Technology, Adaptation, and Exports: How Some Developing Countries Got It Right

Technology, Adaptation, and Exports: How Some Developing Countries Got It Right

Technology, Adaptation, and Exports: How Some Developing Countries Got It Right

Technology, Adaptation, and Exports: How Some Developing Countries Got It Right

Synopsis

The literature on technological change and growth has mainly used econometric models to establish that factors, such as the degree of openness, skills, research and development expenditures, number of patents etc., are critical determinants of innovation and its effect on growth. However, this approach fails to explain the role of institutions and policies that created the environment for innovation. Using 10 case studies from developing countries, this book examines how governments fostered technological adaptation through public-private partnerships to develop world-class exporters in high-growth, non-traditional industries.

Excerpt

In most developing countries, technological adaptation is indispensable for rapid economic growth, especially export-led growth. When developing-country producers, small and large, successfully adopt superior production technologies (adapting them as necessary), the economy can grow, with improvements in income generation and poverty reduction.

As global markets become more competitive, poor countries are finding it increasingly difficult to free themselves from dependence on primary products and to diversify into manufactured exports, whose added value translates into wealth. the difficulty may stem from a small market or poor business climate, but often it is due to products that fall short of the sophisticated standards required to do business in world markets. It is technology that allows producers to close that gap by closely following the lead of innovative competitors in the industrial countries.

But acquiring and adapting technology is not a simple matter. Individual firms often lack the incentive, the expertise, and the resources to set out in pursuit of the innovators. Often they have trouble gathering the information they need to identify opportunities. in such cases, governments in developing countries, working with their development partners, can make a significant contribution to growth by encouraging or enabling the private sector to seek, acquire, adapt, and deploy modern technologies of production while investing in the skilled workforce that is vital for technological adaptation and building the dedicated institutions that will foster the process of modernization.

This book studies 10 cases in which developing countries as diverse as Chile, India, and Uganda leveraged technological adaptation to . . .

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