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Public Enterprises And Privatization In East Asia: Paths, Politics and Prospects

PFM, Vol. 2 No. 1, (2002)

While the privatization of public enterprises has been a
worldwide policy trend in the latter part of the 20th century and has
often been forced on developing countries by international aid
organizations, there is much evidence to suggest that the
implementation and delivery of this policy are heavily influenced by
national and local considerations. This article reports first on the
varying reasons for establishing public enterprise systems in the
countries of East Asia, and then on the various privatization initiatives
taken and the issues that have arisen in relation to them in those
countries. In contemplating the future, it is likely that present trends
will continue, with public enterprises remaining significant, though
subject to reforms seeking enhanced efficiency and accountability; and
with privatization viewed as a ready tool to be resorted to as required,
mostly for short-term purposes.

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