Vietnam tra Flying Geese e middle-income trap: le sfide della politica industriale per una nuova tigre dell’Asia
A 1993 World Bank report used the expression “East Asian miracle” to describe the impressive economic performance achieved by eight countries in the region. Within this group three Southeast Asian countries were singled out as the most suitable models for successful economic development – Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand (ASEAN3). While the first generation of East Asian industrializers (especially Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) had relied on a strong state intervention in the economy, these Southeast Asian economies were prized for their relatively liberal FDI attraction and trade policies. Twenty years after the famous World Bank report, however, these three economies have clearly failed to repeat the economic success of the South Korea and Taiwan. Rather, these countries seem to be victim of a so-called “middle-income trap”, that is, their industrial production continues to be dependent on foreign technology and management with a rather limited national added value. This paper discusses the case of Vietnam against this critical background. While Vietnam has been often presented as a promising “fifth” Asian tiger, there is a wide evidence to suggest that it may be trapped in the same unfavorable dynamics affecting the ASEAN3. Only well-targeted industrial policies may succeed in supporting a continuous process of industrial upgrading and improvement of the country position in the global value chain.
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