UNIDO can be a knowledge bank to assist poor nations develop the “right” industrial policy, says former World Bank Chief Economist
VIENNA, 14 August 2012 – Justin Yifu Lin, the World Bank’s former Chief Economist, encouraged developing countries to partner with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in their pursuit to develop successful industrial policies, as he spoke to the Organization’s Member States in Vienna.
The tremendous success of China's economic reform has attracted worldwide attention. Using a historical, comparative and analytic approach grounded in mainstream economics, Lin gave a lecture on the key reasons for China’s successful economic reform. Lin attributed this to the country’s successful harnessing of its comparative advantages and its "advantage of backwardness" and encouraged developing countries today to build their industrial policies on the same dual track.
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 as a knowledge bank,” he said.UNIDO Managing Director, Wilfried Luetkenhorst, who moderated the session, reiterated the importance of industrial policy and announced UNIDO’s commitment to follow up on Lin’s findings and translate them into concrete policy advice.
“We at UNIDO have seen that, over the past few years, industrial policy has experienced a renaissance. It is no longer a question of whether or not to have one, but what it should entail. This of course has to be tailor-made for each country and UNIDO is dedicated to assisting its member states in developing this,” Luetkenhorst said.
Justin Lin will also participate in a workshop co-organized by UNIDO later this week. A follow up meeting for member states will be held on 3 September 2012.
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Development Policy, Statistics and Research Branch