Book Chapter
Development Strategies

Lessons from the Experiences of South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam

This piece synthesizes the development strategies of Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam and draws some relevant lessons. Using a complex adaptive systems approach, strategic openness, a set of heterodox macroeconomic policies, creation of institutions for productive investment in both agriculture and industry, avoidance of severe inequalities and political conflict, special initial conditions and willingness to learn from unexpected developments are found to be some of these factors.

Although no country can succeed by following mechanically the experience of another country cautious experimentation, rapid feedback and flexible, pragmatic policy-making with a strategic medium to long run perspective, can be helpful. Dynamic learning and flexible institution building are essential components of such a strategic approach to development.