For a long time in the 20th century, the global economy was divided into the developed West and the Third World or the developing economies of Asia and Africa. Any discussion about the economy would invariably be around how many poor people are there in Asia and Africa compared to the affluence that the West enjoyed. However, things began to change starting from the late 1970s for Asia where China and then India liberalized their economies and opened them up for competition. Especially in the decade of the 1990s there was an accelerated thrust by China and to a lesser extent India to jump into the global economy and grow at phenomenal rates. This resulted in a massive uplifting of millions of people out of poverty and changed the perceptions of Westerners towards Asia. It was no longer the case that Asia was a supplicant and indeed, it had arrived to take its place at the high table of world nations.
This can be likened to a paradigm shift in global economics with hitherto laggards like China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and India saw their growth rates soaring because of investments in infrastructure and education. The point here is that in a few years, it would be time for these emerging economies to go beyond the status quo and emerge as alternative economies to the West.