Further discussion of specific regional issues concerning technology’s impact on development is provided in papers by Jan Kolm (Pacific Rim), Enrique Martin del Campo (Latin America), and Ralph Landau and Nathan Rosenberg (United States). In his paper on the consequences of globalizing industry in the Pacific Rim, Kolm uses a theoretical construct based on the technological complexity of goods and the product cycle to describe some general trends in the region’s economic development. For example, gross national product (GNP) has increased rapidly due to the globalization of industry, and export-driven economies have helped the Pacific Rim nations overcome the disadvantages of scale and the shortage of foreign exchange. Kolm asserts that progress in the region is likely to continue, considering that there are suitable gradations of development, ample raw materials in the region as a whole, and a populace that has demonstrated its ability to cope with technological change. The focus of the paper then narrows to an examination of the problems and challenges facing the major groupings of Pacific Rim countries: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); the newly industrializing countries, in particular, the Republic of Korea; Australia; and the United States and Japan. Despite their diversity and the impediments they have faced in their industrialization, Kolm contends that technology transfer has been less problematic in the Pacific Rim than in other countries of the world, a sign of hope that competition can coexist with cooperation.
Enrique Martin del Campo deals specifically with the influence of technology on development in the Latin American and Caribbean countries. Shifts in economic strength and investment patterns influence the developing countries and make it imperative for them to develop strategies for growth through improved technological and entrepreneurial activity. Martin del Campo suggests that the region’s technology strategy must combine development of both advanced and intermediate technologies, linkage of smaller and large enterprises, and diffusion of technological development through many sectors.
Because the economies of the region, like most developing countries, participate in the international sphere through foreign trade, competitiveness in foreign markets is crucial. The rate of innovation, the ability to apply advanced technology, the degree of capital investment, use of natural resources, and the existence of technological support services all affect the competitiveness of Latin America in foreign markets. Two major factors, however, hamper economic growth in Latin America. First, investment is curbed by an economically depressed environment, and second, global demand for the region’s traditional exports is weak. Any plan to remedy these problems would require a strong technological component, including development of local capabilities in technology, internal and external transfer of technology, strategic projects that integrate science and technology, and government policies that support scientific and technological endeavors.