Dynamics and Factors of Innovation Gap Between the European Union and China
Kowalski, Arkadiusz Michał
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The article focuses on the problem of innovation gap in the world economy, as there are in general countries with developed national innovation systems, playing the role of technology leaders, and those with developing innovation systems, acting as innovation followers. Western European economies belong usually to the first group whereas China is traditionally classified in the second group; however, the analysis conducted in this study reveals a continuous catch-up process of this country towards the European Union in terms of the level of innovativeness of the economy. The purpose of this paper is to measure the dynamics of innovation gap between China and the EU average, and to identify the determinants of its evolution. Although for most of the analyzed indicators related to innovation, China’s performance is much below the EU average, the growth rates for Chinese economy in 2008–2018 have been higher than these of the EU, indicating convergence process. The key to development success in China lies in closing the technological gap by importing existing technology, and strengthening internal capabilities to utilize and improve on those technologies. Different reasons for China’s economy improvement in terms of innovativeness are analyzed, including external factors (e.g., foreign direct investments, which are concentrated mostly in eastern provinces, and associated technology transfer) and internal aspects (like science, technology and innovation policy, investment in research and development, and emergence of innovative regional clusters). The conclusion is that dynamic processes of increasing innovative potential of China provide with a solid fundamental for further convergence and diminishing innovation gap between this country and the European Union.
Website of the publisherhttps://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13132-020-00699-1#citeas
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