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The new context for industrializing around natural resources: an opportunity for Latin America (and other resource rich countries)?

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  • Carlota Perez

Abstract

This chapter argues that development is a moving target, and that windows of opportunity to both ‘catch up’ and ‘leap ahead’ present themselves at certain times and in specific regions due to technological revolutions and paradigm shifts. Having examined the historical precedents, it observes that the exploitation and processing of natural resources (NR), once seen as a ‘curse’ for developing nations, present such an opportunity for Latin America and other resource-rich countries at this stage in the diffusion of the ICT revolution. The factors changing the context and conditions around NR are analyzed, from the new nature of markets and the growing influence of environmental factors to the significant increase in technological dynamism and potential for innovation in developing countries brought about by ICT and market segmentation. Examining the specificity of Latin America in its ability to respond to these different conditions, and identifying the capabilities gained in the previous opportunity with import substitution, the article argues that success today would depend upon building natural resource-based networks of innovation aimed at the dynamic Asian markets. Given the low labor intensity of most NR processing industries, a dual-integrated strategy of ‘resourceintensive industrialization’ is proposed which promotes both top-down economic growth for global positioning and bottom-up wealth creation in each corner of the territory generating employment and well-being for all. It is finally argued that such a converging process of growth and innovation is both possible and necessary to ensure that Latin America benefits from the current window of opportunity while building a platform of innovative potential, networks and social capabilities in order to be able to leap forward with the next technological revolution. The many obstacles and limitations are not ignored; they can only be faced successfully if the nature of the opportunity is fully recognized.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlota Perez, 2015. "The new context for industrializing around natural resources: an opportunity for Latin America (and other resource rich countries)?," The Other Canon Foundation and Tallinn University of Technology Working Papers in Technology Governance and Economic Dynamics 62, TUT Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance.
  • Handle: RePEc:tth:wpaper:62
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    Cited by:

    1. Figueiredo, Paulo N. & Piana, Janaina, 2018. "Innovative capability building and learning linkages in knowledge-intensive service SMEs in Brazil's mining industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 21-33.
    2. Figueiredo, Paulo N. & Cohen, Marcela, 2019. "Explaining early entry into path-creation technological catch-up in the forestry and pulp industry: Evidence from Brazil," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(7), pages 1694-1713.
    3. Figueiredo, Paulo N. & Piana, Janaina, 2016. "When “one thing (almost) leads to another”: A micro-level exploration of learning linkages in Brazil's mining industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 405-414.

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