Promoting Industrial Competitiveness in Developing Countries

Lessons from Asia

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Promoting Industrial Competitiveness in Developing Countries

Contributors: Sanjaya Lall
Series Title: Commonwealth Economic Paper Series
Number within series: 39
Publication date: 1 October 1999
Size: 255mm x 190mm
ISBN: 978-0-85092-623-1
Pages: 72

As developing countries have started to open up their economies, concern about competitiveness has spread to their policy makers. Their relative competitiveness as production and investment sites has become a prime focus of development policy. They are, moreover, faced with a world in which the main determinants of competitiveness are changing rapidly. Competition has intensified due to rapidly falling transport and communication costs, and the performance of economies, industries and firms is constantly compared and bench-marked across nations. So are determinants of competitiveness. These and related issues are analysed in detail in this report. It describes the micro-foundations of competitiveness and enterprise, and translates the lessons to the national level.

ContentsExpand or collapse me


1. Introduction

2. What is ‘Competitiveness’?

3. Why Worry about Competitiveness?

4. What Determines Competitiveness?
Firm Level Competence
From Firm to National Competitiveness

5. Competitive Success in Asia: Indicators and Determinants
Export Performance and Structure
Level of Technology
The Role of MNCs
Indigenous Technological Activity
Human Resource Development
Conclusions on Competitive Performance and Capabilities

6. Policy Support for Competitiveness in Asia
Trade Policies
Skill Development
SME Support
Export Promotion and Information
Capital Markets
Industrial Structure and FDI
Encouraging and Supporting Technological Effort
The Institutional Setting for Competitiveness Policy

7. Lessons for Competitiveness Policy
Export Performance Analysis
Reforming the Incentive Framework
Improving Factor Markets
Gearing up for Competitiveness Strategy
Designing and Implementing Competitiveness Strategies

8. Postscript


Appendix Table 1: A Technology Index