The Least Developed Countries Report 2007

Knowledge, Technological Learning and Innovation for Development

image of The Least Developed Countries Report 2007

The Least Developed Countries are a group of 50 countries that have been identified as “least developed” in terms of their low GDP, their weak human assets and their high degree of economic vulnerability. The 2007 edition of the Report focuses on national and international policies that promote knowledge as a catalytic input to the development of productive capacities in the Least Developed Countries. The Report discusses mechanisms and policies to enhance technology transfers to these countries; the role of intellectual property rights and related incentive systems; and the ways in which foreign aid can be used to promote technological learning and innovation capabilities in the Least Developed Countries.

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Building technological capabilities through international market linkages

Technological catch-up for least developed countries requires access to the international knowledge pool and the ability to learn, master and adapt foreign technologies and thereby benefit from international technology diffusion. This process includes transfer of technology, which takes place through several channels. These can be formal (e.g. licensing, foreign direct investment) or informal (e.g. movement of people) and/or market (e.g. interaction with upstream suppliers or downstream customers) or non-market (e.g. technical assistance programmes of official development agencies or NGOs).

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