The Practice of Industrial Policy

Government–Business Coordination in Africa and East Asia

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Much of the information relevant to policy formulation for industrial development is held by the private sector, not by public officials. There is therefore fairly broad agreement in the development literature that some form of structured engagement — often referred to as close or strategic coordination — between the public and private sectors is needed, both to assist in the design of appropriate policies and to provide feedback on their implementation. There is less agreement on how that engagement should be structured, how its objectives should be defined, and how success should be measured. In fact, the academic literature on close coordination provides little practical guidance on how governments interested in developing a framework for government—business engagement should go about doing it. 

The burden of this lack of guidance falls most heavily on Africa, where — despite 20 years of growth — lack of structural transformation has slowed job creation and the pace of poverty reduction. Increasingly, African governments are seeking to design and implement policies to encourage the more rapid growth of high productivity industries and in the process confronting the need to engage constructively with the private sector. These efforts have met with mixed results. For sustained success in structural transformation, new policies and new approaches to government-business coordination will be needed.

In 2014 the Korea International Cooperation Agency and UNU-WIDER launched a joint research project on 'The Practice of Industrial Policy'. The objective of the project was to help African policy-makers develop better coordination between the public and private sectors in order to identify the constraints to faster structural transformation and to design, implement, and monitor policies to remove them. This book, written by national researchers and international experts, presents the results of that research.

Table of contents
  1. Overview and Insights
    John Page, Finn Tarp
  2. Industrial Policy, Learning, and Development
    Joseph E. Stiglitz
    Working Paper | Industrial policy, learning, and development
  3. Coordination through an Asian Lens
    Justin Lin, Khuong Minh Vu
  4. State-Business Relations as Drivers of Economic Performance
    Alberto Lemma, Dirk Willem te Velde
    Working Paper | State-business relations as drivers of economic performance
  5. State Capability and Prospects for Close Coordination: Considerations for Industrial Policy in Africa
    Rachel M. Gisselquist
    Working Paper | State Capability and Prospects for Close Co-ordination
  6. Korea's Evolving Business-Government Relationship
    Eun Mee Kim
    Working Paper | Korea’s evolving business–government relationship
  7. The Industrial Policy Experience of the Electronics Industry in Malaysia
    Rajah Rasiah
    Working Paper | The industrial policy experience of the electronics industry in Malaysia
  8. Case Studies of Decentralized Coordination in China
    Hinh T. Dinh
  9. The Political Economy of Industrial Development in Viet Nam: Impact of State-Business Relationship on Industrial Performance, 1986-2013
    Tu-Anh Vu-Thanh
    Working Paper | The Political Economy of Industrial Development in Vietnam
  10. A Natural Experiment of Industrial Policy: Floriculture and the Metal and Engineering Industries in Ethiopia
    Mulu Gebreeyesus
    Working Paper | A Natural Experiment of Industrial Policy
  11. Policy Coordination and Growth Traps in a Middle-Income Country Setting: The Case of South Africa
    Haroon Bhorat, Aalia Cassim, Alan Hirsch
    Working Paper | Policy Co-ordination and Growth Traps in a Middle-income Country Setting
  12. Special Economic Zones in Africa: Political Economy Challenges and Solutions
    Thomas Farole, Lotta Moberg
  13. Ghana's Experiments with Business-Government Coordination
    Ernest Aryeetey, Nkechi Owoo
    Working Paper | Ghana’s experiments with business–government co-ordination
  14. Importing coordination: Africa's Presidential Investors' Advisory Councils
    John Page
Show all