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Pathways to Innovation in Asia's Leading Electronics Exporting Countries: Drivers and Policy Implications

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  • Dieter Ernst

    () (Economics Study Area, East-West Center)

Abstract

This paper was prepared for the Democratic Pacific Assembly 2003 Conference, "Common Future of the 21st Century Pacific," September 18-21, 2003, in Taipei, Taiwan. This paper offers a framework for exploring emerging pathways to innovation in Asian electronics industries, as well as their drivers and policy implications. The focus is on "stylized facts" rather than on the diversity of specific country trajectories. I demonstrate that the role of Asia's leading players in the electronics industry is changing - from global export production bases for hardware and software, a transition is under way to the creation of commercially viable innovations and standards. I argue that transformations in global markets, production and innovation systems are providing new opportunities for Asian firms that seek to improve their innovative capabilities. To exploit these opportunities, however, important changes are required in Asia's innovation strategies, policies and management approaches. I highlight the considerable potential of "technology diversification" strategies as an intermediate option for attempts to move beyond "fast follower" strategies. A completely revised and updated version has been published as: "Pathways to innovation in Asia's leading electronics-exporting countries - a framework for exploring drivers and policy implications", International Journal of Technology Management, special issue on "Competitive Strategies of Asian High-Tech Firms; Vol. 29, 1/ 2: 6-20.

Suggested Citation

  • Dieter Ernst, 2003. "Pathways to Innovation in Asia's Leading Electronics Exporting Countries: Drivers and Policy Implications," Economics Study Area Working Papers 62, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:ewc:wpaper:wp62
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    1. Amsden, Alice H. & Tschang, F. Ted, 2003. "A new approach to assessing the technological complexity of different categories of R&D (with examples from Singapore)," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 553-572, April.
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