Competitiveness, FDI and Technological Activity in East Asia

Competitiveness, FDI and Technological Activity in East Asia

Edited by Sanjaya Lall and Shujiro Urata

This book addresses this imbalance with new country studies on the interaction between foreign direct investment (FDI) and technological activity in building export competitiveness. The book covers China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, highlighting different strategic approaches to building capabilities in industrial enterprises. The book also includes a general overview and studies of Japanese multinationals overseas.

Chapter 3: Competitiveness and technology: an international comparison

Hiroki Kawai and Shujiro Urata

Subjects: asian studies, asian business, asian innovation and technology, business and management, asia business, international business, economics and finance, international business, innovation and technology, asian innovation, technology and ict


Hiroki Kawai and Shujiro Urata1 1. INTRODUCTION The economies of East Asia achieved remarkable economic growth in the post-World War II period. Indeed, the World Bank (1993) published a study entitled The East Asian Miracle to examine the factors that underlay this export-led growth. It analysed the 1960–89 period and attributed success to several factors including rapid accumulation of physical and human capital, export-oriented trade policy, sound macroeconomic environment and well-functioning institutions. The report also emphasized rapid expansion in productivity as an important factor that contributed to remarkable economic growth. The World Bank study attracted a lot of attention. Economists and policymakers were particularly interested in the role of government in economic development, because the study acknowledged successful cases of government intervention in the sectoral allocation of resources. This view was quite different from the minimalist view of the government that had been popular earlier. Some observers argued that the success of East Asia was largely due to active government intervention, while others argued that it was attributable to the market mechanism. Consensus has yet to be reached on the issue and the debate on the appropriate role of the government in economic development goes on. The World Bank study instigated another interesting debate on the sources of economic growth in East Asia. Several researchers questioned the contribution of productivity increase to economic growth in East Asia. The World Bank calculated high total factor productivity (TFP) growth for East Asian economies. Krugman (1994) questioned the validity of these...

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