Grow first, clean up later' environmental strategies in the
developing economies of East Asia - China, Korea, and Taiwan in
Northeast Asia and Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia - pose a critical regional
and global sustainability challenge in this area of continuing
rapid urban-based industrial growth. It is the most polluted region
in the world. Whilst being at the leading edge of the processes of
urbanization, industrialization, and globalization, these economies
are in the midst, not at the end, of their urban-industrial
transformations. During the next 25 years, urban populations in the
region are expected roughly to double, and most of the industrial
capital stock that will be on the ground by 2030 has not yet been
built. Given East Asia's growing size in the world's economy and
ecology, and its increasingly polluted environment, this looming
urban-industrial transformation is both a challenge and an
opportunity. Unless steps are taken now to make this transformation
more sustainable, East Asia's, and the world's, environmental
future is likely to deteriorate seriously.; Using detailed case
studies and rigorous empirical analyzes, Rock and Angel, leading
experts in this field, show that East Asian governments have found
institutionally unique ways to overcome the sustainability
challenge. As a result of these findings, they demonstrate how even
low income economies in the rest of the world can use regulatory
polices, industrial policies, and an openness to trade and foreign
investment that will increase the competitiveness of their firms
whilst improving their environmental performance, thus proving an
important antidote to those who argue that poor countries cannot
afford to clean up their environment whilst their economies remain
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