Industrial Development Report 2002/2003, 2004, 2005
- Competing through Innovation and Learning

Available from UNIDO at


This is the first in a planned series, begins by assessing the diversity and divergence of industrial development around the world. It introduces the Industrial Development Scoreboard, which reveals wide dispersion in levels of industrial development and pronounced differences in structural factors. The report shows that:


  • Building industrial capabilities is a long and costly process of innovation and learning, a process that many developing countries cannot accomplish on their own. In today's increasingly interdependent world, enterprises .can upgrade their technological capabilities if they link with outsiders to leverage new technologies and skills and invest in learning to use and adapt the product and process technologies they acquire. Participation in global value chains can also accelerate this process of innovation and learning.
  • Policies that achieve macroeconomic stability, institutional reform and open trade and investment paramount for productivity growth but equally important are supporting institutions that assist firms in their innovation and learning. This high road to competitiveness can be reached only through a national strategy, developed and implemented by the government and private sector working together.
  • The developing countries have primary responsibility for ensuring conditions conducive to innovation and learning. But the international community also has a clear responsibility to assist them in addressing the growing structural gaps and to ensure that they are not denied the dynamics of industrial development.


Contents of the Report





1. New technologies, new systems, new rules

2. Global industrial activity

3. Benchmarking industrial performance

4. Benchmarking the drivers of industrial performance



5. Innovation and learning to drive industrial development

6. Innovation and learning in global value chains

7. Supporting innovation and learning by firms

8. The way forward 133



Technical annex

Statistical annex



The main objective of the Report is to help decision makers, both in the governments and the private sector to

Ø      Better assess and benchmark their national industrial performances and capabilities;

Ø      Better understand how developing countries are able to improve their industrial capabilities and their industrial performances, under the new conditions of increased globalisation and rapid technological change – from which only a few developing countries benefited so far; and,

Ø      Help them with specific recommendations to be followed when formulating national strategies and policies.