Vinod K. Aggarwal

Business and Politics, 2001

The Asian crises of 1997 dramatically altered the short-term attractiveness of Asian markets. The almost unbridled optimism that rapid growth would continue in the region had made these markets a central focus for European, American, and other foreign firms. During the darkest moments of the crisis, however—with currencies plunging and contagion threatening—some foreign firms sought to exit the market and shift their regional strategic efforts. Yet in most cases the rapid descent of these economies was followed by equally speedy recovery. Opportunities to secure assets at bargain basement prices and pressures for liberalization of markets brought many firms rushing back to Asia.

This special issue of Business and Politics analyzes how European, American, and Japanese firms have attempted to succeed in Asian markets, both before and after the Asian crises. It is based on a series of three forthcoming edited books that examine market and nonmarket strategies in Asia. As this special issue demonstrates, the most successful firms in Asia have pursued integrated market and nonmarket strategies that respond to and attempt to influence the potential-economic-social environment. Firms that have been able to leverage their capabilities to secure assistance from their home governments, and have developed strategic relationships with Asian governments and firms, have repeatedly emerged as winners. And firms that have ignored the nonmarket environment have done so at their own peril, generally losing out to both foreign and domestic competitors—even if they have a highly competitive market strategy.

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