Experiences in Industrialised and Developing Countries
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Chapter 5: The Impact of Biotechnology on International Trade
Page 77 5— The Impact of Biotechnology on International Trade 5.1— Introduction As the two previous chapters have shown, biotechnologies, especially modern techniques, have been widely adopted by both industrialised and developing countries. For industrialised countries biotechnology applications are strongest in the pharmaceutical and food processing sectors. For developing countries biotechnology has addressed critical issues relating to food security and has increased value added for a number of traditional export products. Its knowledgeintensive nature has also enabled developing countries to diversify production and has therefore enormous potential to increase both the quality and variety of products available to consumers. Much of this has been achieved by building upon previously developed technological capabilities, such as during the green revolution when research and institutional networks were set up in developing countries in order to increase collaboration and knowledge exchange between researchers. The institutional framework set up and strengthened at that time has been invaluable for many developing countries in ushering in the new biotechnology revolution. However, as with any new technology, this one too has brought about several potentially radical changes in methods of production and of patterns of trade between countries. While the first four chapters discussed the impact of biotechnology on methods of production and on rates of innovation, this chapter examines how countries are using the new technologies to increase productivity and what the ultimate impact is on methods of production and traditional patterns of trade. Page 78 5.2— New Qualities for Old One of the primary aims...
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