New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Philip Cooke, Mario Davide Parrilli and José Luis Curbelo
Mario Davide Parrilli, José Luis Curbelo and Philip Cooke 1. NEW GLOBAL COMPETITORS AND TERRITORIAL CHALLENGES Today, numerous important challenges are catalysed by the spread of globalisation processes that offer critical opportunities for the exchange of cultures, knowledge, goods and services, as well as raising problems and threats, such as the powerful economic crisis 2007–12 and the uncertainties about the way out towards a sustainable development model for advanced and non-advanced economies. In this new situation, the traditional leadership of western countries in global markets is diminishing due to the increasing integration of many emerging countries, particularly Asian and Latin American in global markets. The market shares of western countries have drastically shrunk, whereas manufactured goods exports of a higher and lower level of sophistication show much bigger growth for these new world competitors, which challenge the competitive capacity of western countries in the medium to long term (United Nations, 2011). Achieving the process of economic catching-up, so much studied and desired by pioneers of the literature on economic development for many decades (Myrdal, 1956; Rostow, 1956; Hirschman, 1958; Seers, 1969; Wade, 1990; Lall and Teubal, 1998; Rodrik, 2004) has become reality for this wider group of countries, although this does not prevent them from displaying major internal inequalities in terms of access to resources, jobs and wealth. In spite of this, countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs) have learned how to combine and profit from different factors (natural resources, workforce and proactive public policies) to build...