Friday, 10 August 2012

China can be a model for developing nations, says former World Bank Chief Economist

VIENNA, 10 August 2012 - Studying China’s economic rise can provide insight into alleviating poverty around the world, Justin Yifu Lin, the World Bank’s former Chief Economist, told a crowded auditorium at the Austrian National Bank in Vienna.

China's economy has undergone rapid growth over the last three decades, with an annual growth rate of 9.9 percent per year since 1979. Lin attributes this to the country’s successful harnessing of its comparative advantages and its "advantage of backwardness". Lin encouraged developing countries today to build their industrial policies on the same dual track.

“If a country knows how to tap the advantage of backwardness in technology, industry, and social and economic institutions, it can grow at an annual rate several times that of high-income countries for decades, before closing its income gap with those countries,” Lin said.

To speed up this structural change, Lin stressed the importance of developing the “right” industrial policy. “This is where UNIDO can play a pivotal role,” he said.

The lecture is based on the findings in Lin’s most recently published books, Demystifying the Chinese Economy and Quest for Prosperity.

Participants at the event also included Peter Mooslechner, Director of the Economic Analysis and Research Department Oesterreichische Nationalbank; Werner Raza, Director, Austrian Research Foundation for International Development; and Ludovico Alcorta, Director, UNIDO’s Development Policy, Statistics and Research Branch.

For more information, please contact:

Ludovico Alcorta
UNIDO Director
Development Policy, Statistics and Research Branch

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