Economy of Asia


The Maldives is a state consisting of 26 atolls with 1192 islands in the Indian Ocean. The country has undergone some democratization. Tourism is an important source of income. Until 2008, trade unions were completely banned in the country.

Country Facts

State condition: Republic

Surface: 298 km2

Capital: Male

Language: Dhivehi and English

Labor market and economy:

The tourism industry accounts for a third of the country’s GDP. Other important industries are the construction sector, transport and telecommunications. Unemployment has been high for a long time, about a quarter of the workforce is without a job. Unemployment is particularly high among women and young people. In the long run, the country’s economy is threatened by climate change. Elevated water levels would threaten to destroy the country.


Nepal is a republic in the Himalayas. Poverty in the country is high, the majority of the population lives in rural areas. Many villages are secluded and the transports are often complicated. Over one million Nepalese work as migrant workers in other countries. The trade union movement is strong but divided and party politicized.


Country Facts

State condition: Monarchy

Surface: 140 800 km2

Capital: Kathmandu

Language: Nepali is spoken by 90 percent of the population, in addition to several minority languages.

Labor market and economy:

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia. Child mortality is high and primitive agriculture does not produce enough food for its own population. Historically, Nepal is an agricultural country. It was not until the 1950’s that the first industries in the country were established, mainly through government initiatives. The production mainly consists of textiles, tea, paper, shoes, cement and sugar. There are millions of child laborers in Nepal, especially the child labor in the food industry. One reason for the weak industrial development is the poor roads and the lack of electricity. The energy shortage has led to a sharp decline in industrial production during the winter months.

About half a million Nepalese work as migrant workers in other countries, including many as construction workers in the oil states around the Persian Gulf. However, the most important destination country for Nepalese migrant workers is Malaysia, followed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The money that migrant workers send home to their families in Nepal is of great importance to the country’s economic development.


According to COUNTRYAAH, Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world. It is a parliamentary democracy, but the military has a strong role to play. There are several trade unions in the country, but repression and repression against trade unionists is common.


Country Facts

State condition: Federal Republic

Surface: 803 900 km2

Capital: Islamabad

Language: Punjabi is the largest language and is spoken by 48 percent of the population, in addition sindhi, siraiki, pashtu, urdu are spoken in several languages. Urdu is the official language of the country

Labor market and economy:

In recent years, the economy has grown insignificantly. At the same time, the population is growing rapidly, leading to increasing poverty. Fifteen years ago, just under 20 per cent of the population lived below the poverty level, that proportion is now 40 per cent.

Pakistan is an agricultural country, half of the labor force is made up of small farmers. More than 25 percent of the land is owned by one percent of the landowners. The most important agricultural product is wheat.

Cotton cultivation is also of great importance because it provides raw materials to the economically important textile and carpet industry. Only 17 percent of the workforce has a formal job, in the public or private sector.


Sri Lanka became independent in 1948, when the British colonizers were allowed to leave the country. Agriculture is important for the economy, but also the growing manufacturing industry. There are several trade unions in the country, some of which are closely linked to political parties, others are more independent.

Sri Lanka

Country Facts

State condition: Republic

Surface: 65 610 km2

Capital: Colombo

Language: Sinhalese is spoken by 74 percent of the population and Tamil by 18 percent, in addition there are several smaller languages

Labor market and economy:

Sri Lanka has had a long period of high economic growth. The country has an extensive textile industry. Other important exports are tea and electronics. Sri Lanka is also a major tourist country. In total, about 7 million people in the country have paid work. Of these, 5 million are men. However, the proportion of women in paid work has gradually increased, not least due to the fact that the textile industry employs many women. Half of the country’s population lives in rural areas and is engaged in agriculture or in various service industries. Officially, unemployment is low, but the reason is that it does not make sense to register as unemployed because unemployment benefits are in principle non-existent. The informal sector is large.


Formally, Singapore is a democracy. In reality, the country is in a gray zone between democracy and dictatorship. Since the end of the 1950’s, the People’s Action Party (PAP) has ruled the country. There is only one permitted trade union movement.

Country Facts

State condition: Republic

Surface: 719 km2

Capital: The state consists solely of the city of Singapore

Language: Chinese is the official language, smaller groups speak Malay or Tamil.

Labor market and economy:

However, Singapore’s closed political system has not been an economic stumbling block. On the contrary, Singapore is the most successful of Southeast Asia’s so – called tiger economies. GDP per capita has long since exceeded the level in Sweden. The country’s chemical and electronics industry is particularly successful. In recent years, however, there are some tendencies for companies to move from Singapore to Malaysia, where wages are significantly lower.