"As the firms in a country take advantage of the windows of opportunity for innovation to which they have access, they increase their value-added per capita, and the wages and salaries they pay their employees. And this in turn opens up a window of opportunity for countries with lower wages to exploit, provided they can develop the capability to do so. The new opportunity for these firms becomes a 'capability-destroying' challenge to the incumbents, unless the incumbents' capabilities allow them to introduce and exploit new opportunities of their own. [Moi ici: Esta é a lógica que permitiu que o Portugal dos anos 60 em diante aproveitasse a deslocalização da indústria tradicional francesa e alemã, mas que os portugueses quiseram impedir que acontecesse, quando eles próprios se transformaram em incumbentes preguiçosos]
This is the dynamic behind the technological upgrading of countries in sequence, which was named the 'flying geese model' by the Japanese economist Kaname Akamatsu in the 1930s. Saburo Okita, another Japanese economist and later Minister of Foreign Affairs in the 1980s, adopted the 'flying geese model' and argued that a poor country is able to upgrade its technology by jumping from one product to another with increasing knowledge content.
In the case of cheap garments, the first flying goose was Japan's firms, which boosted their value-added and increased the standard of living of Japan to such an extent that production was taken over by South Korean firms, while Japanese firms moved into the more complex manufacturing of TV sets. South Korean firms then increased their labour costs, and cheap garments were for a while produced in Taiwan, until the same thing happened there and the production of cheap textiles moved to Thailand and Malaysia, and then finally to Vietnam. In this way, whole group of countries used garment production to upgrade their production capabilities and standard of living. [Moi ici: Daqui a importância de em vez de perder energia a defender o passado, abraçar a mudança para subir na escala de valor]
In order to understand the ability of the firms and nations to innovate and grow, it is also necessary to understand the linkages between the capabilities of different industries. Beneath the surface of every product there are not just physical components, but a deeper set of hidden technological and organisational capabilities that enabled it to be created and produced. Today, for example, electronics account for about one-third of materials and labour involved in producing an automobile.
These capabilities are also not static.
This point about the capabilities underlying the products of a particular industry is very important when thinking about whether a new industry entering a country will be successful. A good mental image to use in such cases, as César Hidalgo has suggested, is a jigsaw puzzle. Bringing a complex industry into a new country is, according to him, like trying to move a jigsaw puzzle from one table to another. [Moi ici: Outra vez a imagem dos macacos que não voam, trepam as árvores] The more pieces are in the puzzle, the more likely it is to fall apart as one tries to move it. It is also easier, he points out, to move such a jigsaw puzzle if one only has to move a few pieces to another table, on which the remaining pieces of the same puzzle have already been assembled."
Trechos retirados "Windows of Opportunity: How Nations Make Wealth".