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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Jennifer Jarman and Parminder Singh Chopra

This paper aims to argue that the World Bank‐sanctioned strategy of investing in knowledge economy infrastructure will not make a developing country competitive in the…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to argue that the World Bank‐sanctioned strategy of investing in knowledge economy infrastructure will not make a developing country competitive in the highest value activities such as research, design and innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines Malaysia's efforts to increase its national income and change its position from a “middle‐income” country to one with a standard of living equivalent to a developed country by 2020. Specifically, it analyses Malaysia's strategy of constructing a multimedia super corridor, a multibillion‐dollar state‐led project to attract knowledge‐intensive operations to Malaysia.

Findings

Despite the creation of a world‐class infrastructure, the Malaysian government has not been successful in realising its original aim of creating a cutting‐edge multimedia research and development hub. Instead a thriving business support services sector has developed. Therefore, it is by no means a guaranteed way to close the gap between rich and poor nations.

Research limitations/implications

Official data relating to the activities of firms not only are limited but also have been made problematic by changes in categorisation over the relevant years. Analysis that is more conclusive requires the publication of official data with greater detail about firm activities and a standardised reporting format over time.

Originality/value

This is one of the first academic studies discussing the rise of the business services industry in Malaysia and its relationship with the MSC infrastructure development project.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 28 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Robert M. Blackburn

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Abstract

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 28 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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