chapter  4
14 Pages

An opportunity for foreign investors: Crisis-induced market opening in Korea and Thailand

To determine how US economic interests fared in the aftermath of Asia’s recent financial crisis, market opening in Asian economies and US FDI are two strong indicators. The next three chapters explore developments in these areas. As Chapter 1 explained, the most widely discussed perspectives on the consequences of the Asian crisis lacked detailed supporting evidence. In order to reassess America’s economic place in developing Asia, these three chapters present empirically detailed discussions of the post-crisis record concerning market opening and US foreign investment in Korea and Thailand. Drawing on evidence from the five years following the crisis onset, this chapter evaluates the market reforms that were instituted in these two countries with the central finding that the financial crisis was significant for market opening. It led to wideranging and lasting reform. Crisis-induced market reform in areas considered important to foreign investors – especially banking and foreign ownership – has made both the Korean and Thai economies more attractive business environments for foreign investors.