Venture Capital in Developing and Transition Economies?

In the knowledge-based global economy, a country that relied on a development model of “importing” known and well-tested technologies from foreign sources, including from foreign firms, would, in effect, be consigning itself to permanently following the leaders. It would not obtain the substantial benefits that come from introducing a new product and later, when it was on the point of replacing this with a higher-technology product, licensing its production to lower-wage producers. Its workforce might “learn by doing”, but it would always be a few steps behind the leaders in the industry: by the time that the imported technology had been learned, it would be out of date. This will be the experience of the developing and transition economies, even the fast-growing ones, unless they, too, develop the capacity to participate in and contribute to the knowledgebased global economy. The question is how and where they develop this capacity. The topics to be discussed in the present chapter are currently pertinent to only some countries and with respect to only certain activities, but a vibrant and expanding venture capital industry can be expected to play a growing role in economic development in the twenty-first century.

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