Globalization for Nation Building: Industrial Policy for High-Technology Products in Taiwan

This paper examines two sectors, integrated circuits (ICs) and personal computers (PCs). These sectors have figured prominently in Taiwan's technology policy. Both have had their share of success and failure, and they have also had somewhat divergent outcomes. Taiwan's IC sector exemplifies the best that this techno-global strategy for nation building has to offer a developing country. Taiwan's IC industry has created true interdependence between its leading strategic suppliers and their international customers. The Taiwanese foundries and their foreign chip-designing clients are equal partners. Each depends on critical technologies that the other possesses. In the case of the PC sector, Taiwan's strategy has led to development of the industry and enhancement of Taiwan's PC technology, but the Taiwanese PC makers, important suppliers of the branded firms, have few critical technologies that the branded firms cannot easily acquire elsewhere. In PCs, dependency is the price of development.

  • Authors: Douglas B. Fuller
  • Year: 2002
  • Organisation: Industrial Performance Centre-MIT
  • Publisher: MIT
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