Box 8 - The Internationalization of Trade, Business and Technology

The internationalization of trade, business and technology is here to stay. This means that national borders means much less than they used to regarding the flow of technology, at least among the nations that have made the now needed social investments in education and research facilities. National governments have been slow to recognize these new facts of life. Indeed, the last decade has seen a sharp increase in what has been called "techno- nationalism", policies launched by governments with the objective of giving their national firms a particular edge in an area of technology. Our argument is that these policies to not work very well anymore. It is increasingly difficult to create new technology that will stay contained within national borders for very long in a world where technological sophistication is widespread and firms of many nationalities are ready to make the investment needed to exploit new generic technologies. A closely related observation is that a well-educated labor force, with a strong cadre of university trained engineers and scientists at the top, is now a requirement for membership in the "convergence club".

Nelson and Wright, 1992.