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World Bank Chief Economist Presents New Structural Economics at UNU-WIDER Conference

May 4, 2011

MAPUTO, May 4, 2011 -- Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Justin Lin delivered a lecture at a World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) annual conference held in Maputo. The lecture, arranged with the collaboration of the Government of Mozambique, was attended by over 500 participants, among government officials, opinion makers, private sector, and academia.

Lin’s lecture discussed the topic of New Structural Economics, in which he presented the growth identification and facilitation roadmap that can guide governments of poorer countries to foster new industries which reflect their latent comparative advantages.

“The West took 300 years to innovate and industrialize, Japan less than 100 years, and East Asia took only 40 years to imitate as flying geese and catch up. Like their forerunners, China and India have exploited their low-wage advantages to power labor-intensive industries and accelerate growth,” said Lin. “Today, wages are rising in the ‘Asian Dragons,’ and this is an opportunity for poorer country governments to put in place strategies to take advantage of this and  catch up.”

This conference was the 15th of UNU- WIDER’s annual conferences, and the first of its kind held in Africa.

“The WIDER Annual Lecture is one of the most important events on the Institute’s calendar and is delivered every year by an eminent international scholar. We are honored that Professor Justin Lin has delivered his talk on such a timely and relevant subject at this Annual Lecture,” said UNU-WIDER Director Professor Fin Tarp. “In our effort to reach out to a truly global audience of policy makers and researchers we are, for the first time, organizing our conference  in Africa, in the capital of Mozambique.”