Understanding the failure of the replication of the Chinese economic reforms in India through the study of Gujarat RIS and Karnataka REE
India has failed to develop merchandise exports as China has. The Indian government is aware of this challenge and hence has created a specific plan for the industry called Plan 2025 to benchmark Chinese reforms. However, Plan 2025 fails to enhance the industry at this stage. This paper examines how some successful economic reforms in China did not have the desired impact in India. This paper shows that some key success factors of the Chinese experience have deliberately not been included in India ( absence of agglomeration effect with emerging neighbours, rent capture behaviour at a political level, same focus on IT & service instead of manufacturing from the SEZs, absence of upgrade to the current Chinese reforms). Still more significantly, there were policy mistakes. The Indian willingness to focus on knowledge generation for the manufacturing sector (as it has always done for IT & services) instead of on knowledge exploitation as China did, prevented India from using the backwardness advantage to obtain technology transfer and spillover to the rest of the economy. Therefore, this paper makes some recommendations for Indian policy-makers on how to improve the current flaws detected in the application of some Chinese economic reforms. As there is a need for state level analysis, the methodology consisted in comparing the past economic history and trajectories of two Indian States (Gujarat & Karnataka) with two Chinese Deltas (Yangtze River and Pearl River) using the approaches of the regional innovation systems (RIS) and the regional entrepreneurial ecosystems (REE).
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