From Collision to Collaboration
Elgar International Investment Law series
Chapter 8: Performance requirements and the issue of technology transfer
The basic problems faced by developing countries, and especially by least developed countries (‘LDCs’), have been known and studied for a long time and can be succinctly described as ‘[l]ow economic growth rates and low standards of living [that] are endemic’. In this regard, the role of technology is of paramount importance regarding the inability of these countries to reach a state of development similar to that of developed countries. Technology underdevelopment has indeed been identified as one of the major causes of ‘basic internal problems such as the inability to feed the local populations or to provide routine health services’. Technology transfer can be functionally described as ‘the attempt to fill the gap between countries in current technology (both hardware and production methods) or the ability to discover and innovate’, which is critical to allow developing countries that ‘lack the necessary technological knowledge to catch up with the developed world’s standard of living’. In this regard, technological advancement can be described as the ‘primary catalyst towards significant economic development’.
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