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December 17, 2010


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Scott Kennedy review of ITC on China II policy DE comments 12 17 10
Scott, this is terrific stuff. I agree with your main points: First, scenario-building is indeed a well-established tool to capture possible futures of rapidly evolving and highly complex social systems. It is time that economists learn from military strategists and use scenario-building as a heuristic device that helps to avoid extreme and useless statements like that of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce report that China’s Indigenous Innovation is “a blueprint for technology theft on a scale the world has never seen before.”
Second, Scott is right when he states that, given the intensity of global competition, “…some American companies … [ and I would add, European, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean companies, DE]..will substantially benefit from IPR theft and Indigenous Innovation policies.”
Third, it is incredibly short-sighted of many Western analysts to neglect the possibility that, after all, companies in emerging economies like China, India, Brazil, may challenge the position of incumbent global market leaders for the simple reason that “… their employees genuinely improve their capabilities and the quality of their products and services.”
In short, Scott’s concise note lays out in the clearest terms possible an alternative agenda for research and policy debates on industrial and technology policies in countries that used to be called RoW (the Rest of the World). We need to acknowledge the simple fact that those countries now have accumulated sufficient resources, capabilities and economic power to participate actively in global technology-centered competition.
The next step of course would be to start a debate that goes one step further and asks: What adjustments are necessary in strategies and policies in the US and China to create more space for robust and effective cooperation on global challenges, like climate change and renewable energy, and the reconstruction of financial markets so that they serve industry, and not the other way round. Dieter Ernst, East-West Center, Honolulu

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