World Bank: Global Economic Prospects 2008

World Bank: Global Economic Prospects 2008
Technology Diffusion in the Developing World

Rapid technological progress in developing countries has helped to raise incomes and reduce the share of people living in absolute poverty from 29 percent in 1990 to 18 percent in 2004, says the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects 2008.

”Technological progress increased 40 to 60 percent faster in developing countries than in rich countries between the early 1990s and early 2000s,” said Andrew Burns, Lead Economist and main author of the report. ”Nevertheless, developing countries have a long way to go, given that the level of technology that they use is only one quarter of that employed in high-income countries.”

Subtitled ”Technology Diffusion in the Developing World,” the World Bank report notes that recent progress reflects increased exposure to foreign technologies. As a share of GDP, high-tech imports and foreign direct investment levels have doubled since the early 1990s.

”Rising trade and investment contacts with high-income countries, often facilitated by migrant groups, have been central to technological progress in developing countries.” said Uri Dadush, Director, World Bank Development Prospects Group. ”However, openness alone is not enough. To continue catching up, countries need to strengthen educational achievement, governance, basic infrastructures, and links to migrant groups.” http://www.worldbank.org/gep2008

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