Towards a 'Leapfrogging' Strategy for the Philippines

Serafin D. Talisayon


This paper seeks to address the issue: can a Third World country such as the Philippines, which is in a hurry to develop and compete globally, take 'shortcuts' by 'leapfrogging' from the agricultural stage to the post-industrial age? It responds in the postive: 'leapfrogging' is feasible and desirable for four reasons, namely 1) less energy-intensive and renewable energy resources, as well as environmentally friendly and less materials-intensive processes, will be utilized for industrialization in the next century; 2) information technologies have become essential to any type of industrialization; 3) latecomer countries with correct policies grow faster than countries that have industrialized earlier; 4) a key to global competitiveness of the Philippines in the next century is to identify human resource- and knowledge-intensive subsectors in the services sector. The paper then proceeds to make recommendations on how the Philippines can "leapfrog" to a post-industrial age, essentializing the process as part-importation from industrialized countries and part innovation at home.

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