Ms. Adiasri Putri Purbantina1,3
1Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University, Shinjuku, Japan, 3Universitas Pembangunan Nasional “Veteran” Jawa Timur, Surabaya, Indonesia
This paper discusses the growing inequality between the catching-up countries and the successful catch-up countries from the perspective of indigenous technology and manufacturing sector development. There is a growing consensus that effective Science, Technology, and Innovation policies, aimed at supporting long-term national structural transformation, are a crucial element in helping latecomer countries escape from the middle-income trap. Citing cases of Northeast Asian catch-up and Latin American middle-income traps, scholars emphasize that the key to catch-up is a triple-helix coordination that is used to transform foreign technology into indigenous technological capabilities. Thus, ideally, the expansion of the global production network, as promoted by the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), provides opportunities for middle-income ASEAN countries to implement this technology-driven industrial catch-up strategy. However, this paper investigates three middle-income ASEAN countries (Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia) and argues that the AEC, as an open market-led economic regionalism scheme, does not have the ability to create a strong sense of urgency on the part of national governments to alter their national STI policy directions. As resource-abundant countries, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia have yet to find any urgent need to prioritize the upgrading of indigenous manufacturing over natural resource-based technological developments.
Adiasri Putri Purbantina is a Ph.D. Candidate from GSAPS, Waseda University and a lecturer of International Relations Department Universitas Pembangunan Nasional “Veteran” Jawa Timur. Her research focus is on countries’ different levels of urgency to pursue a technology-driven industrial catch-up. She received the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship in 2014 and 2016.