Intra-Asian trade is a major theme of recent writing on Asian economic history. From the second half of the nineteenth century, intra-Asian trade flows linked Asia into an integrated economic system, with reciprocal benefits for all participants. But although this was a network from which all gained, there was also considerable inter-Asian competition between Asian producers for these Asian markets, and those of the wider world.
This collection presents captivating snap-shots of trade in specific commodities, alongside chapters comprehensively covering the region. The book covers: China’s relative backwardness, Japanese copper exports, Japan’s fur trade, Siam’s luxury rice trade, Korea, Japanese shipbuilding, the silk trade, the refined sugar trade, competition in the rice trade, the Japanese cotton textile trade to Africa, multilateral settlements in Asia, the cotton textile trade to Britain, and the growth of the palm oil industry in Malaysia and Indonesia. The opening of Asia, especially in Japan and China, liberated the creative forces of the market within the new intra-Asian economy.
Filling a particular gap in the literature on intra-Asian trade prior to the twentieth century, this is an insightful study that makes a considerable contribution to our knowledge of the Asian trade both prior to, and after, the arrival of colonial states. It will be of great interest to historians and economists focusing on Asia.
Table of Contents
Foreword 1. China’s Overseas Trade Policy and its Historical Results 1540-1840 2. The Golden Age of Japanese Copper: The Intra-Asian Copper Trade of the Dutch East India Company 3. Inter-Asian Competition in the Fur Market in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries 4. The Japanese Acquisition of Maritime Technology from the United Kingdom 5. Inter-Asian Competition in the World Market for Silk, 1859-1929 6. Inter-Asian Competition in the Sugar Market, 1890-1941 7. Rival Merchants: The Korean Market in the Late Nineteenth Century 8. The Rice Trade between Siam and Singapore in the Late Nineteenth Century: Tan Kim Ching and Siam 'Garden Rice' 9. The Rangoon Gazette and Inter-Asian Competition in the Intra-Asian Rice Trade, 1920-1941 10. Japanese Competition in the Congo Basin in the 1930s 11. Shifting Patterns of Multilateral Settlements in the Asia-Pacific Regions in the 1930s 12. Inter-Asian Competition for the British Market in Cotton Textiles: The Political Economy of Anglo-Asian Cartels, c.1932-1960 13. An Edible Oil for the World: Malaysian and Indonesian Competition for the Palm Oil Trade, 1945-2000
'A useful collection of papers on an important topic.' – The Economic History Review