Exports of high-tech manufactures from developing countries and domestic innovation activity
01 / 2000 - unknown
The reasons behind the high growth performance of a handful of East Asian countries are examined. Little is known about the contribution of their national systems of innovation to certain dimensions of their economic performance such as export performance. Given the fact that exports are an important engine of growth and industrial competitiveness, it is important to analyse the contribution of technology to achieving a fast and sustained growth in exports (especially manufactured exports). This is even more important, give the diversification within developing countries to high technology manufactures rather than labour-intensive products. Why these developments have remained concentrated in a handful of countries, and what factors have contributed to their emergence as exporters of high-technology manufactures and to what extent their domestic innovative activities have contributed to this performance needs to be researched. The study is structured into four different sections. First we develop a consistent and robust series of data on the exports of high technology products from developing countries. This is accomplished by applying the OECD definition of high technology to the COMTRADE database available on-line from the UN Department of Statistical Services. In the second, using the data series thus developed, we measure the changing technological complexion of world exports of manufactured products. The third section focuses on measuring the competitiveness of developing country exports of high technology both at the country level and within each country at the product levels. In the final section we attempt a verification of the "statistical artifact" hypothesis. In very explicit terms we attempt to measure the contribution of a county's domestic innovative activity to their revealed performance in terms exports of high technology manufactures. In arriving at a measurable set of indicators of the contribution of domestic innovative activity, reliance will be made on the indicators of high technology competitiveness developed by the Technology Policy and Assessment Centre (TPAC) of the Georgia Institute of Technology.