Joint UNU-WIDER, UNU-MERIT, AND UNIDO panel discussion, incorporating book launch

The past, present, and future of economic development via industrialization

Over the last two centuries, the experiences of the first wave of industrialized countries in Europe and the US, and the more recent experiences of the East Asian Tigers, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, China, India, and Vietnam, have illustrated the transformative nature of industrialization. There are reasons to believe that industrialization will continue to be one of the major engines of growth, transformation, and socioeconomic development. Industrial development enables a more rapid advancement toward developed country living standards. But many challenges remain, and new challenges have arisen. These include: integration into global value chains; the shrinking of policy space in the present international order; the rise of the Asian driver economies; new opportunities provided by resource-based industrialization; the accelerating pace of technological change in manufacturing; how to deal with jobless growth in manufacturing; creating adequate systems of financial intermediation; and how to respond to the threats of global warming and climate change.

Under present conditions it may be more difficult than ever for the poorer developing countries to foster industrial development and structural change. They face a more complex, and daunting set of circumstances than the developing countries that embarked on industrialization after 1950. These changing and challenging circumstances require new thinking, and in particular new paradigms to guide researchers, policy makers, and international development organizations in the future.

  • Opening remarks by the Chair, James PutzelThandika Mkandawire
  • Presentation of the joint UNU-WIDER, UNU-MERIT, UNIDO research study Pathways to Industrialization in the Twenty-First Century: New Challenges and Emerging Paradigms, co-editors Adam Szirmai and Wim Naudé
  • The Fall and Rise of Industrialization and Industrial Policy: A UNIDO Perspective on Pathways, co-editor Ludovico Alcorta
  • Pathways in the Context of the Fifth Industrial Revolution,Peter Marsh
    (formerly industry editor at The Financial Times)
  • Questions and discussion
  • Wrap up, followed by informal reception

This event is a joint collaboration between UNU-WIDER, UNU-MERIT, UNIDO, and the London School of Economics and Political Science

For more information on this project, see the research page.