by: Shahid Yusuf, Kaoru Nabeshima
Countries worldwide are endeavoring to imitate the industrial
prowess of the East Asian pacesetters. However, building a portfolio of
tradable goods and services, and raising the levels of investment in
these activities, has generally defied the best policy efforts.
Bringing investment ratios on par with East Asian averages has proven
to be particularly challenging.
The developmental experience of Singapore, Finland, and Ireland
(Sifire) offers a different approach to rapid and sustained growth. The
focus of these countries, rather than being tightly bound to
investment, concentrates on building human capital in order to attract
technology-intensive foreign direct investment and to enable domestic
firms to compete in global markets for highvalue products and services.
This recipe for rapid and sustained growth is well suited for the large
number of small, resource-poor countries and of especial relevance in
the competitive global environment of the 21st century.
The book provides a succinct and accessible analysis of growth that
will be of particular interest to development practitioners and policy
makers, as well as to academics and students.
'This book should be read by all the peoples of small and
resource-poor countries. The experiences of Singapore, Finland, and
Ireland (Sifire) show that it is possible for such countries to
overcome their limitations and achieve rapid and sustainable growth. I
agree with the authors’ insights into how to replicate their
success.' — Tommy Koh
'Drawing on the intriguing similarities and differences among
three high-growth economies at the turn of the millennium –
Singapore, Ireland, and Finland – Yusuf and Nabeshima
characterize productivity growth as being driven by not only high
investment rates but also the interactions between a range of
fundamental building blocks, in particular human capital and
institutions. For the policy maker keen to avoid pitfalls in developing
policy for promoting economic growth, there is much to be learned from
the comprehensive picture the authors paint of these
interactions.' — Patrick
Honohan Governor, Central Bank of Ireland
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