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Economic Transformation and a New Economic Order

Economic Transformation and a New Economic Order
16 February 2024
Lili Yan Ing, Justin Yifu Lin
Economic transformation, International trade, Investment, World Economy

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World economic governance was largely dominated by major developed countries in the 20th century. Over the last half-century, we have witnessed a global economic transformation. The shift is evident in the changing global shares amongst developed and developing countries across four key economic metrics: total output, trade in goods, manufacturing value added, and foreign direct investment. What we find is that the substantial transformations are not primarily caused by significant changes in the growth performance of developed countries but rather by the rapid catch-up of a few developing countries. Sustainable economic growth is a continuous process of technological innovation, elevating labour productivity, and industrial upgrading. Drawing on insights from the growth and structural transformation patterns observed in both developed and developing countries, achieving sustainable economic growth requires (i) optimising comparative advantage and effective infrastructure, (ii) managing gradual transitions economically and politically, and (iii) optimising the use of digital transformation.

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