The aim of this paper is to study the relation between intellectual capital (IC) and economic development (ED). The analysis presented aims to have both theoretical and practical relevance. The main hypothesis assumed is that IC, although fundamental, is not sufficient to assure the
existence of ED. Instead, argues that, for a developing country to become a modern economy some facts have to happen. Those facts are: a process of stable political democratisation; a process of economic stabilization; a process of economic and political integration; a process of investment
in development tools, like physical capital and intellectual capital. Furthermore, it is shown that the process of investment in IC implies the development of active social policies, but it is difficult for a developing county to make those social policies by itself. In consequence, in the
future, due to the need of economic and political stability, the growing globalisation and the lack of development resources (IC, infrastructures, etc.) in developing countries, some Economic and Political Unions (EPUs) may emerge, or consolidate. Those EPUs are the European Union, the American
Union (around Canada and the USA), the Asian Union (centred in Japan), the African Union (based in South Africa), the Oceanic Union (beginning with Australia and New Zealand), and the Arab Union (mainly constituted by Middle East oil producers).