Globalization, technological competitiveness and the ‘catch-up’ challenge for developing countries: some lessons of experience

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The rapid pace of globalization has increased the desire of many developing countries to catch up on the developed ones as quickly as possible. The reality, however, is that the gap between the poor and the rich has widened over the years. This article takes up the case for building technological competitiveness as the way forward for developing countries to face the ‘catch-up’ challenge. Technological competitiveness is conditional on three key factors - access to competitive technology, continuous innovation of soft technology and provision of a soft environment or macro environment system (including a hard environment and a soft environment) that is favourable for innovation. The article attributes the gap between developed and developing countries mainly to differences in soft technology and soft environment.

Keywords: catch-up; competitiveness; gap between developed and developing countries; globalization; soft environment; soft technology

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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  • The International Journal of Technology Management and Sustainable Development supports new philosophies on technology and development, their relationship to globalisation, and the problems of world poverty and environmental degradation. The journal explores global, social, economic and environmental conditions in relation to shifts in technology and market paradigms.
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