The Middle-income Trap in Asia

Asian countries, having reached the middle-income level by means of an
export orientation supported by low-cost labor, are seeking new paths to
growth. These countries face the “middle-income trap,” a stalling of economic growth
before they succeed in becoming advanced countries. How can Asia’s middle-income
countries avoid or overcome this trap? This edition of NIRA Policy Review argues
that autonomous innovation is essential to the realization of sustainable growth by
Asian countries, that efforts towards research and development, the fostering of
human resources, and the provision of infrastructure will be necessary in order to
promote innovation on the part of each of the countries of the region, and that
Japan can contribute to this process in a variety of ways.

Motoshige Itoh
President, National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA)
Haruhiko Kuroda
President, Asian Development Bank
Eizo Kobayashi
Chairman, Itochu Corporation
Thanong Bidaya
Chairman of the Advisory Board, TMB Asset Management Co., Ltd. Former Minister of Finance and Minister of Commerce of Thailand
Junhua Wu
Counselor, The Japan Research Institute, Limited
Yasuyuki Todo
Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo