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 8: From using to creating technology: the evolution of Singapore's national innovation system and the changing role of public policy

Poh Kam Wong

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


8. From using to creating technology: the evolution of Singapore’s national innovation system and the changing role of public policy Poh Kam Wong 1. INTRODUCTION Singapore has achieved impressive economic growth since independence in 1965 (Table 8.1). In 1999, and despite the impact of the Asian financial crisis, Singapore’s per capita GNP stood, on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, at over US$27000. This was the highest in Asia, even including Japan, and globally came behind only Luxembourg, the USA and Switzerland (World Bank, 2000). In 1965, Singapore’s PPP-adjusted per capita income was less than 16 per cent of that of the USA; as recently as 1980, it was still less than 50 per cent (Wong, 2001a). The rapid economic expansion of Singapore was achieved through continuous industrial re-structuring and upgrading (Wong, 2001a). In the first decade after independence, growth was led largely by labour-intensive manufacturing. In the two subsequent decades it was propelled by the rapid technological upgrading of manufacturing. The development of Singapore into an increasingly important business, financial, transport and communications services hub in the Asia-Pacific region provided additional engines of growth (Table 8.2). Nevertheless, manufacturing has remained important to the economy, with its share of GDP remaining above 25 per cent for most years in the last two decades. As in Korea and Taiwan, the growing technology intensity of Singaporean industry was supported by significant government initiatives in technical manpower development and infrastructure investment. The Singapore government was also a lead user of...

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