Technology and startups were highlighted at VRDF 2019 as a way for Vietnam to avoid the middle-income trap In the framework of Vietnam Reform Development Forum (VRDF) 2019, international experts shared experiences from other countries which overcame the middle-income trap successfully, particularly drawing on the wellspring of South Korea’s IT revolution and economic restructuring. Sungchul Chung, a professor from the University of Science and Technology (UST) of South Korea, said that in the early 1960s, South Korea was one of the poorest economies in the world, with a per capita GNP of $82, relying on the agricultural sector for more than 60 per cent of its employment. South Korea’s development has been a process of learning, he recalled, by adopting and mastering foreign technologies for industrial development to then set up indigenous research and development capabilities to catch up, and then engaging in structural transformation (or creative imitation) and creative R&D to join the ranks of advanced economies. “In the beginning, as the private sector lacked technological capabilities, the government stepped in directly to push industrial technology development,” said Sungchul Chung. In the 1990s, South Korea was nearing the end of its high-growth phase and exhausted the late-comer’s advantages in… Read full this story
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