Edited by Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen and David Jacobson
Chapter 13: High-tech Innovations in Catching-up Countries: Conditions and Perspectives
13. High-tech innovation in catchingup countries: conditions and perspectives Staﬀan Laestadius, Linda Gustavsson and Vicky Long INTRODUCTION In recent decades there has been an enormous increase in activities related to science and technology (S&T) and innovation outside OECD regions; in particular there is a dramatic expansion of S&T in Asian countries. China is probably the most well-known example of this process. After Japan, the ﬁrst-tier ‘Asian Tigers’ (Korea, Taiwan and Singapore) are now followed by the second-tier ones (primarily China and India) – but these with signiﬁcant home market potential and global-sized economies. Around the corner we can discern Asian countries like Vietnam – still poor but highly literate and dynamic, as well as Malaysia and Thailand which have been on the track for some years. Although this dynamic to a signiﬁcant extent seems to be related to classical growth, it is obvious that it also contains non-incremental innovations as well as the creation of a variety of highly competitive capabilities. This chapter is about a high-tech proﬁle in this dynamic which challenges our conventional wisdom on how the new industrializing countries should develop – and how ‘incumbent’ (since long developed) nations should act to stay competitive.1 The statistical picture of this new Asian dynamics is visible in many publications. International organizations like WBRD, IMF, UN, OECD and WTO nowadays publish analyses and statistical data which more or less all indicate the dramatic transformation taking place. Instead of presenting an enormous amount of data once again in...
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