How major economies learn from others to transform themselves

15:05, October 17, 2010      

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China can learn from other major economies as it is mapping out its 12th five-year plan on accelerating the transformation of the nation's economic development pattern.

Post-war Germany was quickly rebuilt and emerged as one of the world's biggest economies.

Brazil, a regional power, became one of the fastest growing economies 10 years after the financial storm that stalled its growth in the 1990s.

These are just cases of how some of the world's economies, both developing and developed, learned from others to transform themselves.


In modern history, technological innovation played a key role in a country's strength. Britain led the first industrial revolution with the use of steam engines in the 1860s to become "the empire on which the sun never sets." The United States and Germany later took over to lead the second industrial revolution covering electricity, combustion engines and aircraft.

Starting from the middle of the 20th century, the United States went on to lead a third technological revolution as well as financial innovations, propelling itself to the status of the world's only superpower.

Innovation in science and technology has always been held as key to the future development of U.S. economy, says an official from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Three-quarters of the new products and services since World War II owed their births to industrial and technological innovations. Statistics also show the average salary of workers employed in innovation sectors in 1990-2007 was 2.5 times higher than national average of all workers.

In Germany, manufacturing, technology and policy support for small- and medium-sized enterprises were the pillars of its economic transformation.

"Made in Germany" gradually became a symbol of quality after World War II. Now manufacturing contributes 23 percent of the gross domestic product, compared with an average of 17 percent for high-income countries, and Germany had been the world's leading exporter for decades, according to a World Bank report.

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