Working Paper
Industrial development in Asia

Trends in industrialization and industrial policy experiences of developing Asia

Industrial transformation of Asia arguably constitutes the most surprising and dramatic change in the global economy in the last fifty years.

This paper provides an outline of some of the most important trends of this development and analyses selected national industrial policies that promoted structural transformation in developing Asia during the period.

In the first part, we describe crucial dimensions of industrialization in the region—its extent, its historical trajectory, and the resulting industrial upgrading. In the second part, we use four case studies—of the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, China, and India—to describe some of the strategies which Asian economies used in order to induce industrial development.

We argue that more successful cases did not try to implement a golden policy template but rather pragmatically adopted their policies to overcome specific bottlenecks and meet strategic objectives.