Factories are no longer the sure route to prosperity. Here's why
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Factories are no longer the sure route to prosperity. Here's why


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Moving from an agrarian economy to manufacturing and exporting has added to the well-being of many nations. But sustainable economic development requires that countries update their industrial strategies, modernize their agriculture and develop their services capabilities as well, particularly as trade tensions and labor-reducing technologies endanger global commerce. Economist Arancha González Laya offers readers a concise, timely analysis of the hurdles that countries face in achieving economic prosperity and inclusion.

Summary

A shift from an agricultural to a manufacturing economy through international trade was a nation’s traditional development path.

In the 1950s, developing countries like South Korea relied predominantly on subsistence agricultural production. Subsequent generations shifted these economies to the labor-intensive manufacturing of finished goods for export. This “structural transformation,” along with liberalized trade policies, lifted productivity, reduced poverty and vaulted many emerging nations into positions as trade powerhouses.

Globalization and technology have reshaped manufacturing and trade, leading...

About the Author

Arancha González Laya leads the International Trade Centre, an intergovernmental agency under the auspices of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.


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