Industrialization and Development: A Comparative Analysis

By Ray Kiely | Go to book overview

Chapter Seven

Export oriented industrialization

This chapter examines another strategy utlised by late industrializing countries-export oriented industrialization (EOI). This is discussed through an assessment of the industrialization experiences of the “four tigers”-Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan-and the special economic zones in China. Industrialization in these four countries 1 has been very successful in the last thirty years. From 1960 to the mid-1980s, they each experienced annual average growth rates of around 8 per cent, compared with 7 per cent for Japan, and 3 per cent for the United States and the European Community (Wade 1990:34). In terms of manufactured exports, together they accounted for around 8 per cent of the world markets compared to 0.4 per cent for Mexico, and over half of all developing country manufactured exports in the mid-1980s (ibid.). In the 1970s, the export growth rate in South Korea averaged 37 per cent a year; while on a per capita basis, in the late 1980s Hong Kong's and Singapore's manufacturing exports were around 50 per cent greater than those of West Germany (Edwards 1992:109; Drakakis-Smith 1992:141-2). As growth rates fell for many countries in the recessionary 1980s, the tigers maintained relatively high growth of around 7 per cent a year (Wade 1990:34). Moreover, as well as experiencing rapid rates of industrial growth, the tigers also scored comparatively well in terms of social development.

It is not surprising, then, that EOI (or a certain interpretation of it) has been hailed as the success story for the developing world, and a model for others to follow. This chapter eKamines EOI in three sections. First, I give an overview of an ideal-typical model of export oriented industrialization. I then look at EOI in the four tigers, and in the special economic zones in China. The final section provides a brief preliminary assessment of EOI.


EOI: an introduction

Neo-liberals argue that EOI and ISI are mutually exclusive, and that development should be based on the former. ISI is regarded as counter-productive because it leads to the state protecting monopolistic, high-cost industry, and therefore distorting the market-based efficient allocation of resources. This

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