FOREWORD: ASIA - TRANSPARENCY - SECRECY - COMPETITION LAW ENFORCEMENT

Asian Transparency

While transparency is valued in the West, in East-Asian countries secrecy is more valued – transparency is seen as weakness in dealings with both business and government. Simply preaching transparency is unlikely to have much effect unless we understand why secrecy is so important.

Economists usually ignore differences in beliefs between countries - which has been described as “cultural nullity” (Jones, Eric L. “Culture and its Relationship to Economic Change” 151(2) Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (1995) pp. 269-85). Thus formalism (economic theory has universal scope) trumped the debate during the 1960s over substantivism (each culture has its own values that cannot be analysed by a universal economics). Thus economics carry across analytical tools and solutions to other countries without change. However, if one is interested in studying competitive markets it makes sense to study the interactions of individuals in the actual market place – which may operate differently across cultures – but this is a difficult task. ”Cultural values such as

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Robert Ian McEwin, Asian Transparency, December 2015, Concurrences Review N° 4-2015, Art. N° 74082, www.concurrences.com

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