Economic growth effects of sci-tech cooperation along the Belt and Road

XU Peiyuan1,2 CHENG Qinliang1

(1.School of Economics and Finance, Huaqiao University, Quanzhou, China 362021)
(2.Maritime Silk Road Institute, Huaqiao University, Xiamen, China 361021)

【Abstract】The Belt and Road is a path of innovation, and sci-tech cooperation is the forerunner and support of the Belt and Road construction. However, what are the main patterns of cooperation? What are the mechanism and effect acting on the economic growth of countries along the Belt and Road? How can the quality and effect of cooperation be improved? All these questions are worth discussing in order to build the sci-tech cooperation network and the community of innovation along the Belt and Road. Although existing studies have made extensive analysis and research, there are still two shortcomings. First, most of them focus on the patterns of sci-tech cooperation along the Belt and Road, but pay little attention to the mechanism and effect. Second, there is little empirical evidence on sci-tech cooperation promoting economic growth in countries along the Belt and Road. This paper attempted to make a comprehensive analysis on the above questions. It was found that the sci-tech cooperation between countries along the Belt and Road and China is at its initial stage, mostly carried out with China’s neighbors such as Southeast Asian and South Asian countries, and is narrowed in the cooperation scope. All kinds of cooperation can be classified as R&D cooperation and technology transfer, which promote the economic growth of countries along the Belt and Road by affecting R&D ability and knowledge stock, respectively, and have different effects on countries with different technological endowment. The economic growth effects of R&D cooperation and technology transfer are mutually reinforcing. Therefore, carrying out the two types of cooperation simultaneously can promote the innovation and growth effects greatly. If countries along the Belt and Road are divided into innovation laggards and innovation pursuers, the effect of R&D cooperation is obviously different between the two groups, which is related to the technical level and difficulty of cooperation. It is also related to the direct productivity effect of technology transfer. Therefore, we can get the inspiration that sci-tech cooperation along the Belt and Road should adopt different strategies in different countries according to the actual conditions, stick to the parallel development of R&D cooperation and technology transfer, and emphasize the technological endowment and quality of R&D cooperation. This paper adds to the existing literature in the following two ways. First, in terms of cooperation mechanism, it divides the existing patterns of sci-tech cooperation along the Belt and Road into two categories: R&D cooperation in order to enhance the R&D capabilities of related countries, and technology transfer in order to increase their knowledge stock. Second, in terms of R&D conditions, this paper divides the related countries into two groups: backward countries and catching-up countries, investigates and compares the effect of sci-tech cooperation along the Belt and Road on the economic growth in different group countries, and gives suggestion on how to improve sci-tech cooperation accordingly.

【Keywords】 the Belt and Road; sci-tech cooperation; economic growth; functional mechanism;

【DOI】

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ISSN:1001-9952

CN: 31-1012/F

Vol 46, No. 05, Pages 140-154

May 2020

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