGN-Z540NLB Battery In early 2010 a labor shortage developed in coastal areas with many migrant workers not returning after the new year holiday. Wages rose rapidly with temp agencies charging over $1.00 US per hour for factory workers in Guangzhou.Following the strikes in 2010 at Japanese auto plants, the shortage continued with many factories unable to fully staff their factories.Sony VAIO VGN-Z540NMB Battery According to Fan Gang, professor of economics at Beijing University and director of China's National Economic Research Institute, due to the large volume of workers engaged in relatively unremunerative agricultural work there is considerable room for increased nominal wages in China without changing the competitive position of the Chinese export industry for the next few decades. Sony VAIO VGN-Z550N/B Battery Lower wages in other countries may not represent productivity comparable to the increasing productivity of Chinese workers.
Financial and banking systemMost of China's financial institutions are state owned and governed and 98% of banking assets are state owned.Sony VAIO VGN-Z55F Battery The chief instruments of financial and fiscalcontrol are the People's Bank of China (PBC) and the Ministry of Finance, both under the authority of the State Council. The People's Bank of China replaced theCentral Bank of China in 1950 and gradually took over private banks. It fulfills many of the functions of other central and commercial banks.Sony VAIO VGN-Z55TG/B Battery It issues the currency, controls circulation, and plays an important role in disbursing budgetary expenditures. Additionally, it administers the accounts, payments, and receipts of government organizations and other bodies, which enables it to exert thorough supervision over their financial and general performances in consideration to the government's economic plans. Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GG/B Battery The PBC is also responsible for international trade and other overseas transactions. Remittances by overseas Chinese are managed by the Bank of China (BOC), which has a number of branch offices in several countries.Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GG/E Battery Other financial institutions that are crucial, include the China Development Bank (CDB), which funds economic development and directs foreign investment; theAgricultural Bank of China (ABC), which provides for the agricultural sector; the China Construction Bank (CCB),Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GGX Battery which is responsible for capitalizing a portion of overall investment and for providing capital funds for certain industrial and construction enterprises; and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which conducts ordinary commercial transactions and acts as a savings bank for the public.Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/B Battery China's economic reforms greatly increased the economic role of the banking system. In theory any enterprises or individuals can go to the banks to obtain loans outside the state plan, in practice 75% of state bank loans go to State Owned Enterprises. (SOEs) Even though nearly all investment capital was previously provided on a grant basis according to the state plan, Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/E Battery policy has since the start of the reform shifted to a loan basis through the various state-directed financial institutions. It is estimated that, as of 2011, 14 trillion renminbi in loans were outstanding to local governments. Much of that total is believed by outside observers to be nonperforming.Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/R Battery Increasing amounts of funds are made available through the banks for economic and commercial purposes. Foreign sources of capital have also increased. China has received loans from the World Bank and several United Nations programs, as well as from countries (particularly Japan) and, to a lesser extent, commercial banks. Sony VAIO VGN-Z570N/B Battery Hong Kong has been a major conduit of this investment, as well as a source itself. With two stock exchanges (Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange), mainland China's stock market had a market value of $1 trillion by January 2007, which became the third largest stock market in Asia, after Japan and Hong Kong.Sony VAIO VGN-Z57G Battery It is estimated to be the world's third largest by 2016.
Currency systemThe renminbi ("people's currency") is the currency of China, denominated as the yuan, subdivided into 10 jiao or 100 fen. The renminbi is issued by the People's Bank of China, the monetary authority of the PRC.Sony VAIO VGN-Z57GG/X Battery The ISO 4217 abbreviation is CNY, although also commonly abbreviated as "RMB". The Latinised symbol is . The yuan is generally considered by outside observers to be undervalued by about 30-40%. The renminbi is held in a floating exchange-rate system managed primarily against the US dollar.Sony VAIO VGN-Z57GGX Battery On July 21, 2005, China revalued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar and, since then has moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies and has allowed the renminbi to fluctuate at a daily rate of up to half a percent.Sony VAIO VGN-Z57TG/X Battery The rate of exchange (Chinese yuan per US$1) on July 31, 2008, was RMB 6.846, in mid-2007 was RMB 7.45, while in early 2006 was RMB 8.07:US $1=8.2793 yuan (January 2000), 8.2783 (1999), 8.2790 (1998), 8.2898 (1997), 8.3142 (1996), 8.3514 (1995).Sony VAIO VGN-Z58GG/X Battery There is a complex relationship between China's balance of trade, inflation, measured by the consumer price index and the value of its currency. Despite allowing the value of the yuan to "float", China'scentral bank has decisive ability to control its value with relationship to other currencies.Sony VAIO VGN-Z58GGX Battery Inflation in 2007, reflecting sharply rising prices for meat and fuel, is probably related to the worldwide rise in commodities used as animal feed or as fuel. Thus rapid rises in the value of the yuan permitted in December 2007 are possibly related to efforts to mitigate inflation by permitting the renminbi to be worth more.Sony VAIO VGN-Z590NJB Battery
Tax systemFrom the 1950s to the 1980s, the central government's revenues derived chiefly from the profits of the state enterprises, which were remitted to the state. Some government revenues also came from taxes, of which the most important was the general industrial and commercial tax.Sony VAIO VGN-Z590UAB Battery The trend, however, has been for remitted profits of the state enterprises to be replaced with taxes on those profits. Initially, this tax system was adjusted so as to allow for differences in thecapitalization and pricing situations of various firms, but more-uniform tax schedules were introduced in the early 1990s. Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B Battery In addition, personal income and value-added taxes were implemented at that time.
AgricultureChina is the world's largest producer and consumer of agricultural products - and some 300 million Chinese farm workers are in the industry, mostly laboring on pieces of land about the size of U.S farms. Sony VAIO VGN-Z59G Battery Virtually all arable land is used for food crops. China is the world's largest producer of rice and is among the principal sources of wheat, corn (maize), tobacco, soybeans, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, oilseed, pork, and fish.Sony VAIO VGN-Z620D Battery Major non-food crops, including cotton, other fibers, and oilseeds, furnish China with a small proportion of its foreign trade revenue. Agricultural exports, such as vegetables and fruits, fish and shellfish, grain and meat products, are exported to Hong Kong. Sony VAIO VGN-Z620N/B Battery Yields are high because of intensive cultivation, for example, China's cropland area is only 75% of the U.S. total, but China still produces about 30% more crops and livestock than the United States. China hopes to further increase agricultural production through improved plant stocks, fertilizers, and technology.Sony VAIO VGN-Z650N/B Battery According to the government statistics issued in 2005, after a drop in the yield of farm crops in 2000, output has been increasing annually. According to the United Nations World Food Program, in 2003, China fed 20 percent of the world's population with only 7 percent of the world's arable land.Sony VAIO VGN-Z670N/B Battery China ranks first worldwide in farm output, and, as a result of topographic and climatic factors, only about 10-15 percent of the total land area is suitable for cultivation. Of this, slightly more than half is unirrigated, and the remainder is divided roughly equally between paddy fieldsand irrigated areas.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690CTO Battery Nevertheless, about 60 percent of the population lives in the rural areas, and until the 1980s a high percentage of them made their living directly from farming. Since then, many have been encouraged to leave the fields and pursue other activities, such as light manufacturing, commerce, and transportation;Sony VAIO VGN-Z690NAX Battery and by the mid-1980s farming accounted for less than half of the value of rural output. Today, agriculture contributes only 13% of China's GDP. Animal husbandry constitutes the second most important component of agricultural production. Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PAB Battery China is the world's leading producer of pigs, chickens, and eggs, and it also has sizable herds of sheep and cattle. Since the mid-1970s, greater emphasis has been placed on increasing the livestock output. China has a long tradition of ocean and freshwater fishing and of aquaculture.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PCB Battery Pond raising has always been important and has been increasingly emphasized to supplement coastal and inland fisheries threatened by overfishing and to provide such valuable export commodities as prawns. Environmental problems such as floods, drought, and erosion pose serious threats to farming in many parts of the country.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PDB Battery The wholesale destruction of forests gave way to an energetic reforestationprogram that proved inadequate, and forest resources are still fairly meagre. The principal forests are found in the Qinling Mountains and the central mountains and on the Sichuan-Yunnan plateau. Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PEB Battery Because they are inaccessible, the Qinling forests are not worked extensively, and much of the country's timber comes from Heilongjiang, Jilin, Sichuan, and Yunnan. Western China, comprising Tibet, Xinjiang, and Qinghai, has little agricultural significance except for areas of floriculture and cattle raising. Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PFB Battery Rice, China's most important crop, is dominant in the southern provinces and many of the farms here yield two harvests a year. In the north, wheat is of the greatest importance, while in central China wheat and rice vie with each other for the top place.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690YAD Battery Millet and kaoliang (a variety of grain sorghum) are grown mainly in the northeast and some central provinces, which, together with some northern areas, also provide considerable quantities of barley. Most of the soybean crop is derived from the north and the northeast;Sony VAIO VGN-Z691Y/B Battery corn (maize) is grown in the center and the north, while tea comes mainly from the warm and humid hilly areas of the south. Cotton is grown extensively in the central provinces, but it is also found to a lesser extent in the southeast and in the north. Tobacco comes from the center and parts of the south. Other important crops are potatoes, sugar beets, and oilseeds.Sony VAIO VGN-Z691Y/X Battery There is still a relative lack of agricultural machinery, particularly advanced machinery. For the most part the Chinese peasant or farmer depends on simple, nonmechanized farming implements. Good progress has been made in increasing water conservancy, and about half the cultivated land is under irrigation.Sony VAIO VGN-Z698Y/X Battery In the late 1970s and early 1980s, economic reforms were introduced. First of all this began with the shift of farming work to a system of household responsibility and a phasing out of collectivized agriculture. Later this expanded to include a gradual liberalization of price controls; fiscal decentralization;Sony VAIO VGN-Z699JAB Battery massive privatization of state enterprises, thereby allowing a wide variety of private enterprises in the services and light manufacturing; the foundation of a diversified banking system (but with large amounts of state control); the development of a stock market; and the opening of the economy to increased foreign trade and foreign investment.Sony VAIO VGN-Z70B Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z71JB Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z73FB Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DKX Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DMR Battery
Posted October 19th, 2011 at 03:14am
The People's Republic of China (PRC) ranks since 2010 as the world's second largest economy after the United States. It has been the world'sfastest-growing major economy, with consistent growth rates of around 10% over the past 30 years. China is also the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods in the world.Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/T Battery The country's per capita GDP (PPP) was $7,544 (International Monetary Fund, 94th in the world) in 2010. The provinces in the coastal regions of China tend to be more industrialized, while regions in the hinterland are less developed. As China's economic importance has grown, so has attention to the structure and health of that economy.Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/W Battery
OverviewIn the modern era, China's influence in the world economy was minimal until the late 1980s. At that time, economic reforms initiated after 1978began to generate significant and steady growth in investment, consumption and standards of living.Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ Battery China now participates extensively in the world market and mostly state owned but also some private sector companies play a major role in the economy. Since 1978 hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty - yet hundred of millions of rural population as well as millions of migrant workers remain unattended: Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/P Battery According to China's official statistics, the poverty rate fell from 53% in 1981 to 2.5% in 2005. However, in 2009, as many as 150 million Chinese were living on less than $1.25 a day  The infant mortality rate fell by 39.5% between 1990 and 2005, and maternal mortality by 41.1%.Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/W Battery Access to telephones during the period rose more than 94-fold, to 57.1%.as did in many developing countries such as Peru or Nigeria. In the 1949 revolution, China's economic system was officially made into a communist system. Since the wide-ranging reforms of the 1980s and afterwards, many scholars assert that China can be defined as one of the leading examples of state capitalism today. Sony VAIO VPCW11AXJ Battery China has generally implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion. As its role in world trade has steadily grown, its importance to the international economy has also increased apace. China's foreign trade has grown faster than its GDP for the past 25 years.Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/P Battery China's growth comes both from huge state investment in infrastructure and heavy industry and from private sector expansion in light industry instead of just exports, whose role in the economy appears to have been significantly overestimated.Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/T Battery The smaller but highly concentrated public sector, dominated by 159 large SOEs, provided key inputs from utilities, heavy industries, and energy resources that facilitated private sector growth and drove investment, the foundation of national growth.Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/W Battery In 2008 thousands of private companies closed down and the government announced plans to expand the public sector to take up the slack caused by the global financial crisis.In 2010, there were approximately 10 million small businesses in China.Sony VAIO VPCW121AX Battery The PRC government's decision to permit China to be used by multinational corporations as an export platform has made the country a major competitor to other Asian export-led economies, such as South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia. China has emphasized raising personal income and consumption and introducing new management systems to help increase productivity. Sony VAIO VPCW126AG Battery The government has also focused on foreign trade as a major vehicle for economic growth. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Some economists believe that Chinese economic growth has been in fact understated during much of the 1990s and early 2000s, Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/P Battery failing to fully factor in the growth driven by the private sector and that the extent at which China is dependent on exports is exaggerated despite the lack of full convertibility of the RMB. Nevertheless, key bottlenecks continue to constrain growth.Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/T Battery Available energy is insufficient to run at fully installed industrial capacity, and the transport system is inadequate to move sufficient quantities of such critical items as coal. The two most important sectors of the economy have traditionally been agriculture and industry, which together employ more than 70 percent of the labor force and produce more than 60 percent of GDP. Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/W Battery The two sectors have differed in many respects. Technology, labor productivity, andincomes have advanced much more rapidly in industry than in agriculture. Agricultural output has been vulnerable to the effects of weather, while industry has been more directly influenced by the government. Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/WZ Battery The disparities between the two sectors have combined to form an economic-cultural-social gap between the rural and urban areas, which is a major division in Chinese society. China is the world's largest producer of rice and is among the principal sources of wheat, corn (maize), tobacco, soybeans, peanuts (groundnuts), and cotton. Sony VAIO VPCW12AAJ Battery The country is one of the world's largest producers of a number of industrial and mineral products, including cotton cloth, tungsten, and antimony, and is an important producer of cotton yarn, coal, crude oil, and a number of other products. Its mineral resources are probably among the richest in the world but are only partially developed.Sony VAIO VPCW12AKJ Battery China has acquired highly sophisticated foreign production facilities and through "localization policies" also built a number of advanced engineering plants capable of manufacturing an increasing range of sophisticated equipment, including nuclear weapons and satellites, but most of its industrial output still comes from relatively ill-equipped factories. Sony VAIO VPCW12AVJ Battery The technological level and quality standards of its industry as a whole are still disastrous,notwithstanding a marked change since 2000, spurred in part by foreign investment. A report by UBS in 2009 concluded that China has experienced total factor productivity growth of 4 per cent per year since 1990, one of the fastest improvements in world economic history.Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/P Battery China's increasing integration with the international economy and its growing efforts to use market forces to govern the domestic allocation of goods have exacerbated this problem. Over the years, largesubsidies were built into the price structure, and these subsidies grew substantially in the late 1970s and 1980s.Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/T Battery By the early 1990s these subsidies began to be eliminated, in large part due to China's admission into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, which carried with it requirements for further economic liberalization and deregulation. China's ongoing economic transformation has had a profound impact not only on China but on the world. Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/W Battery The market-oriented reforms China has implemented over the past two decades have unleashed individual initiative and entrepreneurship, whilst retaining state domination of the economy. Wayne M. Morrison of the Congressional Research Service wrote in 2009 that "Despite the relatively positive outlook for its economy,Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/L Battery China faces a number of difficult challenges that, if not addressed, could undermine its future economic growth and stability. These include pervasive government corruption, an inefficient banking system, over-dependence on exports and fixed investment for growth, the lack of rule of law, severe pollution, and widening income disparities."Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/P Battery Economic consultant David Smick adds that the recent actions by the Chinese government to stimulate their economy have only added to a huge industrial overcapacity and commercial real estate vacancy problems. China is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, together with other emerging economies such as (Botswana) it has also sustained a healthy average growth rates of over 6% per annum for several decades, Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/T Battery China's rapid-fire growth is as longer-lived as the Japanese counterpart in the 1960s to 1980s and is not showing signs of slowing. In China, as in other developing countries and emerging economies, growth has occurred across a vast population (nearly 1.3 billion), thus, liberating millions of people from poverty and unlocking massive segments of demand. Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/W Battery In 2010, China was largest consumer of energy and accounted for 20.3% of the global total. China also consumed 48% of the world's coal in 2010. As of 2011, China consumed 54% of the world's production ofcement.
1949-1978In 1949, China followed a socialist heavy industry development strategy, or the "Big Push" strategy. Sony VAIO VPCW215AG/L Battery Consumption was reduced while rapid industrialization was given high priority. The government took control of a large part of the economy and redirected resources into building new factories. Entire new industries were arbitrarly created. An ill effort of creating economic growth was started. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC Battery Tight control of budget and money supply reduced inflation by the end of 1950. Though most of it was done at the expense of suppressing the private sector of small to big businesses by the Three-anti/five-anti campaigns between 1951 to 1952. The campaigns were notorious for being anti-capitalist, and imposed charges that allowed the government to punish capitalists with severe fines.Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/L Battery In the beginning of the Communist party's rule, the leaders of the party had agreed that for a nation such as China, which does not have any heavy industry and minimal secondary production, capitalism is to be utilized to help the building of the "New China" and finally merged into communism.Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/P Battery The proclamations of the PRC instantly transformed Mao Zedong and his followers from revolutionaries to administrators. With little experience in peacetime government or economic management, they faced two overwhelming tasks to organize and administer the world's largest society and to rebuild an economy devastated by decades of war. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/T Battery Both tasks failed within the first five years of communist rule. Membership in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) grew rapidly during this time, and, in a structure reminiscent of the old imperial bureaucracy, a hierarchy of party organs was extended from the top echelons of CCP down to more than one million branch committee established in every village and township, factory, school, and government agency. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/W Battery The new government nationalized the country's banking system and brought all currency and credit under centralized control. It regulated prices by establishing trade associations and boosted government revenues by collecting agricultural taxes. Sony VAIO VPCW218JC Battery By the mid-1950s, the communists had ruined the country's railroad and highway systems, barely brought the agricultural and industrial production to their prewar levels, by bringing the bulk of China's industry and commerce under the direct control of the state.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/L Battery Meanwhile, in fulfillment of their revolutionary promise, China's communist leaders completed land reform within two years of coming to power. Party cadres visited local villages and incited the peasants in public "struggle meetings" to eliminate their landlords and redistribute their land and other possessions to peasant households. Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/P Battery Shortly thereafter, the ERP encouraged rural households to formmutual aid teams, and then the agricultural producers' cooperatives which the government saw as the best means for increasing agricultural productivity. The devastating result was massive famine and death.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/T Battery Mao Gando tried in 1958 to push China's economy to new heights. Under his highly touted "Great Leap Forward", agricultural collectives were reorganized into enormous communes where men and women were assigned in military fashion to specific tasks.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/W Battery Peasants were told to stop relying on the family, and instead adopted a system of communal kitchens, mess halls, and nurseries. Wages were calculated along the communist principle of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", and sideline production was banned as incipient capitalism. Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/L Battery All Chinese citizens were urged to boost the country's steel production by establishing "backyard steel furnaces" to help overtake the West. But while Mao believed that the politically directed outpouring of effort by China's vast population would result in economic development and miraculous production increases,Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/P Battery the Great Leap Forward quickly revealed itself as a giant step backwards. Over-ambitious targets were set, falsified production figures were duly reported, and Chinese officials lived in an unreal world of miraculous production increases. Steel output did rise dramatically, but most of the steel was virtually useless. Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/W Battery Even worse, it quickly became apparent that the peasants had made their steel by melting whatever metal they could find. By 1960, agricultural production in the countryside had slowed dangerously, and GNP declined by about one-third. The people were exhausted, and large areas of China were gripped by a devastating famine. Sony VAIO VPCW21AAJ Battery By 1960, the situation had become so grave that not even Mao could ignore it. Quietly and without fanfare, Mao stepped to the sidelines, and pragmatists within the CCP, including Deng Xiaoping, began to do what was necessary to restore incentives and productions.Sony VAIO VPCW21AKJ Battery For the next several years, China experienced a period of relative stability. Agricultural and industrial production returned to normal levels, and labor productivity began to rise. Then, in 1966, Mao reasserted his power and again launched a scheme that nearly brought China to its knees. Sony VAIO VPCW21AVJ Battery Worried lest Deng and other bureaucrats pull China too far from the spirit of its socialist revolution, Mao proclaimed a Cultural Revolution to "put China back on track". Under orders to "Destroy the Four Olds" (old thoughts, culture, customs and habits), universities and schools closed their doors, and students,Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery who became Mao's "Red Guards", were sent throughout the country to make revolution, beating and torturing anyone whose rank or political thinking offended. Intellectuals were cursed as the "stinking ninth class", and any sign of "capitalism", such as wearing a necktie, was enough to condemn someone as a foe of the Communist Party. Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery Deng himself was purged as a "capitalist roader" and sent to work in a tractor factory. By 1969 the country had descended into anarchy, and factions of the Red Guards had begun to fight among themselves. Finally, Mao called upon the army to restore order and sent his young guards to the countryside, where many became an embittered, uneducated, "lost" generation. In 1973, Mao quietly recalled Deng Xiaoping to Beijing.Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery
1978-1990After Mao's death in 1976, power passed quickly to the reform fraction of the CCP, led by Deng Xiaoping. Unlike Mao, Deng was a pragmatic leader, known less of his ideological commitment than his slogan: "Who cares if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches the mice." Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery Once he consolidated his power, he began to put his pragmatic policies to work, determined to bring China back from the devastation that the Cultural Revolution had wrought. Since 1978, China began to make major reforms to its economy. Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery The Chinese leadership adopted a pragmatic perspective on many political and socioeconomic problems, and quickly began to introduce aspects of a capitalist economic system. Political and social stability, economic productivity, and public and consumer welfare were considered paramount and indivisible. Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery In these years, the government emphasized raising personal income and consumption and introducing new management systems to help increase productivity. The government also had focused on foreign trade as a major vehicle for economic growth. Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery In the 1980s, China tried to combine central planning with market-oriented reforms to increase productivity, living standards, and technological quality without exacerbating inflation, unemployment, and budget deficits. Reforms began in the agricultural, industrial, fiscal, financial, banking, price setting, and labor systems.Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery A decision was made in 1978 to permit foreign direct investment in several small "special economic zones" along the coast. The country lacked the legal infrastructure and knowledge of international practices to make this prospect attractive for many foreign businesses, however.Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery In the early 1980s steps were taken to expand the number of areas that could accept foreign investment with a minimum of red tape, and related efforts were made to develop the legal and other infrastructures necessary to make this work well. This additional effort resulted in making 14 coastal cities and three coastal regions "open areas" for foreign investment. Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery All of these places provide favored tax treatment and other advantages for foreign investment. Laws on contracts, patents, and other matters of concern to foreign businesses were also passed in an effort to attract international capital to spur China's development.Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery The largely bureaucratic nature of China's economy, however, posed a number of inherent problems for foreign firms that wanted to operate in the Chinese environment, and China gradually had to add more incentives to attract foreign capital.
Phase One: reform in the countrysideWhen Deng came into power, China's vast peasantry was still organized in communes, work brigades, and production teams.Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery Procurement prices were too low to cover even production costs, and ceilings were set on the amount of grain that producers could keep for consumption. Deng changed all that. He allowed farmers to produce on their own and sanctioned the sale of surplus production and other cash crops in newly freed markets. Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery State procurement prices were raised, and prices for many agricultural goods were left to the dictates of the market. Beginning with the poor mountain areas of Anhui and then spreading across the country, Deng and his officials broke up the communes established by Mao and replaced them with a complicated system of leases that eventually brought effective land tenure back to the household level (even though ownership of land remained collective). Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery The Household Responsibility System allowed peasants to lease land for a fixed period from the collective, provided they delivered to the collective a minimum quota of produce, usually basic grain. They could then sell any surplus they produced, either to the state at government procurement prices or on the newly free market. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/G Battery They were also free to retain any profits they might earn. Within a decade, grain production had grown by roughly 30%, and production of cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, and fruit had doubled.
Phase Two: rural industrialization and enterprise reformAs the reforms fueled production increases that surprised even the reformers, Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/L Battery the scale of change grew bolder, and by the mid-1980s, the party leadership had begun the more complicated and politically delicate task of transforming the country's cumbersome system of central planning and state-owned enterprise. Prior to 1978, enterprises were almost all owned by the state in one form or another. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/P Battery At the top of each sector were the State-owned Enterprises (SOEs), answerable to the national government. Below these were other enterprises reporting to provincial, municipal, or county authorities. Private enterprises, meaning family-run shops, were not allowed until after 1978, and even then they were limited to seven employees.Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery China's SOEs were typical of large industrial firms in a centrally planned economy. Inefficient, overstaffed, and with outdated technology, they functioned not only as industrial units but also as social agencies, providing housing, daycare, education, and health care for the workers and their families. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/P Battery The largest enterprises included hundreds of thousands of employees, only a small proportion of whom were directly engaged in production. The update of this system was that Chinese workers could expect both lifetime employment and an extensive, firm-based welfare system-the so-called "iron rice bowl". Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI Battery All welfare entitlements in this system were accounted for as costs of production and were deducted from revenues before the calculation of the profits that were to be remitted to the state. There was no national social security system because none was needed.Sony VAIO VPCZ110 Battery
1990-2000n the 1990s, the Chinese economy continued to grow at a rapid pace, at about 9.5%, accompanied by low inflation. The Asian financial crisis affected China at the margin, mainly through decreased foreign direct investment and a sharp drop in the growth of its exports. Sony VAIO VPCZ110GB/BI Battery However, China had huge reserves, a currency that was not freely convertible, and capital inflows that consisted overwhelmingly of long-term investment. For these reasons it remained largely insulated from the regional crisis and its commitment not to devalue had been a major stabilizing factor for the region. Sony VAIO VPCZ112GD/S Battery However, China faced slowing growth and rising unemployment based on internal problems, including a financial system burdened by huge amounts of bad loans, and massive layoffs stemming from aggressive efforts to reform state-owned enterprises (SOEs).Sony VAIO VPCZ112GX/S Battery Despite China's impressive economic development during the past two decades, reforming the state sector and modernizing the banking systemremained major hurdles. Over half of China's state-owned enterprises were inefficient and reporting losses. Sony VAIO VPCZ114GX/S Battery During the 15th National Communist Party Congress that met in September 1997, President Jiang Zemin announced plans to sell, merge, or close the vast majority of SOEs in his call for increased "non-public ownership" (feigongyou or privatization in euphemistic terms).Sony VAIO VPCZ115 Battery The 9th National People's Congress endorsed the plans at its March 1998 session. In 2000, China claimed success in its three year effort to make the majority of large state owned enterprises (SOEs) profitable.
2000-2010Following the Chinese Communist Party's Third Plenum, held in October 2003, Chinese legislators unveiled several proposed amendments to the state constitution. Sony VAIO VPCZ115FC/B Battery One of the most significant was a proposal to provide protection for private property rights. Legislators also indicated there would be a new emphasis on certain aspects of overall government economic policy, including efforts to reduce unemployment (now in the 8-10% range in urban areas), Sony VAIO VPCZ115FC/S Battery to rebalanceincome distribution between urban and rural regions, and to maintain economic growth while protecting the environment and improving social equity. The National People's Congress approved the amendments when it met in March 2004.Sony VAIO VPCZ116 Battery The Fifth Plenum in October 2005 approved the 11th Five-Year Economic Program (2006-2010) aimed at building a "harmonious society" through more balanced wealth distribution and improved education, medical care, and social security. On March 2006, the National People's Congress approved the 11th Five-Year Program.Sony VAIO VPCZ116GX/S Battery The plan called for a relatively conservative 45% increase in GDP and a 20% reduction in energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of GDP) by 2010. China's economy grew at an average rate of 10% per year during the period 1990-2004, the highest growth rate in the world.Sony VAIO VPCZ117 Battery China's GDP grew 10.0% in 2003, 10.1%, in 2004, and even faster 10.4% in 2005 despite attempts by the government to cool the economy. China's total trade in 2010 surpassed $2.97 trillion, making China the world's second-largest trading nation after the U.S.Sony VAIO VPCZ117FC/B Battery Such high growth is necessary if China is to generate the 15 million jobs needed annually roughly the size of Ecuador or Cambodia to employ new entrants into the national job market. On January 14, 2009, as confirmed by the World Bank the NBS published the revised figures for 2007 fiscal year in which growth happened at 13 percent instead of 11.9 percent (provisional figures). Sony VAIO VPCZ118 Battery China's gross domestic product stood at US$3.38 trillion while Germany's GDP was USD $3.32 trillion for 2007. This made China the world's third largest economy by gross domestic product. Based on these figures, in 2007 China recorded its fastest growth since 1994 when the GDP grew by 13.1 percent. Sony VAIO VPCZ118GC/B Battery China launched its Economic Stimulus Plan to specifically deal with the Global financial crisis of 2008-2009. It has primarily focused on increasing affordable housing, easing credit restrictions for mortgage and SMEs, lower taxes such as those on real estate sales and commodities, pumping more public investment into infrastructure development, such as the rail network, roads and ports. Sony VAIO VPCZ118GX/S Battery By the end of 2009 it appeared that the Chinese economy was showing signs of recovery. At the 2009 Economic Work Conference in December 'managing inflation expectations' was added to the list of economic objectives, suggesting a strong economic upturn and a desire to take steps to manage it. Sony VAIO VPCZ119 Battery
2010-presentBy 2010 it was evident to outside observers such as The New York Times that China was poised to move from export dependency to development of an internal market. Wages were rapidly rising in all areas of the country and Chinese leaders were calling for an increased standard of living.Sony VAIO VPCZ119FJ/S Battery China is the largest creditor nation in the world and owns approximately 20.8% of all foreign-owned US Treasury securities. In 2010, China's GDP was valued at $5.87 trillion, surpassed Japan's $5.47 trillion, and became the world's second largest economy after the U.S.Sony VAIO VPCZ119GC/X Battery China could become the world's largest economy (by nominal GDP) sometime as early as 2020. It has also appeared that Noopolitik and the knowledge economy had become salient interests of the PRC's economic policy across the 2000s, through which the country made clear its move from "Made in China" to "Innovated in China" as notes Adam Segal.Sony VAIO VPCZ119L Battery Idriss Aberkane thus argued "With China's cosmopolitan and highly educated diaspora, it is no surprise that as of 2010, five of the top twenty most visited websites in the world are indexed in Mandarin. They include PRC-born behemoths such as Baidu.com, Taobao.com, and Sina.com.cn, and video sharing Tudou.com, which has gained users in both North America and Europe." Sony VAIO VPCZ119R/B Battery The Institute of Economic Research of Renmin University of China has conducted several studies and released several reports regarding China's economy. "Under the influences of 2009's stimulus policies, the spread of the economic bubble and implementation of the "12th Five-Year Plan", China was at a key stage of steering the economic recovery to stable growth. Sony VAIO VPCZ119R/S Battery While prices increased steadily, China's GDP went back to the high-level growth rate and its economic structure gradually became market-oriented." . The foremost authorities on the Chinese economy -- those within the Chinese think-tanks and government -- give a unique, first-hand perspective.Sony VAIO VPCZ11AFJ Battery Their works, translated into English for a Western audience, are published only through an independent Hong Kong publishing house, www.enrichprofessional.com/home and can be found at academic libraries throughout the world.Sony VAIO VPCZ11AGJ Battery
Government roleSince 1949 the government, under socialist political and economic system, has been responsible for planning and managing the national economy. In the early 1950s, the foreign trade system wasmonopolized by the state. Nearly all the domestic enterprises were state-owned and the government had set the prices for key commodities, Sony VAIO VPCZ11AVJ Battery controlled the level and general distribution of investment funds, determined output targets for major enterprises and branches, allocated energy resources, set wage levels and employment targets, operated the wholesale and retail networks, and steered thefinancial policy and banking system.Sony VAIO VPCZ11CGX/X Battery In the countryside from the mid-1950s, the government established cropping patterns, set the level of prices, and fixed output targets for all major crops. Since 1978 when economic reforms were instituted, the government's role in the economy has lessened by a great degree.Sony VAIO VPCZ11DGX/SJ Battery Industrial output by state enterprises slowly declined, although a few strategic industries, such as the aerospace industry have today remained predominantly state-owned. While the role of the government in managing the economy has been reduced and the role of bothprivate enterprise and market forces increased, the government maintains a major role in the urban economy.Sony VAIO VPCZ11FHX/XQ Battery With its policies on such issues as agricultural procurement the government also retains a major influence on rural sector performance. The State Constitution of 1982 specified that the state is to guide the country's economic development by making broad decisions on economic priorities and policies, and that the State Council,Sony VAIO VPCZ11V9R/B Battery which exercises executive control, was to direct its subordinate bodies in preparing and implementing the national economic plan and the state budget. A major portion of the government system (bureaucracy) is devoted to managing the economy in a top-down chain of command with all but a few of the more than 100 ministries,Sony VAIO VPCZ11X9E/B Battery commissions, administrations, bureaus, academies, and corporations under the State Council being concerned with economic matters. Each significant economic sector is supervised by one or more of these organizations, which includes the People's Bank of China, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, and the ministries of agriculture; Sony VAIO VPCZ11Z9E/B Battery coal industry; commerce; communications; education; light industry; metallurgical industry; petroleum industry; railways; textile industry; and water resources andelectric power. Several aspects of the economy are administered by specialized departments under the State Council, including the National Bureau of Statistics, Civil Aviation Administration of China, and the tourism bureau.Sony VAIO VPCZ125GX/S Battery Each of the economic organizations under the State Council directs the units under its jurisdiction through subordinate offices at the provincial and local levels. The whole policy-making process involves extensive consultation and negotiation.Sony VAIO VPCZ127FC Battery Economic policies and decisions adopted by the National People's Congress and the State Council are to be passed on to the economic organizations under the State Council, which incorporates them into the plans for the various sectors of the economy. Economic plans and policies are implemented by a variety of direct and indirect control mechanisms.Sony VAIO VPCZ128GC Battery Direct control is exercised by designating specific physical output quotas and supply allocations for some goods and services. Indirect instruments also called "economic levers" operate by affecting market incentives. These included levying taxes, setting prices for products and supplies,Sony VAIO VPCZ12M9E/B Battery allocating investment funds, monitoring and controlling financial transactions by the banking system, and controlling the allocation of key resources, such as skilled labor, electric power, transportation, steel, and chemicals (including fertilizers). Sony VAIO VPCZ13M9E/B Battery The main advantage of including a project in an annual plan is that the raw materials, labor, financial resources, and markets are guaranteed by directives that have the weight of the law behind them. In reality, however, a great deal of economic activity goes on outside the scope of the detailed plan, and the tendency has been for the plan to become narrower rather than broader in scope. Sony VAIO VPCZ13V9E/X Battery A major objective of the reform program was to reduce the use of direct controls and to increase the role of indirect economic levers. Major state-owned enterprises still receive detailed plans specifying physical quantities of key inputs and products from their ministries. Sony VAIO VPCZ13Z9E/X Battery These corporations, however, have been increasingly affected by prices and allocations that were determined through market interaction and only indirectly influenced by the central plan. Total economic enterprise in China is apportioned along lines of directive planning (mandatory), indicative planning (indirect implementation of central directives), and those left to market forces.Sony VAIO VPCZZZHJ Battery In the early 1980s during the initial reforms enterprises began to have increasing discretion over the quantities of inputs purchased, the sources of inputs, the variety of products manufactured, and the production process. Operational supervision over economic projects has devolved primarily to provincial, municipal, and county governments.Sony VAIO VPZ117 Battery The majority of state-owned industrial enterprises, which were managed at the provincial level or below, were partially regulated by a combination of specific allocations and indirect controls, but they also produced goods outside the plan for sale in the market.Sony VAIO VPZ118 Battery Important, scarce resources for example, engineers or finished steel may have been assigned to this kind of unit in exact numbers. Less critical assignments of personnel and materials would have been authorized in a general way by the plan, but with procurement arrangements left up to the enterprise management.Sony VAIO VPZ119 Battery In addition, enterprises themselves are gaining increased independence in a range of activity. While strategically important industry and services and most of large-scale construction have remained under directive planning, the market economy has gained rapidly in scale every year as it subsumes more and more sectors.Sony VPCM11M1E/B Battery Overall, the Chinese industrial system contains a complex mixture of relationships. The State Council generally administers relatively strict control over resources deemed to be of vital concern for the performance and health of the entire economy. Sony VPCM11M1E/W Battery Less vital aspects of the economy have been transferred to lower levels for detailed decisions and management. Furthermore, the need to coordinate entities that are in different organizational hierarchies generally causes a great deal of informal bargaining and consensus building.Sony VPCM12M1E/L Battery Consumer spending has been subject to a limited degree of direct government influence but is primarily determined by the basic market forces of income levels and commodity prices. Before the reform period, key goods were rationed when they were in short supply, Sony VPCM12M1E/P Battery but by the mid-1980s availability had increased to the point that rationing was discontinued for everything except grain, which could also be purchased in the free markets. Collectively owned units and the agricultural sector were regulated primarily by indirect instruments.Sony VPCM12M1E/W Battery Each collective unit was "responsible for its own profit and loss," and the prices of its inputs and products provided the major production incentives. Vast changes were made in relaxing the state control of the agricultural sector from the late 1970s. Sony VPCM13M1E/L Battery The structural mechanisms for implementing state objectives the people's communes and their subordinate teams and brigades have been either entirely eliminated or greatly diminished.Farm incentives have been boosted both by price increases for state-purchased agricultural products, and it was permitted to sell excess production on a free market. Sony VPCM13M1E/P Battery There was more room in the choice of what crops to grow, and peasants are allowed to contract for land that they will work, rather than simply working most of the land collectively. The system of procurement quotas (fixed in the form of contracts) has been being phased out, although the state can still buy farm products and control surpluses in order to affect market conditions.Sony VPCM13M1E/W Battery Foreign trade is supervised by the Ministry of Commerce, customs, and the Bank of China, the foreign exchange arm of the Chinese banking system, which controls access to the foreign currency required for imports. Ever since restrictions on foreign trade were reduced, Sony VAIO VGN-Z11MN/B Battery there have been broad opportunities for individual enterprises to engage in exchanges with foreign firms without much intervention from official agencies. Though private sector companies still dominate small and medium sized businesses, the government still plays a large part in the bigger industries. Sony VAIO VGN-Z11VN/X Battery The fact that government accounts for a third of the GDP shows this. Foreign owned companies hold significant stakes. The public sector is mainly made up of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). Purely on economic grounds, therefore, China has become a phenomenon. Sony VAIO VGN-Z11WN/B Battery It is the second-largest economy in the world and has frequently been described as likely, within a decade, to surpass both the European Union and the United States in total GDP. Under the leadership of President Hu Jintao, the Chinese Communist Party has retained full control of the country's affairs and remained firmly committed to many of socialism's key tenets. Sony VAIO VGN-Z11XN/B Battery All of the country's major banks, for example, remained tightly linked to the state, as do key sectors such as oil, petrochemicals, and steel. State agencies have provided most of the country's still-limited financial services, and state-owned enterprises produced more than one-third of total output.Sony VAIO VGN-Z15 Battery Indeed, the state-and the Party-were central players in nearly all aspects of China's economy, guiding a development trajectory often labeled as "socialism with Chinese characteristics".
Regional economiesChina's unequal transportation system combined with important differences in the availability of natural and human resources and in industrial infrastructure has produced significant variations in the regional economies of China.Sony VAIO VGN-Z15N Battery Economic development has generally been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior, and there are large disparities in per capita income between regions. The three wealthiest regions are along the southeast coast, centred on the Pearl River Delta; Sony VAIO VGN-Z17 Battery along the east coast, centred on the Lower Yangtze River; and near the Bohai Gulf, in the Beijing-Tianjin-Liaoning region. It is the rapid development of these areas that is expected to have the most significant effect on the Asian regional economy as a whole, and Chinese government policy is designed to remove the obstacles to accelerated growth in these wealthier regions.Sony VAIO VGN-Z17N Battery Development China, economically frail before 1978, has again become one of the world's major economic powers with the greatest potential. In the 22 years following reform and opening-up in 1979 in particular, China's economy developed at an unprecedented rate, and that momentum has been held steady into the 21st century.Sony VAIO VGN-Z19 Battery China adopts the "five-year-plan" strategy for economic development. The Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) is currently being implemented. It was not an obvious path to growth. But for nearly 30 years China had indeed been growing, thrusting its citizens into prosperity and its goods across the world. Sony VAIO VGN-Z19N Battery Between 1978 and 2005, China's per capita GDP had grown from $153 to $1284, while its current account surplus had increased over twelve-fold between 1982 and 2004, from $5.7 billion to $71 billion. During this time, China had also become an industrial powerhouse, Sony VAIO VGN-Z21MN/B Battery moving beyond initial successes in low-wage sectors like clothing and footwear to the increasingly sophisticated production of computers, pharmaceuticals, andautomobiles.
Posted October 18th, 2011 at 02:55am
The weakened political and economic position of these partner states was a contributing factor to the collapse of the Second Republic. The launch of the democratic Third Republic in 1993 marked a shift toward a capitalist economic growth model necessitating expanded diplomatic and economic ties within the global market. Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/D Battery President Zafy, expressing desire for diplomatic relations with all countries, established formal ties with South Korea and sent emissaries to Morocco. The pressures of globalisation obliged President Ratsiraka to adhere to market-oriented policies and to engage world markets when he was voted into office in 1997.Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/G Battery External relations have since reflected this trend, although Madagascar's physical isolation and strong traditional insular orientation have limited its activity in regional economic organizations and relations with its East African neighbours. It enjoys closer and generally good relations with its Indian Ocean neighbours - Mauritius, R union and Comoros.Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/P Battery Active relationships with Europe, especially France, Germany, and Switzerland, as well as with Britain, Russia, Japan, India and China have been strong since independence. More recently, President Ravalomanana has cultivated strong links with the United States, and Madagascar was the first country to benefit from the Millennium Challenge Account. Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/W Battery Madagascar is a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the United States military (as covered under Article 98). Numerous countrieshave established and maintain a diplomatic presence in Madagascar.Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/B Battery During his presidency, Marc Ravalomanana traveled widely promoting Madagascar abroad and consciously sought to strengthen relations with Anglophone countries as a means of balancing traditionally strong French influence. He also cultivated strong ties with China during his tenure.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/B Battery The Organisation of African Unity dissolved in 2002 and was replaced by the African Union. Madagascar was not permitted to attend the first African Union summit because of a dispute over the results of the election in December 2001, but rejoined the African Union in July 2003 after a 14-month hiatus triggered by the 2002 political crisis. Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/D Battery However, Madagascar was suspended again by the African Union in March 2009 because of ongoing political crisis. In November 2004, after an absence of almost 30 years, Madagascar re-opened its embassy in London. On 15 December 2004 Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announced the closure of the British embassy in Antananarivo to save 250,000 per year.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/D Battery He also announced an end to the government's aid to Madagascar. The embassy closed in August 2005. The British Embassy was previously closed (also for financial reasons) from 1975 to 1980. The Anglo-Malagasy Society are campaigning to have it re-opened.Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/G Battery
Human rightsHuman rights in Madagascar are protected under the constitution. However the extent to which such rights are reflected in practice, is subject to debate. The 2010 Human Rights Report by the United States Department of State noted concerns regarding the suspension of democratic electoral processes as the result of recent political unrest.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/G Battery Furthermore, reports of corruption, arbitrary arrest, widespread underage prostitution and child labor highlight the prevalence of human rights issues in the country. Accusations of media censorship have risen since 2009 due to the allegedly increasing restrictions on the coverage of government opposition.Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/P Battery
EconomyMadagascar's sources of growth are tourism, textile and light manufacturing exports (notably through the EPZs), agricultural products, and mining. Madagascar is the world's leading producer of vanilla and accounts for about half the world's export market.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/P Battery Tourism targets the niche eco-tourism market, capitalizing on Madagascar's unique biodiversity, unspoiled natural habitats, national parks and lemur species. Exports from the EPZs, located around Antananarivo and Antsirabe, comprise the majority of garment manufacture, targeting the US market under AGOA and the European markets under the Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement.Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/W Battery Agricultural exports consist of low-volume high-value products like vanilla, lychees and essential oils. A small but growing part of the economy is based on mining of ilmenite, with investments emerging in recent years, particularly near Tulear and Fort Dauphin.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/W Battery
Natural resourcesMadagascar's natural resources include a variety of unprocessed agricultural and mineral resources. Key agricultural resources include vanilla, lychees and shrimp. Key mineral resources include various types of precious and semi-precious stones, ilmenite and petrol. Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/B Battery Several major projects are underway in the mining and oil and gas sectors that, if successful, will give a significant boost to the Malagasy economy. In the mining sector, these include the development of coal at Sakoa and nickel near Tamatave. Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/D Battery In oil, Madagascar Oil is developing the massive onshore heavy oil field at Tsimiroro and ultra heavy oil field at Bemolanga. Mining corporation Rio Tinto Group began operations near Fort Dauphin in 2008, following several years of infrastructure preparation. Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/G Battery The mining project is highly controversial, with Friends of the Earth and other environmental organizations filing reports to detail their concerns about effects on the local environment and communities.
International tradeAgriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy. Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/P Battery Major exports are coffee, vanilla (Madagascar is the world's largest producer and exporter of vanilla), sugarcane, cloves, cocoa,rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts and livestock products. Vanilla has historically been of particular importance, and when in 1985 Coca-cola switched to New Coke which involved less vanilla, Madagascar's economy took a marked downturn but returned to previous levels after the return of Coke Classic.Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/W Battery
Economic developmentStructural reforms began in the late 1980s, initially under pressure from international financial institutions, notably the World Bank. An initial privatization program (1988-1993) and the development of an export processing zone regime in the early 1990s were key milestones in this effort. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC Battery A period of significant stagnation from 1991 to 1996 was followed by five years of solid economic growth and accelerating foreign investment. Although structural reforms advanced, governance remained weak, and perceived political corruption was high. During the period of solid growth from 1997 to 2001, poverty levels remained high, especially in rural areas.Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/B Battery A six-month political crisis triggered by a dispute over the outcome of the presidential elections held in December 2001 virtually halted economic activity in much of the country in the first half of 2002. Real GDP dropped 12.7% for the year 2002, inflows of foreign investment dropped sharply, Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/D Battery and the crisis tarnished Madagascar's budding reputation as an AGOA standout and a promising place to invest. After the crisis, the economy rebounded with GDP growth of over 10% in 2003. Currency depreciation and rising inflation in 2004 have hampered economic performance, but growth for the year reached 5.3%, with inflation reaching around 25% at the end of the year.Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/G Battery In 2005 inflation was brought under control by tight monetary policy of raising the Taux Directeur (central bank rate) to 16% and tightening reserve requirements for banks. Thus growth was expected to reach around 6.5% in 2005. Following the 2002 political crisis, the government attempted to set a new course and build confidence, in coordination with international financial institutions and donors. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/P Battery Madagascar developed a recovery plan in collaboration with the private sector and donors and presented it at a "Friends of Madagascar" conference organized by the World Bank in Paris in July 2002. Donor countries demonstrated their confidence in the new government by pledging $1 billion in assistance over five years. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/W Battery The Malagasy Government identified road infrastructure as its principle priority and underlined its commitment to public-private partnership by establishing a joint public-private sector steering committee. In 2000, Madagascar embarked on the preparation of a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Sony VAIO VPCP115KG Battery The boards of the IMF and World Bank agreed in December 2000 that the country had reached the decision point for debt relief under the HIPC Initiative and defined a set of conditions for Madagascar to reach the completion point. In October 2004, the boards of the IMF and the World Bank determined that Madagascar had reached the completion point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative.Sony VAIO VPCP116KG Battery The Madagascar-U.S. Business Council was formed as a collaboration between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Malagasy artisan producers in Madagascar in 2002. The U.S.-Madagascar Business Council was formed in the United States in May 2003, and the two organizations continue to explore ways to work for the benefit of both groups.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/B Battery The government of President Ravalomanana aggressively sought foreign investment and attempted to tackle many of the obstacles to such investment, including combating corruption, reforming land-ownership laws, encouraging study of American and European business techniques, and active pursuit of foreign investors. Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/D Battery President Ravalomanana rose to prominence through his agro-foods TIKO company, and attempted to apply many of the lessons learned in the world of business to running the government. In the latter half of his presidency, concerns arose about the conflict of interest between his policies and the activities of his firms. Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/G Battery Most notable among them the preferential treatment for rice imports initiated by the government in late 2004 when responding to a production shortfall in the country.
DemographicsMadagascar's population is predominantly of mixed Austronesian (i.e. South-East Asian/Pacific Islander) and African origin.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/P Battery Those who are visiblyAustronesian in appearance and culture are the minority, found mostly in the highland regions. Recent DNA research shows that the Malagasy people are approximately of half Austronesian and half East African descent, although some Arab, Indian and European influence is present along the coast.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/W Battery Subsequent migrations from the East Indies and Africa consolidated this original mixture, and over a dozen distinct tribal groups emerged. Austronesian features are most predominant in the Merina (3 million); the coastal people (called c tiers) have relatively stronger African origins. Sony VAIO VPCP118JC Battery The largest coastal groups are the Betsimisaraka (1.5 million) and the Tsimihety and Sakalava (700,000 each). The Vezo live in the southwest. Two of the southern tribes are the Antandroy and the Antanosy. Other tribes include Tankarana (northern tip), Sihanaka and Bezanozano (east), Tanala (south-east), Antaimoro, Tambahoaka, Zafisoro,Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/B Battery Antaisaka and Timanambondro (south-east coast), and Mahafaly and Bara (south-west). Chinese and Indian minorities also exist, as well as Europeans, mostly French. In 1958, there were 68,430 European settlers living in Madagascar.The number of Comorans residing in Madagascar was drastically reduced after anti-Comoran rioting in Mahajanga in 1976.Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/P Battery During the French colonial administration (1895-1960) and some time after independence, people were officially classified in ethnic groups. This practice was abandoned in the first census (1975) after independence so any recent classification and figures for ethnic groups is an unofficial estimate.Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/W Battery There is for instance no mention of ethnicity or religion in the national identity cards. Also, territorial divisions (provinces, regions) do not follow any ethnic division lines, despite an attempt by the colonial administration in the early 20th century. Ethnic divisions continue, and may cause violence, but their role is limited in today's society.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/B Battery Political tensions between the highlanders and coastal population periodically flare up into limited violent conflict. The population has grown from 2.2 million in 1900 to 7.6 million in 1975. Only two general censuses, 1975 and 1993, have been carried out after independence. Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/D Battery Figures for Madagascar's foreign population in the early 1990s are lacking, but in 1988, such persons were estimated to include 25,000 Comorans, 18,000 French, 17,000 Indians, and 9,000 Chinese.
Maternal and Child Health CareIn June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/G Battery It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Madagascar is 440. This is compared with 373.1 in 2008 and 484.4 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 61 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 37. Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/P Battery The aim of this report is to highlight ways in which the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved, particularly Goal 4 - Reduce child mortality and Goal 5 - improve maternal death. In Madagascar the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 4 and 1 in 45 shows us the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women. Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/W Battery Two-thirds of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day.
EducationPrior to the 19th century, all learning in Madagascar was informal and typically served to teach practical skills as well as social and cultural norms, including respect for ancestors and elders.Sony VAIO VPCP119JC Battery The first formal European-style school was established in 1818 on the east coast of Madagascar at Toamasina by members of the London Missionary Society (LMS). King Radama I (1810-1828) invited LMS missionaries to establish schools throughout Imerina to teach basic literacy and numeracy to the children of andriana (nobles) who would go on to serve as soldiers or royal aides.Sony VAIO VPCP119JC/BI Battery Because the missionaries insisted on using the Bible to teach literacy in support of their own agenda to spread Christianity, Radama's successor, Ranavalona I, expelled the missionaries and closed the schools in 1835. This policy was reversed upon her death, and by the end of the 19th century Madagascar could boast the most developed and modern school system in pre-colonial Sub-Saharan Africa.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/B Battery Limited access and poor quality have plagued the schools of Madagascar from the colonial period to the present. During the post-colonial First Republic, a continued reliance on French nationals as teachers and French as the language of instruction created tension among those desiring a complete separation from the former colonial power. Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/B Battery Consequently, under the socialist Second Republic, French instructors and other nationals were expelled, Malagasy was declared the language of instruction and a large cadre of young Malagasy were rapidly trained to teach at remote rural schools under the mandatory two-year national service policy.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/D Battery This policy, known as malgachization, coincided with a severe economic downturn and a dramatic decline in the quality of education; people schooled during this period generally failed to master the French language or many other subjects. Struggling in the competitive local employment market,Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/D Battery most remained mired in deepening poverty as they were obliged to turn to low-paying jobs in the informal or black market. Excepting the brief presidency of Albert Zafy from 1992 to 1996, Ratsiraka remained in power from 1975 to 1999 and failed to achieve significant improvements in the sector throughout this time.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/G Battery Education was prioritized under the Ravalomanana administration. During his first term, thousands of new schools and additional classrooms were constructed while many older buildings were renovated. Tens of thousands of new teachers were recruited and trained. Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/G Battery The minimum education standard for the recruitment of primary teachers was raised from a middle school leaving certificate (BEPC) to a high school leaving certificate (BAC). School supplies and uniforms were provided at public schools and official school fees were eliminated,Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/P Battery although fees are still commonly charged by parent-teacher associations to pay the salaries of teachers hired locally when demand for education exceeds official capacity. Public expenditure on education was at 16.4% of total government expenditure in the 2000-2007 period with per-pupil expenditure at the primary level at about US$57.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/W Battery As a result, primary school enrollment rates jumped from 63% in 2000 to 95% in 2005. Increased access has posed continuing challenges for quality, however, and Madagascar continues to have extremely high rates of grade repetition and student drop-out.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/W Battery Education policy in Ravalomanana's second term focused on quality issues, including a reformed teacher training program to support the transition from traditional didactic instruction to student-centered teaching methods to boost student learning and participation in the classroom.Sony VAIO VPCP11Z9E/B Battery
Ethnic diversityThe majority of the population of Madagascar is a mixture in varying degrees of Indonesian, Arab and Bantu settlers from Southeast Asia, the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa, respectively. Years of intermarriages created the Malagasy people, who primarily speak Malagasy, an Austronesian language with Bantu influences. Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery Most of the genetic makeup of the average Malagasy, however, reflects an almost equal blend of Indonesian and Bantu influences.
LanguageThe Malagasy language is of Malayo-Polynesian origin and is generally spoken throughout the island. Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery The numerous dialects of Malagasy, which are generally mutually intelligible, can be clustered under one of two sub-groups: eastern Malagasy (spoken along the eastern forests and highlands, including the Merina dialect of Antananarivo) and western Malagasy, spoken across the western coastal plains. Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery French became the official language during the colonial period when Madagascar came under the authority of France. In the first national Constitution of 1958, Malagasy and French were named the official languages of the Malagasy Republic. Madagascar is a francophone country, and French is spoken among the educated population.Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery English, although uncommon, has gradually become more widely spoken. No official languages were recorded in the Constitution of 1992, although Malagasy was identified as the national language.Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery Nonetheless, many sources still claimed that Malagasy and French were official languages, eventually leading a citizen to initiate a legal case against the state in April 2000 on the grounds that the publication of official documents in the French language only was unconstitutional.Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery The High Constitutional Court observed in its decision that, in the absence of a language law, French still had the character of an official language. In the Constitution of 2007, Malagasy remained the national language while official languages were reintroduced: Malagasy, French, and English.Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery English was removed as an official language from the constitution approved by voters in the November referendum 2010. The outcome of the referendum and its consequences for official and national language policy are not recognized by the political opposition or by the international community, who cite lack of transparency and inclusiveness in the organization of the election by the High Transitional Authority. Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery
ReligionApproximately 50% of the country's population practice traditional religion, which tends to emphasize links between the living and the dead. The Merina in the highlands particularly tend to hold tightly to this practice. Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery A powerful individual may establish a fady (taboo) in his or her lifetime that all their descendents or those of community members will be required to respect well after their death, meaning that when traveling in Madagascar it is advisable to seek out village elders or authorities and inquire into local fady in order not to inadvertently transgress and offend the local population.Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery This veneration of ancestors has also led to the tradition of tomb building and the famadihana, a practice whereby a deceased family member's remains may be taken from the tomb to be periodically re-wrapped in fresh silk shrouds known as lamba before being replaced in the tomb.Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery The event is an occasion to celebrate the loved one's memory, reunite with family and community, and enjoy a festive atmosphere. Residents of surrounding villages are often invited to attend the party, where food and rum are often served and a hiragasy troupe or other musical entertainment is typically present.Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery About 45% of the Malagasy are Christian, divided almost evenly between Catholics and Protestants. In 1818 the London Missionary Society sent the first Christian missionaries to successfully install themselves on the island, building churches, translating the Bible into Malagasy language and winning over numerous converts. Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery Beginning in 1835 Queen Ranavalona I vigorously persecuted early converts to Christianity in an attempt to halt European cultural and political influence on the island. In 1869 a successor, Queen Ranavalona II, converted the court to Christianity and encouraged Christian missionary activity, burning the sampy (royal idols) in a symbolic break with traditional beliefs.Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery Today, many Christians integrate their religious beliefs with traditional ones relating to honoring the ancestors. For instance, they may bless their dead at church before proceeding with traditional burial rites or invite a Christian ministerto consecrate a famadihana reburial. Many of the Christian churches are influential in politics. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery The best example of this is the Malagasy Council of Churches comprising the four oldest and most prominent Christian denominations (Roman Catholic, Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, Lutheran, andAnglican). Eastern religions are also present on the island. Islam was first brought to the island in the Middle Ages by Arab and Somali Muslim traders who established several Islamic schools along the eastern coast. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery While the use of Arabic script and loan words and the adoption of Islamic astrology would spread across the island, the Islamic religion failed to take hold in all but a handful of southeastern coastal communities. Today, Muslims constitute 7% of the population of Madagascar and are largely concentrated in the northwestern provinces of Mahajanga and Antsiranana (Diego Suarez).Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery Muslims are divided between those of Malagasy ethnicity, Indians, Pakistanisand Comorians. More recently, Hinduism was introduced to Madagascar through Gujarati people immigrating from the Saurashtra region of India in the late 19th century. Most Hindus in Madagascar speak Gujarati or Hindi.Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery Culture Malagasy culture reflects a blend of Southeast Asian, Arab, African and European influences. Houses in Madagascar are typically four-sided with a peaked roof similar to those commonly seen in Southeast Asia, rather than the circular style of hut more commonly found in Eastern Africa. Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery Malagasy architecture varies widely depending on locally available materials and practical needs. Most traditionally, homes are built from plant materials; this form of construction remains prevalent outside of the central Highlands and major urban areas. In the Highlands, houses are most often two-story brick structures, occasionally with pillars supporting a front veranda. Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery The orientation and interior layout of homes in traditional communities often followed certain cosmological norms. This tradition has been increasingly abandoned over the past century, as has the use of traditional building materials among the upper classes for whom imported materials and foreign construction styles are associated with modernity and prestige.Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery Tombs are culturally significant in many regions and tend to utilize stone in their construction. The zebu (humped cattle), introduced to Madagascar by Bantu-speaking East African migrants around 1,000 years ago, have come to occupy an important place in traditional Malagasy culture. Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery The animal can take on sacred importance and constitutes the wealth of the owner, a tradition originating on the African mainland. Cattle rustling, originally a rite of passage for young men in the plains areas of Madagascar where the largest herds of cattle are kept, Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery has become a dangerous and sometimes deadly criminal enterprise as herdsmen in the southwest attempt to defend their cattle with traditional spears against increasingly armed professional rustlers. Where African influences are strongest, as in the southern region around Tulear, wealth and social status are traditionally measured in cattle. Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery The Malagasy names for seasons, months, days, and coins are Arabic in origin, as is the practice of circumcision, the communal grain pool, and different forms of salutation. The Antaimoro people of southeastern Madagascar claim to be direct descendants of early Arab immigrants, and over at least the past five hundred years, Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/P Battery the acclaimed ombiasy (astrologers) of this ethnic group have served as privileged counselors to the nobles of various communities across the island. The cuisine of Madagascar likewise reflects diverse influences from around the world. Rice forms the basis of every meal in most parts of Madagascar, which has the highest per capita rate of rice consumption in the world.Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/PC Battery The dishes prepared to accompany the rice vary depending on local availability of food products and are known as laoka. Many of these dishes reflect the culinary influences of Indian, Chinese, French and other arrivals to the island. A wide variety of snacks and street foods are eaten, particularly mofo (fritter or cake-like treats).Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/T Battery In the arid south and west, rice may be supplanted by cassava (yuca), sweet potatoes and corn and supplemented with curdled or fresh zebu milk. Rum (toaka gasy) and betsabetsa are two forms of traditional spirits produced on the island. Wine and beer are also locally produced, as are cocoa, tea and coffee, the latter widely consumed throughout the island. Herbal teas, sodas and fruit juices are also popular drinks.Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/W Battery
ArtsArtistic traditions on the island of Madagascar are highly diverse and distinctive. One of the island's foremost artistic traditions is that of its oratory as expressed in the forms of hainteny (poetry),kabary (public discourse) and ohabolana (proverbs).Sony VAIO VPCW111XXP Battery An epic poem showcasing these traditions, theIbonia, has been handed down over the centuries in several different forms across the island and offers insight into the diverse mythologies and beliefs of traditional Malagasy communities. Storytelling and proverbs enabled traditional communities to express and preserve their histories and worldview and transmit it to future generations. Sony VAIO VPCW111XXT Battery The supernatural is featured in many of these stories, including witchcraft, the intercession of god or the ancestors, and the existence of a variety of fantastical creatures. Chief among these are thevazimba, the supposed first inhabitants of Madagascar who have in popular memory been transformed into capricious spirits that, if angered, will interfere in the lives of the living.Sony VAIO VPCW111XXW Battery Madagascar has also developed a distinctive and rich musical heritage. The early Austronesian settlers brought with them the predecessor to the bamboo tube zither known as the valiha considered the national instrument of Madagascar as well as numerous other instruments that constitute the foundation of traditional Malagasy music.Sony VAIO VPCW115XG Battery The influence of African musical tradition manifests in certain drumming and polyharmonic singing styles, particularly among the western and southern coastal communities, while the tendency toward minor chords in these regions reflects an Arab musical influence.Sony VAIO VPCW115XGP Battery Europeans likewise contributed to Malagasy musical traditions, importing the guitar, accordion, piano and the instruments used in hiragasy performance including the violin, trumpet and clarinet.
Sport and recreationA number of traditional pastimes have emerged in Madagascar.Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/P Battery Moraingy or lutte malgache, a type of hand-to-hand combat, is a popular spectator sport in coastal regions. It is traditionally practiced by men, but women have recently begun to participate. The wrestling of zebu is also practiced in many regions. In addition to sports, a wide variety of games are played. Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/T Battery Fanorona is a board game that is associated with the Merina sovereigns and is widespread throughout the Highland regions. According to folk legend, the succession of King Andrianjaka after his father Ralambo was partially due to the unhealthy obsession that Andrianjaka's older brother may have had with playing fanorona to the detriment of his other responsibilities.Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/W Battery Western sports were introduced to Madagascar over the past two centuries. Football and rugby are especially popular. P tanque, a French game similar to lawn bowling, is also widely played in urban areas and particularly throughout the Highlands. Madagascar has produced a world champion in p tanque.Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/P Battery Scouting is popular among boys and girls alike and is represented in Madagascar by its own local association.Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/T Battery,Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/W Battery,Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ Battery,Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/P Battery
Posted October 18th, 2011 at 02:51am
The Republic of Madagascar (older name Malagasy Republic, Malagasy: Repoblikan'i Madagasikara [republi?k?an mada?as?k?ar??], French: R publique de Madagascar) is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa.Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/BIC Battery The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (at 587,041 square kilometres (226,658 sq mi), the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which include Nosy Be and Nosy Boraha ( le Sainte-Marie).Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/T Battery The prehistoric breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent separated the Madagascar-Antarctica-India landmass from the Africa-South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar later split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in complete isolation.Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX Battery Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot in which over 80% of its plant and animal species are found nowhere else on Earth. These are dispersed across a variety of ecoregions, broadly divided into eastern and south-central rain forest, western dry forests, southern desert and spiny forest. Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/BI Battery The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are severely threatened by human settlement and traditional slash-and-burn practices (tavy) which have denuded Madagascar of as much as 90% of its original forest cover. Under the administration of former President Marc Ravalomanana,Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/T Battery the government of Madagascar partnered with the international community to implement large-scale conservation measures tied to ecotourism as part of the national development strategy. Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/WI Battery However, under Rajoelina's caretaker government there has been a dramatic increase in illegal logging of precious woodsand the poaching and sale of threatened species such as lemurs in Madagascar's many national parks, several of which are classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM Battery Most researchers believe Madagascar was first inhabited sometime between 300 BCE and 500 CE by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo in the Indonesian archipelago who were later joined around 1000 CE by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel and establishing first on the North and West coasts.Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/BI Battery Arabs, East African, later Malay and Javanese, Indians, Chinese and European (primarily French) migrants settled on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is often sub-divided into sixteen or moresub-groups of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands around Antananarivo, Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/T Battery and the Betsimisaraka people of the eastern coast aroundToamasina. The Austronesian origins of the earliest population are evident everywhere not only in the language and the physical appearance of many Malagasy people, but also in cultural practices related to the veneration of ancestors, the prevalence of : Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/WI Battery the valiha (a bamboo tube zither of East Asian origin) and the sodina flute in Malagasy musical traditions, the architectural methods and norms who share the same norms than in South East Asia (like the square foundations of habitations), and a cuisine based on rice that establishes the Malagasy people as the largest rice consumers per capita in the world. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX Battery Bantu influences are evident - especially in the West coast and in the South - in the spiritual and monetary value placed on zebu. The first transcription of Malagasy using Arabic script (sorabe) and certain elements of Malagasy cosmology were introduced ca 1500 by Arabs, and islamised Indians and Indonesian people who were established on the Southeast coast (in the current Vohipeno and Manakara region).Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/BI Battery Malagasy, the Austronesian language spoken in various forms by the vast majority of the population, is the national language and one of two current official languages alongside French and English. The majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs or Christianity, but followers of other faiths such asIslam and Hinduism are found in smaller numbers throughout the country.Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/T Battery Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was populated by a fragmented assortment of shifting socio-political alliances of varying sizes. Beginning in the early 19th century, however, the majority of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of nobles(andriana) of the Merina ethnic group. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/WI Battery The monarchy collapsed when the island was conquered and absorbed into the French colonial empire in 1896, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, including a post-colonial First Republic under President Philibert Tsiranana (1960-1972),Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX Battery a Soviet-style socialist Second Republic under Admiral Didier Ratsiraka(1975-1991), and a democratic Third Republic under successive presidents Albert Zafy, Didier Ratsiraka and Marc Ravalomanana (1992-2009). Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/B Battery Since 1992 the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo by an elected president who serves a renewable five-year term and is supported by the prime minister he or she nominates. However, following a popular uprising in 2009 instigated by then-mayor ofAntananarivo and TGV political party president Andry Rajoelina, Ravalomanana was pressured to resign.Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/G Battery Presidential power was then unconstitutionally transferred to Rajoelina with the support of a portion of the military. A 2010 constitutional referendum ushered in the Fourth Republic in which the nation continues to be managed by Rajoelina's unelected caretaker government known as the High Transitional Authority (HAT). Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/L Battery Rajoelina (b. 1974), currently the youngest head of state in Africa, has failed to secure recognition from the international community, which largely views the current administration as illegitimate and has widely characterized Rajoelina's seizure of power as a coup d' tat.Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/P Battery In 2010, the population of Madagascar was estimated at around 20 million, 85% of whom live on less than two dollars per day. Ecotourism, agriculture, expansion of international trade and greater investments in education, health and private enterprise are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/W Battery Under Ravalomanana, these investments produced substantive economic growth but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class.Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX Battery Current and future generations in Madagascar are faced with the challenge of striking a balance between economic growth, equitable development and natural conservation.
EtymologyIn the Malagasy language, the island of Madagascar is called Madagasikara [mada?as??k?ar??] and its people are referred to as Malagasy.Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/B Battery However, the island's appellation "Madagascar" is not of local origin but rather was popularized in the Middle Ages by Europeans. The name Madageiscar was first recorded in the memoirs of 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo as a corrupted form of the name Mogadishu, the Somalian port with which Polo had confused the island.Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/G Battery On St. Laurence's Day in 1500, Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias landed on the island and christened it S o Louren o, but Polo's name was preferred and popularized on Renaissance maps. No single Malagasy-language name predating Madagasikara appears to have been used by the local population to refer to the island, although some communities had their own name for part or all of the land they inhabited. Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/L Battery
GeographyAt 592,800 square kilometres (228,900 sq mi), Madagascar is the world's 47th-largest country and the fourth-largest island. The country lies mostly between latitudes 12 S and 26 S, and longitudes 43 E and 51 E. Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/P Battery The prehistoric breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent separated the Madagascar-Antarctica-India landmass from the Africa-South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar later split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in complete isolation.Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/W Battery The island of Madagascar can be divided into three broad geographic zones. These include the highlands, a plateau region in the center of the island ranging in altitude from 2,500 to 4,500 ft (762 to 1,372 m) above sea level; a narrow and steep escarpment that runs the length of the eastern coast and contains much of the island's remaining tropical rain forest;Sony VAIO VPCEB190X Battery and a wide, dry plain that gently slopes from the western boundaries of the highlands toward the Mozambique Channel. The central highlands, traditionally the homeland of the Merina people (the island's most numerous ethnic group) and location of their historic capital at Antananarivo, Sony VAIO VPCEB19FX Battery is the most densely populated part of the island and is characterized by terraced, rice-growing valleys lying between grassy, deforested hills. Here, erosion has exposed the island's red laterite soil, source of the country's sobriquet "The Red Island". Madagascar's highest peaks arise from three prominent highland massifs:Sony VAIO VPCEB19GX Battery Maromokotro (9,436 ft (2,876 m)) in the Tsaratanana Massif is the island's highest point, followed by Boby Peak (8,720 ft (2,658 m)) in the Andringitra Massif and Tsiafajavona (8,671 ft (2,643 m)) in the Ankaratra Massif. To the east, the Canal des Pangalanes is a chain of man-made and natural lakes connected by French-built canals just inland from the east coast, running parallel to it for some 370 mi (595 km). Sony VAIO VPCEB1AFX Battery The western and southern sides, which lie in the rain shadow of the central highlands, are home to tropical dry forests, thorn forests, and deserts and xeric shrublands. Presumably due to relatively lower population densities, Madagascar's dry deciduous rain forest has been better preserved than the eastern rain forests or the original woodlands of the high central plateau. Sony VAIO VPCEB1AFX/B Battery The western coast features many protected harbors, but silting is a major problem caused by sediment from the high levels of inland erosion carried by rivers crossing the vast western plains.
ClimateThe combination of southeastern trade winds and northwestern monsoon winds produce a hot rainy season (November April) with frequently destructive cyclones, and a relatively cooler dry season (May October). Sony VAIO VPCEB1AGX Battery Broadly speaking, the climate is tropical along the coast, temperate inland, moderately dry in the west, and arid in the south. Rain clouds originating over the Indian Ocean discharge much of their moisture over the island's eastern coast where precipitation as heavy as 150 in (3,800 mm) per year supports the area's rain forest ecosystem.Sony VAIO VPCEB1AGX/BI Battery The central highlands are both drier and cooler, while the west coast is drier still, with high aridity in the southwest and southern part of the island where a semi-desert climate prevails. Annual cyclones cause regular damage to infrastructure and local economies as well as loss of life. Sony VAIO VPCEB1BGX Battery The most destructive since 1927 was Cyclone Geralda (February 2-4, 1994) which caused over 70 fatalities and left over 500,000 people homeless with the damage estimated at US$45 million.
EcologyAs a result of the island's long isolation from neighboring continents, Madagascar is home to a vast array of plants and animals, many found nowhere else on Earth.Sony VAIO VPCEB1BGX/BI Battery Approximately 80% of all plant and animal species found in Madagascar are endemic, including the lemur infraorder of primates, the carnivorous fossa and three avian families.This distinctive ecology has led some ecologists to refer to Madagascar as the "eighth continent",and the island has been classified by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot.Sony VAIO VPCEB1CGX Battery Over 10,000 plant species are native to Madagascar, of which 90% are found nowhere else in the world. Seven plant families are only found here, the highest number of any biodiversity hotspot in the world. The plant family didiereaceae, composed of four genera and 11 species, is limited to the spiny forests of southwestern Madagascar. Sony VAIO VPCEB1CGX/BI Battery Four-fifths of the world's pachypodium species are endemic to the island. Three-fourths of Madagascar's 960 orchid species are found here alone, as are six of the world's eight baobab species. The island is also home to around 170 palm species, three times as many as are found on mainland Africa; 165 of these are endemic. Sony VAIO VPCEB1DGX Battery Many native plant species are used as effective herbal remedies for a variety of afflictions, including the Madagascar periwinkle, which has recently been established as the most effective treatment for leukemia and Hodgkin's disease. The traveler's palm, endemic to the eastern rain forests,Sony VAIO VPCEB1DGX/BI Battery is highly iconic of Madagascar and is featured in the national emblem as well as the Air Madagascar logo. Lemurs have been characterized as "Madagascar's flagship mammal species" by Conservation International. In the absence of monkeys and other competitors, these primates have adapted to a wide range of habitats and diversified into numerous species. Sony VAIO VPCEB1EGX Battery As of 2008, there are officially 99 species and subspecies of lemur, 39 of which have been described by zoologists between 2000 and 2008. They are almost all classified as rare, vulnerable, or endangered. At least 17 species of lemur have become extinct since man arrived on Madagascar, all of which were larger than the surviving lemur species.Sony VAIO VPCEB1EGX/BI Battery The biodiversity of fauna in Madagascar extends beyond prosimians to the wider animal population. A number of other mammals, including the cat-like fossa, are endemic to Madagascar. Over 300 species of bird have been recorded on the island, of which over 60% (including four families and 42 genera) are endemic.Sony VAIO VPCEB1FGX Battery The few families and genera of reptile that have reached Madagascar have diversified into more than 260 species, with over 90% of these being endemic (including one endemic family). The island is home to two-thirds of the world's chameleon species, and researchers have proposed that Madagascar may represent the origin of all chameleon species. Sony VAIO VPCEB1FGX/BI Battery Endemic fishes on Madagascar include two families, 14 genera and over 100 species primarily inhabiting the island's freshwater lakes and rivers. Although invertebrate species remain poorly studied on Madagascar relative to other wildlife, researchers have found high rates of endemism among known species. Sony VAIO VPCEB1GGX Battery All 651 species of terrestrial snail are endemic, as are a majority of the island's butterflies, scarab beetles, lacewings, spiders and dragonflies.
Environmental challengesMadagascar's varied fauna and flora are endangered by human activity. Sony VAIO VPCEB1GGX/BI Battery Since the arrival of humans 2,000 years ago, Madagascar has lost more than 90% of its original forest, of which one-third has disappeared since the 1970s. A key contributor to the loss of forest cover is slash-and-burn activity, locally called tavy. Sony VAIO VPCEB1HGX Battery This traditional practice was imported to Madagascar by the earliest settlers from Indonesia around 2,000 years ago and has strong cultural meaning in addition to its practical value as an agricultural technique. Habitat destruction and hunting have threatened many of Madagascar's endemic species or driven them to extinction. Sony VAIO VPCEB1HGX/BI Battery This process is exemplified by the extinction of elephant birds (Aepyornis), an endemic giant ratite that was formerly the world's largest bird. This species, whose average height was over 3 metres (10 ft) tall, has been extinct since at least the 17th century, most likely due to human hunting of adult birds and poaching of their massive eggs for food.Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX Battery Numerous subfossil lemur species also vanished with the arrival of human settlers to the island, and today most extant lemurs are listed asendangered or threatened species due to habitat destruction. Many species have gone extinct over the course of the last centuries as a growing population has put greater pressures on lemur habitats and, Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/B Battery among some populations, increased the rate of lemur hunting for food. Under President Marc Ravalomanana, a vigorous effort was made to expand Madagascar's protected natural areas. At the 2003 IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban, Ravalomanana announced the Durban Vision, Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/G Battery a bold initiative to more than triple the area under protection from approximately 17,000 km to over 60,000 km (from 3% to 10% of Madagascar's area). As of 2011, areas protected by the state include five Strict Nature Reserves (R serves Naturelles Int grales), 21 Wildlife Reserves (R serves Sp ciales) and 21 National Parks (Parcs Nationaux).Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/L Battery In 2007 six of the national parks were voted in as a joint World Heritage Site under the name Rainforests of the Atsinanana. These six are: Marojejy, Masoala, Ranomafana, Zahamena, Andohahela and Andringitra National Park. Local timber barons are harvesting scarce species of rosewood trees from protected rainforests such as Marojejy National Park and exporting the wood to China for the production of luxury furniture and musical instruments.Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/P Battery To raise public awareness of Madagascar's environmental challenges, the Wildlife Conservation Society opened an exhibit entitled "Madagascar!" in June 2008 at the Bronx Zoo in New York.
Early historyMost archaeologists estimate that the earliest settlers arrived in outrigger canoes from southern Borneo between 200 BCE and 500 CE, making Madagascar one of the last major landmasses on Earth to be settled by people.Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/W Battery Upon arrival, early settlers practiced tavy (swidden, slash-and-burn agriculture) to clear the virgin coastal rainforests for the cultivation of their crops. The first settlers encountered Madagascar's wealth of megafauna, including giant lemurs, elephant birds, giant fossa and the Malagasy hippopotamus, which have since become extinct due to hunting and habitat destruction.Sony VAIO VPCEB1KGX Battery By 600 CE groups of these early settlers had moved inland and began clearing the forests of the central Highlands. Irrigated rice paddies emerged in highland Betsileo country by 1600 and were complemented with terraced paddies throughout Imerina a century later.Sony VAIO VPCEB1KGX/B Battery Zebu were introduced around 1000 CE by Bantu-speaking East African migrants who maintained large herds. The rising intensity of land cultivation and the ever-increasing demand for zebu pasturage in the central highlands had largely transformed the region from a forest ecosystem to barren grassland by the 17th century.Sony VAIO VPCEB1KGX/W Battery Merina oral histories tell of migration from the southeast coast to the central highlands where the Merina encountered an established population called the Vazimba, who may have been the descendants of an earlier and less technologically advanced Austronesian settlement wave.Sony VAIO VPCEB1LFX Battery The Vazimba were vanquished by Merina kings Andriamanelo, Ralambo and Andrianjaka in the 16th and early 17th centuries. Madagascar was an important transoceanic trading hub connecting ports of the Indian Ocean in the early centuries following human settlement. Sony VAIO VPCEB1LFX/BI Battery The written history of Madagascar begins in the 7th century when Arabs established trading posts along the northwest coast and introduced Islam, the Arabic script (used to transcribe the Malagasy language in a form of writing known as sorabe), Arab astrology and other cultural elements.Sony VAIO VPCEB1LFX/WI Battery European contact began in 1500, when the Portuguese sea captain Diogo Dias sighted the island. The French established trading posts along the east coast in the late 17th century. From about 1774 to 1824, it gained prominence among pirates and European traders, particularly those involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Sony VAIO VPCEB1MFX Battery The small island of Nosy Boroha off the northeastern coast of Madagascar has been proposed by some historians as the site of the legendary pirate utopia of Libertalia. Many European sailors were shipwrecked on the coasts of the island, among them Robert Drury, whose journal is one of the few written depictions of life in southern Madagascar during the 18th century.Sony VAIO VPCEB1MFX/BI Battery The wealth generated by maritime trade spurred the rise of organized kingdoms on the island, some of which had grown quite powerful by the 17th century. Among these were the Betsimisaraka alliance of the eastern coast and theSakalava chiefdoms of Menabe and Boina on the west coast. Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX Battery The Kingdom of Imerina, located in the central highlands with its capital at the royal palace of Antananarivo, likewise emerged at around the same time under the leadership of King Andriamanelo.Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/L Battery
Kingdom of MadagascarUpon its emergence in the early 17th century, the highland kingdom of Imerina was initially a minor power relative to the larger coastal kingdoms and grew even weaker in the early 18th century when King Andriamasinavalona divided it among his four sons.Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/B Battery However, following a century of warring and famine, Imerina was reunited in 1793 by King Andrianampoinimerina (1787-1810). From his capital at Ambohimanga (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), this Merina king rapidly expanded his rule over neighboring principalities with the intent to bring the entire island under his control,Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/P Battery an ambition largely achieved by his son and successor, King Radama I (1810-1828). Radama concluded a treaty with the British governor of Mauritius to abolish the lucrative slave trade in return for British military and financial assistance. Artisan missionary envoys from the London Missionary Society began arriving in 1818. Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/W Battery James Cameron and others established schools, transcribed the Malagasy language using the Roman alphabet, translated the Bible, and introduced a variety of new technologies to the island. Sony VAIO VPCEB1PFX Battery Radama's successor, Queen Ranavalona I (1828-1861), responded to increasing political and cultural encroachment on the part of Britain and France by issuing a royal edict prohibiting the practice of Christianity in Madagascar and eventually expelling all foreigners from the territory. Sony VAIO VPCEB1PFX/B Battery She managed to preserve the island's sovereignty, but at a great cost, as many early Christians were vigorously persecuted and killed under her reign. Her son and successor, Radama II (1861-1863), attempted to relax his mother's stringent policies but was overthrown two years later by Prime Minister Rainivoninahitriniony (1852-1865) and other courtiers.Sony VAIO VPCEB1QGX Battery The courtiers, seeking to end the absolute power of the monarch, offered Radama's queen Rasoherina (1863-1868) the opportunity to rule if she would accept a power sharing arrangement with the Prime Minister a new social contract to be sealed by a political marriage between them.Sony VAIO VPCEB1QGX/BI Battery Queen Rasoherina accepted, first wedding Rainivoninahitriniony, then later deposing him and wedding his brother, Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony (1864-1895), who would go on to marry Queen Ranavalona II(1868-1883) and Queen Ranavalona III) (1883-1897) in succession.Sony VAIO VPCEB1RGX Battery
French colonizationFrance invaded Madagascar in 1883 in what became known as the first Franco-Hova War on the pretext of the non-respect of the Lambert Charter a document granting lucrative concessions to French citizens and a letter entreating the assistance of the French in ending the rule of Ranavalona I, both signed by former king Radama II.Sony VAIO VPCEB1RGX/BI Battery At the war's end, Madagascar ceded Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) on the northern coast to France and paid 560,000 francs to the heirs of Joseph-Fran ois Lambert. In 1890, the British accepted the full formal imposition of a French protectorate. Ultimately, the French bombarded and occupied the harbor of Toamasina on the east coast, and Mahajanga on the west coast in December 1894 and January 1895 respectively.Sony VAIO VPCEB20 Battery The flying column proceeded to march toward Antananarivo but lost many to malaria and other diseases, necessitating reinforcements drawn from Algeria andSub-Saharan Africa. Upon reaching the city in September 1895, the column bombarded the Rova palace with heavy artillery, causing heavy casualties and leading Queen Ranavalona III to surrender.Sony VAIO VPCEC20 Battery After the conclusion of hostilities, in 1896 France annexed Madagascar. The 103-year-old Merina monarchy ended with the royal family being sent into exile, first to Reunion Island and then to Algeria the following year. Slavery was abolished in 1896, but many of the 500,000 liberated slaves remained in their former master's homes as servants.Sony VAIO VPCEE20 Battery Under colonial rule, plantations were established for the production of a variety of export crops. Wide paved boulevards and gathering spaces were constructed in the capital city of Antananarivo and the Rova palace compound was turned into a museum.Sony VAIO VPCEF20 Battery Schools were built, particularly in rural and coastal areas where the schools of the Merina had not reached; education became mandatory between the ages of 6 to 13 and focused primarily on French language and practical skills. The Merina royal tradition of corvee taxes paid in the form of labor was continued under the French and used to construct a railway and roads linking the coastal cities to Antananarivo.Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery During World War I, 46,000 Malagasy troops fought in France, Morocco, and Syria. Some leaders in Nazi Germany proposed deporting all of Europe's Jews to Madagascar (the Madagascar Plan), but nothing came of this. After France fell to Germany, the Vichy government administered Madagascar. Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery During the Battle of Madagascar, British troops occupied the island in 1942 to preclude its seizure by the Japanese, after which the Free French took over. With French prestige at low ebb after the end of World War II, the Malagasy Uprising of 1947 broke out. It was suppressed after over a year of bitter fighting, with death toll estimates ranging from 10,000 to over 80,000.Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery The French later established reformed institutions in 1956 under the Loi Cadre (Overseas Reform Act), and Madagascar moved peacefully towards independence. The Malagasy Republic was proclaimed on October 14, 1958, as an autonomous state within the French Community.Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery A period of provisional government ended with the adoption of a constitution in 1959 and full independence on June 26, 1960.
CapitalAntananarivo is the capital and the largest city of Madagascar. Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery It is located in the highlands region, very near to the geographic center of the island. King Andrianjaka founded Antananarivo around 1610 or 1625 upon the site of a captured Vazimba capital on the hilltop of Analamanga. In 1793 it became the capital, under the Merina kings, of the whole island, and in 1895, after the French conquest of Madagascar, the center of the French colonial administration. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery In 1960, after independence, it became the capital of the Malagasy Republic. In 2011, the capital's population was estimated at 903,000 inhabitants.
Administrative divisionsMadagascar was divided into six autonomous provinces (faritany mizakatena), and subdivided into 22 regions (faritra), the latter created in 2004. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery The regions became the highest subdivision level when the provinces were dissolved in accordance with the results of the 2007 referendum. The regions are further subdivided into 116 districts, 1,548 communes, and 16,969 fokontany. The major cities have a special status as "commune urbaine", at the same level as the districts.Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery
MilitaryThe rise of centralized kingdoms among the Sakalava, Merina and other ethnic groups produced the island's first standing armies by the 16th century, initially equipped with spears but later with muskets, cannons and other firearms. Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery By the early 19th century, Kingdom of Imerina was able to bring much of the island under Merina control with an army ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers.French attacks on coastal towns in the later part of the century prompted British mercenaries to provide training to the queen's army. Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery However, the Malagasy military proved unable to withstand French weaponry and was declared a colony of France in 1897. Madagascar regained political independence and sovereignty over its military in 1960. Since this time the Malagasy military has never engaged in armed conflict with another state or within its own borders, but has occasionally intervened to restore order during periods of political unrest. Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery Under the socialist Second Republic, Admiral Didier Ratsiraka declared mandatory national armed or civil service for all young citizens regardless of gender. Ratsiraka would furthermore mobilize elements of the military to pacify unarmed protesters, occasionally using violent means. Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery His order to fire upon unarmed protesters in 1989 was the catalyst for transition to the democratic Third Republic in 1992. The military remained largely neutral during the protracted standoff between incumbent Ratsiraka and challenger Marc Ravalomanana in the disputed 2001 presidential elections.Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery By contrast, in 2009 a segment of the army defected to the side of Andry Rajoelina, then-mayor of Antananarivo, in support of his attempt to force President Ravalomanana from power. It is widely believed that payoffs were involved in persuading these military personnel to change camps in support of the coup d'etat.Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery
PoliticsAlthough the head of state since March 2009 is self-proclaimed, Madagascar is usually a semi-presidential representative democratic multi-party republic, wherein the popularly elected President is the head of state and selects a Prime Minister to form a government.Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery In the Malagasy system, the word government refers collectively to the President, the Prime Minister and all the heads of government ministries (Ministers), the latter being selected by the Prime Minister but serving at the pleasure of the President.Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery According to the constitution, executive power is exercised by the government whilelegislative power is vested in both the government and the Senate and the National Assembly, although in reality these two latter bodies have very little power or legislative role. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery The constitution declares the judiciary to be independent of the executive and the legislature, but constitutional provisions empowering the Minister of Justice to interfere in operations of the judiciary branch effectively undermine intended separation of powers, consolidating the strength of the executive branch.Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery The political situation in Madagascar has been marked by struggle for control. After Madagascar gained independence from France in 1960, political transitions have been marked by numerous popular protests, several disputed elections, two military coups and one assassination. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery Didier Ratsiraka took power in a military coup in 1975 and ruled until 2001, with a short break when he was ousted in the early 1990s. When Marc Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka both claimed victory after presidential elections in December 2001, Ratsiraka's supporters tried to blockade the capital, Antananarivo, which was pro-Ravalomanana. Sony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ Battery After eight months of sporadic violence with considerable economic disruption, a recount in April 2002 led the High Constitutional Court to pronounce Ravalomanana president, but it was not until July that Ratsiraka fled to France and Ravalomanana gained control of the country.Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery Between 2002 and 2009, Ravalomanana and his party Tiako I Madagasikara (TIM) dominated political life. Ravalomanana's re-election in December 2006 was met with some protests over worsening standards of living, despite an ongoing government drive to eradicate poverty.Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery A series of protests against then-President Marc Ravalomanana in 2009, backed by Andry Rajoelina, former mayor of Antananarivo, became violent, with more than 170 people killed. Rajoelina mobilized his supporters to take to the streets of Antananarivo to demand Ravalomanana's ousting on the grounds of his autocratic style of government.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/B Battery After losing support of the military and under intense pressure from Rajoelina, President Ravalomanana resigned on March 17, 2009. Ravalomanana assigned his powers to a military council loyal to himself headed by Vice-Admiral Hyppolite Ramaroson.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/D Battery The military called the move by Ravalomanana a "ploy" and said that it would support Rajoelina as leader. Rajoelina had already declared himself the new leader a month earlier and assumed the role of acting President, appointing Monja Roindefo as Prime Minister.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/G Battery Rajoelina announced that elections would be held in two years and that the constitution would be amended. The European Union, amongst other international entities, refused to recognize the new government, due to it being installed by force. The African Union, which proceeded to suspend Madagascar's membership on March 20,Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/P Battery and the Southern Africa Development Community both criticized the forced resignation of Ravalomanana.
Foreign relationsMadagascar was historically perceived as being on the margin of mainstream African affairs despite being a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity, which was founded in 1963.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/W Battery France remained the country's closest partner throughout the First Republic, stirring popular resentment and public protests that ultimately toppled the Tsiranana regime. Ratsiraka's socialist Second Republic turned its attention to partnerships with the Soviet Union, China and other socialist states. Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/B Battery
Posted October 17th, 2011 at 12:56am
The Family Provision Act of 1966 amended a series of pre-existing estate laws mainly related to persons who died interstate. The legislation increased the amount that could be paid of surviving spouses if a will hadn't been left, and also expanded upon the jurisdiction of county courts, which were given the jurisdiction of high courts under certain circumstances when handling matters of estate. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ295N/XC Battery The rights of adopted children were also improved with certain wording changed in the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act of 1938 to bestow opon them the same rights as natural-born children. In 1968, the Nurseries and Child-Minders Regulation Act 1948 was updatedto include more categories of childminders.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ298N/XC Battery A year later, the Family Law Reform Act was passed, which allowed people born outside marriage to inherit on the intestacy of either parent. The Race Relations Act of 1965 outlawed direct discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, and ethnic or national origin in some public places.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ33/B Battery The legislation also set up a Race Relations Board. Thsi was followed by the Race Relations Act of 1968, which made racial discrimination illegal. The Criminal Justice Act of 1967 introduced suspended prison sentences and allowed a ten to two majority vote for jury decisions. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ33/N Battery An Ombudsman (Parliamentary Commissioner) was appointed in 1967 to consider complaints against government departments and to impose remedies, while censorship of plays by the Lord Chamberlain was abolished (1969). In addition, the law on Sunday Observance was relaxed.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ33/W Battery A number of private members' bills related to consumer affairs, put forward by Co-operative MPs, became law under the First Wilson Government, and much of the consumer legislation taken for granted by contemporary British shoppers can be attributed to the legislation passed during this period. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ350N/B Battery In 1968, the Trade Descriptions Act (the "shoppers' charter") was enacted by parliament, and a farm and garden chemicals bill also became law that same year. Other co-operative bills enacted during this period included a new Clean Air Act, a bill removing restrictions on off-licences, and a bill to promote agriculture co-operatives passed in 1967,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ350N/N Battery which established "A scheme administered by a new Central Council for Agriculture and Horticulture Co-operation with a budget to organise and promote co-operation with agriculture and horticulture". The 1970 Chronically Sick & Disabled Persons Act, regarded as a groundbreaking measure, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ350N/P Battery was the first kind of legislation in the world to recognise and give rights to disabled people, and set down specific provisions to improve access and support for people with disabilities. The government effectively supported the passage of these bills by granting them the necessary parliamentary time. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ370N/B Battery
Record of first term on income distributionDespite the economic difficulties faced by the First Wilson Government, it succeeded in maintaining low levels of unemployment and inflation during its time in office. Unemployment was kept below 2.7%, and inflation for much of the '60s remained below 4%. Living standards generally improved,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ37N/G Battery while public spending on housing, social security, transport, research, education and health went up by an average of more than 6% between 1964 and 1970. By 1970, income in Britain was more equally distributed than in 1964, mainly because of increases in cash benefits, including family allowances.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ37N/P Battery According to one historian, "In its commitment to social services and public welfare, the Wilson government put together a record unmatched by any subsequent administration, and the mid-sixties are justifiably seen as the 'golden age' of the welfare state".Sony VAIO VGN-TZ37N/R Battery The First Wilson Government thus saw the distribution of income became more equal, while reductions in poverty took place. These achievements were mainly brought about by several increases in social welfare benefits, such as supplementary benefit, pensions and family allowances, the latter of which were doubled between 1964 and 1970 (although most of the increase in family allowances did not come about until 1968). Sony VAIO VGN-TZ37N/X Battery A new system of rate rebates was introduced, which benefited one million households by the end of the '60s. Increases in national insurance benefits in 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1969 ensured that those dependant on state benefits saw their disposable incomes rise faster than manual wage earners, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ38N/X Battery while income differentials between lower income and higher income workers were marginally narrowed. Greater progressivity was introduced in the tax system, with greater emphasis on direct (income-based) as opposed to indirect (typically expenditure-based) taxation as a means of raising revenue, with the amount raised by the former increasing twice as much as that of the latter.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ398U/XC Battery In the government's last budget (introduced in 1970), two million small taxpayers were exempted from paying any income tax altogether. Also, in spite of an increase in unemployment, the poor improved their share of the national income while that of the rich was slightly reduced.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ50B Battery Between 1964 and 1968, benefits in kind were significantly progressive, in that over the period those in the lower half of the income scale benefited more than those in the upper half. On average those receiving state benefits benefited more in terms of increases in real disposable income than the average manual worker or salaried employee between 1964 and 1969.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ90HS Battery From 1964 to 1969, low-wage earners did substantially better than other sections of the population. In 1969, a married couple with two children were 11.5% per cent richer in real terms, while for a couple with three children, the corresponding increase was 14.5%, and for a family with four children, 16.5%.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ90NS Battery In addition, mainly as a result of big increases in cash benefits, unemployed persons and large families gained more in terms of real disposable income than the rest of the population during Wilson's time in office. Between 1964 and 1968, cash benefits rose as a percentage of income for all households but more so for poorer than for wealthier households. As noted by the economist Michael Stewart,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ90S Battery "it seems indisputable that the high priority the Labour Government gave to expenditure on education and the health service had a favourable effect on income distribution." For a family with two children in the income range 676 to 816 per annum, cash benefits rose from 4% of income in 1964 to 22% in 1968, compared with a change from 1% to 2% for a similar family in the income range 2,122 to 2,566 over the same period. Sony VAIO VPC CW2MFX/PU Battery For benefits in kind the changes over the same period for similar families were from 21% to 29% for lower income families and from 9% to 10% for higher income families. When taking into account all benefits, taxes and Government expenditures on social services,Sony VAIO VPC S11V9E/B Battery the First Wilson government succeeded in bringing about a reduction in income inequality As noted by the historian Kenneth O. Morgan, "In the long term, therefore, fortified by increases in supplementary and other benefits under the Crossman regime in 1968-70, the welfare state had made some impact, almost by inadvertence, on social inequality and the maldistribution of real income".Sony VAIO VPCB119GJ/B Battery Public expenditure as a percentage of GDP rose significantly under the 1964-1970 Labour government, from 34% in 1964-65 to nearly 38% of GDP by 1969-70, whilst expenditure on social services rose from 16% of national income in 1964 to 23% by 1970.Sony VAIO VPCB11AGJ Battery These measures had a major impact on the living standards of low-income Britons, with disposable incomes rising faster for low-income groups than for high-income groups during the course of the '60s. When measuring disposable income after taxation but including benefits, the total disposable income of those on the highest incomes fell by 33%,Sony VAIO VPCB11AVJ Battery whilst the total disposable income of those on the lowest incomes rose by 104%. As noted by one historian, "the net effect of Labour's financial policies was indeed to make the rich poorer and the poor richer".Sony VAIO VPCB11V9E Battery
EuropeAmong the more challenging political dilemmas Wilson faced during his two terms in government and his two spells in Opposition before 1964 and between 1970 and 1974 was the issue of British membership of the European Community, the forerunner of the present European Union.Sony VAIO VPCB11X9E Battery An entry attempt had been issued in July 1961 by the Macmillan government, and negotiated by Edward Heath as Lord Privy Seal, but was vetoed in 1963 by French President Charles de Gaulle. The Labour Party in Opposition had been divided on the issue, with former party leader Hugh Gaitskell having come out in 1962 in opposition to Britain joining the Community.Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/P Battery After initially hesitating over the issue, Wilson's Government in May 1967 lodged the UK's second application to join the European Community. Like the first, though, it was vetoed by de Gaulle in November that year. Following his victory in the 1970 election (and helped by de Gaulle's fall from power in 1969), the new prime minister Edward Heath negotiated Britain's admission to the EC, alongside Denmark and Ireland in 1973. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/R Battery The Labour Party in opposition continued to be deeply divided on the issue, and risked a major split. Leading opponents of membership included Richard Crossman, who was for two years (1970-72) the editor of New Statesman, at that time the leading left-of-centre weekly journal, which published many polemics in support of the anti-EC case. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/W Battery Prominent among Labour supporters of membership was Roy Jenkins. Wilson in opposition showed political ingenuity in devising a position that both sides of the party could agree on, opposing the terms negotiated by Heath but not membership in principle. Labour's 1974 manifesto included a pledge to renegotiate terms for Britain's membership and then hold a referendum on whether to stay in the EC on the new terms. Sony VAIO VPCCW19FJ/W Battery This was a constitutional procedure without precedent in British history. Following Wilson's return to power, the renegotiations with Britain's fellow EC members were carried out by Wilson himself in tandem with Foreign Secretary James Callaghan, and they toured the capital cities of Europe meeting their European counterpartsSony VAIO VPCCW1AFJ Battery (some[who?] commentators have suggested that their co-operation in this exercise may have been the source of a close relationship between the two men which is claimed to have assisted a smooth change-over when Wilson retired from office). The discussions focused primarily on Britain's net budgetary contribution to the EC. Sony VAIO VPCCW1AHJ Battery As a small agricultural producer heavily dependent on imports, the UK suffered doubly from the dominance of:
AsiaPrior United States military involvement in Vietnam intensified following the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964. US President Lyndon Johnson brought pressure to bear for at least a token involvement of British military units in the Vietnam War. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/P Battery Wilson consistently avoided any commitment of British forces, giving as reasons British military commitments to the Malayan Emergency and British co-chairmanship of the 1954 Geneva Conference which agreed the cessation of hostilities and internationally supervised elections in Vietnam.Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/R Battery His government offered some rhetorical support for the US position (most prominently in the defence offered by the Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart in a much-publicised "teach-in" or debate on Vietnam). On at least one occasion the British government made an unsuccessful effort to mediate in the conflict, Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/W Battery with Wilson discussing peace proposals with Alexei Kosygin, the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. On 28 June 1966 Wilson 'dissociated' his Government from American bombing of the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong. In his memoirs, Wilson writes of "selling LBJ a bum steer" a reference to Johnson's Texas origins, which conjured up images of cattle and cowboys in British minds.Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/B Battery Wilson's approach of maintaining close relations with the US while pursuing an independent line on Vietnam has attracted new interest in the light of the different approach taken by the Blair government vis-a-vis Britain's participation in the Iraq War (2003). Wilson's government secretly supported the US invasion of Cambodia on 29 April 1970.Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/L Battery Since World War II, Britain's presence in the Far East had gradually been run down. Former British colonies, whose defence had provided much of the rationale for a British military presence in the region, moved towards independence under British governments of both parties. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/R Battery Successive UK Governments also became conscious of the cost to the exchequer and the economy of maintaining major forces abroad (in parallel, several schemes to develop strategic weaponry were abandoned on the grounds of cost, for example, the Blue Streak missile and the TSR2 aircraft).Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/W Battery Part of the price paid by Wilson after talks with President Johnson in June 1967 for US assistance with the UK economy was his agreement to maintain a military presence East of Suez. In July 1967 Defence Secretary Denis Healey announced that Britain would abandon her mainland bases East of Suez by 1977, although airmobile forces would be retained which could if necessary be deployed in the region. Sony VAIO VPCCW26EC Battery Shortly afterward, in January 1968, Wilson announced that the proposed timetable for this withdrawal was to be accelerated, and that British forces were to be withdrawn from Singapore, Malaysia, and the Persian Gulf by the end of 1971. However, Wilson's successor Edward Heath sought to reverse this policy, and British forces remained in Singapore and Malaysia until the mid-1970s.Sony VAIO VPCCW26FX/B Battery Whilst widely criticised at the time, over the longer term the decision can be seen as a logical culmination of the withdrawal from Britain's colonial-era political and military commitments in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere that had been underway under British governments of both parties since the Second World War and of the parallel switch of Britain's emphasis to its European identity.Sony VAIO VPCCW28EC Battery Wilson was known for his strong pro-Israel views. He was a particular friend of Israeli Premier Golda Meir, though her tenure largely coincided with Wilson's 1970-1974 hiatus. Another associate was German Chancellor Willy Brandt; all three were members of the Socialist International.Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/P Battery
AfricaIn 1960, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan made his important Wind of Change speech to the Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. This heralded independence for many British colonies in Africa. The British "retreat from Empire" had made headway by 1964 and was to continue during Wilson's administration. Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/R Battery The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland came to present serious problems. The Federation was set up in 1953, and was an amalgamation of the Protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland and the colony of Southern Rhodesia. Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/W Battery After struggles for independence, the Federation was dissolved in 1963 and the states of Zambia and Malawi achieved independence. The colony of Southern Rhodesia, which had been the economic powerhouse of the Federation, was not granted independence, principally because of the regime in power. Sony VAIO VPCCW29FJ/W Battery The colony bordered South Africa to the south and its governance was heavily influenced by the apartheid regime, then headed byHendrik Verwoerd. Wilson refused to grant independence to the white minority government headed by Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith which showed little inclination to extend political influence to the native African population, let alone to grant majority rule.Sony VAIO VPCCW2AFJ Battery Smith's defiant response was a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, timed to coincide with Armistice Day at 11.00 am on 11 November 1965, an attempt to garner support in the UK by reminding people of the contribution of the colony to the war effort (Smith himself had been a Spitfire pilot).Sony VAIO VPCCW2AHJ Battery Smith was personally vilified in the British media.Wilson's immediate recourse was to the United Nations, and in 1965, the Security Council imposed sanctions, which were to last until official independence in 1979. This involved British warships blockading the port of Beira to try to cause economic collapse in Rhodesia. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E Battery Wilson was applauded by most nations for taking a firm stand on the issue (and none extended diplomatic recognition to the Smith regime). A number of nations did not join in with sanctions, undermining their efficiency. Certain sections of public opinion started to question their efficacy, and to demand the toppling of the regime by force. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/B Battery Wilson declined to intervene in Rhodesia with military force, believing the UK population would not support such action against their "kith and kin". The two leaders met for discussions aboard British warships, Tiger in 1966 andFearless in 1968. Smith subsequently attacked Wilson in his memoirs, accusing him of delaying tactics during negotiations and alleging duplicity; Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/L Battery Wilson responded in kind, questioning Smith's good faith and suggesting that Smith had moved the goal-posts whenever a settlement appeared in sight. The matter was still unresolved at the time of Wilson's resignation in 1976. Elsewhere in Africa, trouble developed in Nigeria, brought about by the ethnic diversity of the country and the wealth being generated by the nascent oil industry.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/P Battery Wilson's government felt disinclined to interfere in the internal affairs of a fellow Commonwealth nation and supported the government of General Yakubu Gowon during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-1970.
Electoral defeat and oppositionBy 1969, the Labour Party was suffering serious electoral reverses, and by the turn of 1970 had lost a total of 16 seats in by-elections since the previous general election.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/R Battery In May 1970, Wilson responded to an apparent recovery in his government's popularity by calling a general election, but, to the surprise of most observers, was defeated at the polls by the Conservatives under Heath.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/W Battery Wilson survived as leader of the Labour party in opposition. Economic conditions during the 1970s were becoming more difficult for the UK and many other western economies as a result of the ending of the Bretton Woods Agreement and the 1973 oil shock,Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery and the Heath government in its turn was buffeted by economic adversity and industrial unrest (notably including confrontation with the coalminers which led to the Three-day week) towards the end of 1973, and on 7 February 1974 (with the crisis still ongoing) Heath called a snap election for 28 February. Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery
Second term as Prime Minister (1974-76)When Labour won more seats (though fewer votes) than the Conservative Party in February 1974 and Heath was unable to persuade the Liberals to form a coalition, Wilson returned to 10 Downing Street on 4 March 1974 as Prime Minister of a minority Labour Government. He gained a three-seat majority in another election later that year, on 10 October 1974.Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery One of the key issues addressed during his second period in office was the referendum on British membership of the EEC (see Europe, above). The Second Wilson Government implemented a wide-ranging programme of social reform during its two years in office, with spending on education, health, price controls, and housing rents expanded from 1974 to 1976, amongst other reforms.Sony VAIO VPCF116FGBI Battery In March 1974, an additional 2 billion were announced for benefits, food subsidies, and housing subsidies, including a record 25% increase in the pension. Council house rents were also frozen. That same year, national insurance benefits were increased by 13%, which brought pensions as a proportion of average earnings "up to a value equivalent to the previous high, which was reached in 1965 as a result of Labour legislation."Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery In order to maintain the real value of these benefits in the long term, the government introduced legislation which linked future increases in pensions to higher incomes or wages. In 1974-75, social spending was increased in real terms by 9%. In 1974, pensions were increased in real terms by 14%, while in early 1975 increases were made in family allowances. Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery There were also significant increases in rate and rent subsidies, together with 500 million worth of food subsidies. Wilson also raised income tax on top earners to 83%, the highest level since the Second World War. In 1975, a state earnings related pension scheme (SERPS) was introduced. Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery A new pension, which was inflation-proofed and linked to earnings, was added to the basic pension which was to increase in line with earnings for the first time ever. This reform assisted women by the linking of pensions to the 'twenty best years' of earnings, and those who worked at home caring for children or others were counted as contributors. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery This scheme was eroded by the subsequent Thatcher Government, and insufficient pension rights had been built up by that time to establish resistance to its erosion. The Sex Discrimination Act (1975) gave women the right in principle to equal access to jobs and equal treatment at work with men, while the Employment Protection Act introduced statutory maternity leave.Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery That same year, the wage stop was finally abolished. In addition, differentials between skilled and unskilled workers were narrowed as a result of egalitarian pay policies involving flat-rate increases. To help those with disabilities, the government introduced an invalid care allowance, a mobility allowance, a non-contributory invalidity pension for those unable to contribute through national insurance, and other measures. Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery To combat child poverty, legislation to create a universal Child Benefit was introduced in 1975 (a reform later implemented by the Callaghan Government).To raise the living standards of those dependant on national insurance benefits, the government index-linked short-term benefits to the rate of inflation, Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery while pensions and long-term benefits were tied to increases in prices or earnings, whichever was higher. Wilson's government came under scrutiny in 1975 for unemployment, with the total number of Britons out of work passing 1,000,000 by April of that year.Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery The Social Security Pensions Act of 1975 introduced equal treatment in pension schemes and eliminated the contributions test which limited state pensions for women. The Housing Finance Act(1974) increased aid to local authorities for slum clearance, introduced a system of "fair rents" in public and private sector unfurnished accommodation, and introduced rent rebates for council tenants.Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery The Housing Act (1974) improved a renovation grants scheme, provided increased levels of aid to housing associations, and extended the role of the Housing Corporation. The Rent Act of 1974extended security of tenure to tenants of furnished properties and allowed access to rent tribunals. Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery The Community Land Act (1975) allowed for the taking into public control of development land, while the Child Benefits Act introduced an extra payment for lone parents. Circular 4/74 (1974) renewed pressure for moves towards comprehensive education (progress of which had stalled under the Heath Government), while the industrial relations legislation passed underEdward Heath was repealed. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 set up a Health and Safety Commission and Executive and set up a legal framework for health and safety at work. The Employment Protection Act of 1975 set up the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services (ACAS) to arbitrate in industrial disputes, enlarged the rights of employees and trade unions, extended the redundancy payments scheme, and provided redress against unfair dismissal. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery The legislation also provided for paid maternity leave and outlawed dismissal for pregnancy. The Social Security Act of 1975 introduced a maternity allowance fund, while the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 set up an Equal Opportunities Commission and outlawed gender discrimination (both indirect and direct).Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery
Northern IrelandIn the late 1960s, Wilson's earlier government had witnessed the outbreak of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. In response to a request from the Stormont government, the government agreed to deploy the British Army in an effort to maintain the peace.Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery Out of office in the autumn of 1971, Wilson formulated a 16-point, 15 year programme that was designed to pave the way for the unification of Ireland. The proposal was welcomed, in principle, by the Heath government at the time but never put into effect.Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery In May 1974, when back in office as leader of a minority government, Wilson condemned the Unionist-controlled Ulster Workers' Strike as a "sectarian strike", which was "being done for sectarian purposes having no relation to this century but only to the seventeenth century". Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery He, however, refused to pressure a reluctant British Army to face down the loyalist paramilitaries who were intimidating utility workers. In a televised speech later, he referred to the loyalist strikers and their supporters as "spongers" who expected Britain to pay for their lifestyles. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery The strike was eventually successful in breaking the power-sharing Northern Ireland executive. On 11 September 2008, BBC Radio Four's Document programme claimed to have unearthed a secret plan - codenamed Doomsday - which proposed to cut all constitutional ties with Northern Ireland and transform the province into an independent dominion. Sony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ Battery Document went on to claim that the Doomsday plan was devised mainly by Wilson and was kept a closely guarded secret. The plan then allegedly lost momentum, due in part, it was claimed, to warnings made by both the then Foreign Secretary, James Callaghan,Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery and the Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald who admitted the 12,000-strong Irish army would be unable to deal with the ensuring civil war. In 1975 Wilson secretly offered Libya's Muammar Gaddafi 14 million ( 500 million in 2009 values) to stop arming the IRA, but Gaddafi demanded a far greater sum of money.This offer did not become publicly known until 2009.Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery
ResignationOn 16 March 1976, Wilson surprised the nation by announcing his resignation as Prime Minister (taking effect on 5 April 1976). He claimed that he had always planned on resigning at the age of 60, and that he was physically and mentally exhausted. Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery As early as the late 1960s, he had been telling intimates, like his doctor Sir Joseph Stone (later Lord Stone of Hendon), that he did not intend to serve more than eight or nine years as Prime Minister. Roy Jenkins has suggested that Wilson may have been motivated partly by the distaste for politics felt by his loyal and long-suffering wife, Mary.Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery Beyond this, by 1976 he might already have been aware of the first stages of early-onset Alzheimer's disease, which was to cause both his formerly excellent memory and his powers of concentration to fail dramatically. Queen Elizabeth II came to dine at 10 Downing Street to mark his resignation, an honour she has bestowed on only one other Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery Wilson's Prime Minister's Resignation Honours included many businessmen and celebrities, along with his political supporters. His choice of appointments caused lasting damage to his reputation, worsened by the suggestion that the first draft of the list had been written by Marcia Williams on lavender notepaper (it became known as the "Lavender List"). Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery Roy Jenkins noted that Wilson's retirement "was disfigured by his, at best, eccentric resignation honours list, which gave peerages or knighthoods to some adventurous business gentlemen, several of whom were close neither to him nor to the Labour Party."Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery Some of those whom Wilson honoured included Lord Kagan, the inventor of Gannex, who was eventually imprisoned for fraud, and Sir Eric Miller, who later committed suicide while under police investigation for corruption. Six candidates stood in the first ballot to replace him, in order of votes they were: Michael Foot, James Callaghan, Roy Jenkins, Tony Benn, Denis Healey andAnthony Crosland. In the third ballot on 5 April, Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery Callaghan defeated Foot in a parliamentary vote of 176 to 137, thus becoming Wilson's successor as Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party, and remained prime minister until May 1979, when Labour lost the general election to the Conservatives and Margaret Thatcherbecame Britain's first female prime minister.Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery As Wilson wished to remain an MP after leaving office, he was not immediately given the peerage customarily offered to retired Prime Ministers, but instead was created a Knight of the Garter. On leaving the House of Commons after the 1983 general election he was created Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, after Rievaulx Abbey, in the north of his native Yorkshire.Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery
Last years and deathShortly after resigning as Prime Minister Wilson was signed by David Frost to host a series of interview/chat show programmes. The pilot episode proved to be a flop as Wilson appeared uncomfortable with the informality of the format. Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery Wilson also hosted two editions of the BBC chat show Friday Night, Saturday Morning. He famously floundered in the role, and in 2000, Channel 4 chose it as one of the 100 Moments of TV Hell. Wilson also coined the name of charity War on Want. A life-long Gilbert and Sullivan fan, in 1975, Wilson joined the Board of Trustees of the D'Oyly Carte Trust at the invitation of Sir Hugh Wontner, who was then the Lord Mayor of London.Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery At Christmas 1978, Wilson appeared on the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special. Eric Morecambe's habit of appearing not to recognise the guest stars was repaid by Wilson, who referred to him throughout as 'Morry-camby' (the mis-pronunciation of Morecambe's name made by Ed Sullivan when the pair appeared on his famous American television show).Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery Wilson was not especially active in the House of Lords, although he did initiate a debate on unemployment in May 1984. His last speech was in a debate on marine pilotage in 1986, when he commented as an elder brother of Trinity House; in the same year, he played himself as Prime Minister in an Anglia Televisiondrama, "Inside Story".Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery Not long after Wilson's retirement, his mental deterioration from Alzheimer's disease began to be apparent, and he did not appear in public after 1988 when he unveiled the Clement Attlee statue at Limehouse Library on 30 November of that year. He continued regularly attending the House of Lords until just over a year before his death; the last sitting he attended was on 27 April 1994.Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery Wilson died from colon cancer and Alzheimer's Diseasein May 1995, aged 79. His memorial service was held in Westminster Abbey on 13 July 1995. It was attended by Prince Charles, former Prime Ministers Edward Heath, James Callaghan and Baroness Thatcher, then Prime Minister John Major and future Prime Minister Tony Blair. Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery Wilson was buried at St. Mary's Old Church, St. Mary's on the Isles of Scilly on 6 June. His epitaph is Tempus Imperator Rerum (Time the Commander of All Things).
Political "style"Wilson regarded himself as a "man of the people" and did much to promote this image, contrasting himself with the stereotypical aristocratic conservatives who had preceded him. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery Features of this portrayal included his working man's Gannex raincoat, his pipe (the British Pipesmokers' Council voted him Pipe Smoker of the Year in 1965 and Pipeman of the Decade in 1976, though in private he smoked cigars), his love of simple cooking and fondness for popular British relish HP Sauce, and his support for his home town's football team, Huddersfield.Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery He spoke with a studied working classYorkshire accent, although this was not part of his background, as his father had spoken "upper class" English. Eschewing continental holidays, he returned every summer with his family to the Isles of Scilly. His first general election victory relied heavily on associating these down-to-earth attributes with a sense that the UK urgently needed to modernise,Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery after "thirteen years of Tory mis-rule....". These characteristics were exaggerated in Private Eye's satirical column "Mrs Wilson's Diary". Wilson exhibited his populist touch in June 1965 when he had The Beatles honoured with the award of MBE (such awards are officially bestowed by The Queen but are nominated by the Prime Minister of the day). Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery The award was popular with young people and contributed to a sense that the Prime Minister was "in touch" with the younger generation. There were some protests by conservatives and elderly members of the military who were earlier recipients of the award, but such protesters were in the minority.Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery Critics claimed that Wilson acted to solicit votes for the next general election (which took place less than a year later), but defenders noted that, since the minimum voting age at that time was 21, this was hardly likely to impact many of the Beatles' fans who at that time were predominantly teenagers. Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery It cemented Wilson's image as a modernistic leader and linked him to the burgeoning pride in the 'New Britain' typified by the Beatles. The Beatles mentioned Wilson rather negatively, naming both him and his opponent Edward Heath in George Harrison's song "Taxman", the opener to 1966's Revolver recorded and released after the MBEs.Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery In 1967, Wilson had a different interaction with a musical ensemble. He sued the pop group The Move for libel after the band's manager Tony Secunda published a promotional postcard for the single "Flowers In The Rain", featuring a caricature depicting Wilson in bed with his female assistant, Marcia Williams (later Baroness Falkender). Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery Gossip had hinted at an improper relationship, though these rumours were never substantiated. Wilson won the case, and all royalties from the song (composed by Move leader Roy Wood) were assigned in perpetuity to a charity of Wilson's choosing.Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery Wilson coined the term 'Selsdon Man' to refer to the anti-interventionist policies of the Conservative leader Edward Heath, developed at a policy retreat held at the Selsdon Park Hotel in early 1970. This phrase, intended to evoke the 'primitive throwback' qualities of anthropological discoveries such as Piltdown Man and Swanscombe Man, was part of a British political tradition of referring to political trends by suffixing 'man'. Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery Another famous quote is "A week is a long time in politics": this signifies that political fortunes can change extremely rapidly. Other memorable phrases attributed to Wilson include "the white heat of the [technological] revolution." In his broadcast after the 1967 devaluation of the pound, Wilson said: Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery "This does not mean that the pound here in Britain - in your pocket or purse - is worth any less....", and the phrase "the pound in your pocket" subsequently took on a life of its own.
ReputationDespite his successes and one-time popularity, Harold Wilson's reputation took a long time to recover from the low ebb reached immediately following his second premiership. Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery Some accuse him of undue deviousness, some claim he did not do enough to modernise the Labour Party's policy positions on issues such as the respective roles of the state and the market or the reform of industrial relations. This line of argument partly blames Wilson for the civil unrest of the late 1970s Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery (during Britain's Winter of Discontent), and for the electoral success of the Conservative party and its ensuing 18-year rule. His supporters argue that Wilson's skilful management (on issues such as nationalisation, Europe and Vietnam) allowed an otherwise fractious party to stay politically united and govern. Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery This co-existence did not long survive his leadership, and the factionalism that followed contributed greatly to the Labour Party's electoral weakness during the 1980s. The reinvention of the Labour Party would take the better part of two decades, at the hands of Neil Kinnock, John Smith and - electorally, most conclusively - Tony Blair.Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery In 1964, when Wilson took office, the mainstream of informed opinion (in all the main political parties, in academia and the media, etc.) strongly favoured the type of technocratic, "indicative planning" approach that Wilson endeavoured to implement. Radical market-orientated reforms, of the kind eventually adopted by Margaret Thatcher,Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery were in the mid-1960s backed only by a 'fringe' of enthusiasts (such as the leadership of the later-influential Institute of Economic Affairs), and had almost no representation at senior levels even of the Conservative Party. Fifteen years later, disillusionment with Britain's weak economic performance and troubled industrial relations, Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery combined with active spadework by figures such as Sir Keith Joseph, had helped to make a radical market programme politically feasible for Thatcher (which was in turn to influence the subsequent Labour leadership, especially under Blair). An opinion poll in September 2011 found that Wilson came in third place when respondents were asked to name the best post-war Labour Party leader. He was beaten only by John Smith and Tony Blair.Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery
MI5 plots?In 1963, Soviet defector Anatoliy Golitsyn is said to have secretly claimed that Wilson was a KGB agent. The majority of intelligence officers did not believe that Golitsyn was credible in this and various other claims, but a significant number did (most prominently James Jesus Angleton,Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery the Deputy Director of Counter-Intelligence at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)) and factional strife broke out between the two groups. The book Spycatcher (an expos of MI5) alleged that 30 MI5 agents then collaborated in an attempt to undermine Wilson. Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery The author Peter Wright (a former member of MI5) later claimed that his ghostwriter had written 30 when he had meant 3. Several other voices beyond Wright have raised claims of "dirty tricks" on the part of elements within the intelligence services against Wilson while he was in office. In March 1987, James Miller, a former MI5 agent, claimed that MI5 had encouraged the Ulster Workers' Council general strike in 1974 in order to destabilise Wilson's Government. Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery See also: Walter Walker and David Stirling. In July 1987, Labour MP Ken Livingstone used his maiden speech to raise the 1975 allegations of a former Army Press officer in Northern Ireland, Colin Wallace, who also alleged a plot to destabilise Wilson.Chris Mullin, MP, speaking on 23 November 1988, argued that sources other than Peter Wright supported claims of a long-standing attempt by the intelligence services (MI5) to undermine Wilson's government. Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery A BBC programme The Plot Against Harold Wilson, broadcast in 2006, reported that, in tapes recorded soon after his resignation on health grounds, Wilson stated that for eight months of his premiership he didn't "feel he knew what was going on, fully, in security". Wilson alleged two plots, in the late 1960s and mid 1970s respectively. Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery He said that plans had been hatched to install Lord Mountbatten, Prince Charles's uncle and mentor, as interim Prime Minister (see also Other conspiracy theories, below). He also claimed that ex-military leaders had been building up private armies in anticipation of "wholesale domestic liquidation". In the documentary some of Wilson's allegations received partial confirmation in interviews with ex-intelligence officers and others, who reported that, on two occasions during Wilson's terms in office, they had talked about a possible coup to take over the government.Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery On a separate track, elements within MI5 had also, the BBC programme reported, spread "black propaganda" that Wilson and Williams were Soviet agents, and that Wilson was an IRA sympathiser, apparently with the intention of helping the Conservatives win the 1974 election.Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/G Battery In 2009, Defence of the Realm, the authorised history of MI5 by Christopher Andrew, held that while MI5 kept a file on Wilson from 1945, when he became an MP - because communist civil servants claimed that he had similar political sympathies - there was no bugging of his home or office, and no conspiracy against him.Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/L Battery In 2010 newspaper reports made detailed allegations that the bugging of 10 Downing Street had been omitted from the history for "wider public interest reasons". In 1963 on Macmillan's orders following the Profumo Affair, MI5 bugged the cabinet room, the waiting room, and the prime minister's study until the bugs were removed in 1977 on Callaghan's orders. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/P Battery From the records it is unclear if Wilson or Heath knew of the bugging, and no recorded conversations were retained by MI5 so possibly the bugs were never activated. Professor Andrew had previously recorded in the preface of the history that "One significant excision as a result of these requirements (in the chapter on The Wilson Plot) is, I believe, hard to justify" giving credence to these new allegations. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery
Other conspiracy theoriesRichard Hough, in his 1980 biography of Mountbatten, indicates that Mountbatten was approached during the 1960s in connection with a scheme to install an "emergency government" in place of Wilson's administration.Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/P Battery The approach was made by Cecil Harmsworth King, the chairman of the International Publishing Corporation (IPC), which published the Daily Mirror newspaper. Hough bases his account on conversations with the Mirror's long-time editor Hugh Cudlipp, supplemented by the recollections of the scientist Solly Zuckerman and of Mountbatten's valet, William Evans. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI Battery Cudlipp arranged for Mountbatten to meet King on 8 May 1968. King had long yearned to play a more central political role, and had personal grudges against Wilson (including Wilson's refusal to propose King for the hereditary earldom that King coveted). He had already failed in an earlier attempt to replace Wilson with James Callaghan. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery With Britain's continuing economic difficulties and industrial strife in the 1960s, King convinced himself that Wilson's government was heading towards collapse. He thought that Mountbatten, as a Royal and a former Chief of the Defence Staff, would command public support as leader of a non-democratic "emergency" government. Sony VAIO VPCEA20 Battery Mountbatten insisted that his friend, Zuckerman, be present (Zuckerman says that he was urged to attend by Mountbatten's son-in-law, Lord Brabourne, who worried King would lead Mountbatten astray). King asked Mountbatten if he would be willing to head an emergency government. Sony VAIO VPCEB10 Battery Zuckerman said the idea was treason and Mountbatten in turn rebuffed King. He does not appear to have reported the approach to Downing Street. The question of how serious a threat to democracy may have existed during these years continues to be contentious Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM Battery a key point at issue being who of any consequence would have been ready to move beyond grumbling about the government (or spreading rumours) to actively taking unconstitutional action. Cecil King himself was an inveterate schemer but an inept actor on the political stage. Perhaps significantly, Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM/BI Battery when King penned a strongly worded editorial against Wilson for the Daily Mirror two days after his abortive meeting with Mountbatten, the unanimous reaction of IPC's directors was to fire him with immediate effect from his position as Chairman. King's resignation was considered a serious enough matter for the BBC to have senior journalist William Hardcastle announce it in a news flash. Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM/T Battery More fundamentally, Denis Healey, who served for six years as Wilson's Secretary of State for Defence, has argued that actively serving senior British military officers would not have been prepared to overthrow a constitutionally-elected government.Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM/WI Battery By the time of his resignation, Wilson's own perceptions of any threat may very well have been exacerbated by the onset of Alzheimer's disease; his inherent tendency to chariness was undoubtedly stoked by some in his inner circle, including Marcia Williams. Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX Battery He reportedly shared with a surprised George H. W. Bush, at the time the Director of the CIA, his fear that some of the portraits in 10 Downing Street (specifically including Gladstone's portrait in the Cabinet Room) concealed listening devices being used to bug his discussions.Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/BI Battery Files released on 1 June 2005 show that Wilson was concerned that, while on the Isles of Scilly, he was being monitored by Russian ships disguised as trawlers. MI5 found no evidence of this, but told him not to use a walkie-talkie. Wilson's Government took strong action against the controversial, self-styled "Church" of Scientology in 1967, banning foreign Scientologists from entering the UK, a prohibition which remained in force until 1980.Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/T Battery In response, L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder, accused Wilson of being in cahoots with Soviet Russia and an international conspiracy of psychiatrists and financiers. Wilson's Minister of Health, Kenneth Robinson, subsequently won a libel suit against the Scientologists and Hubbard.Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/WI Battery
Statues and other tributesTwo statues of Harold Wilson stand in prominent places. Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/BI Battery The first, unveiled by then Prime Minister Tony Blair stands outside Huddersfield railway station in St George's Square, Huddersfield. Costing 70,000, the statue designed by sculptor Ian Walters, is based on photographs taken in 1964 and depicts Lord Wilson in walking pose at the start of his first term as Prime Minister. Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/T Battery His wife Mary requested that the eight-foot tall monument did not show Wilson holding his famous pipe as she feared it would make the representation a caricature. In September 2006, Blair unveiled a second bronze statue of Wilson in his former constituency of Huyton, near Liverpool.Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/WI Battery The statue was by Liverpool sculptor, Tom Murphy, and Blair paid tribute to Wilson's legacy at the event, including the Open University. He added: "He also brought in a whole new culture, a whole new country. He made the country very, very different". Also in 2006, a street on a new housing development in Tividale, West Midlands, was named Wilson Drive in honour of Wilson.Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX Battery Along with neighbouring new development Callaghan drive (named after James Callaghan), it formed part of a large housing estate developed since the 1960s where all streets were named after former prime ministers or senior parliamentary figures.Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/BI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/BIC Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/T Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/BI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/T Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/WI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/BI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/T Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/WI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/BI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/T Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/WI Battery
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