The World Bank Legal Review
Much has been written about the role of law in furthering development. More analysis and debate is needed to understand more fully the true nature of this role. The World Bank Legal Review collects much of this debate and analysis, contributed by scholars and practitioners from around the world. The subtitle of the volume, Legal Innovation and Empowerment for Development, focuses attention on how the law can respond to the challenges posed to development in a world slowly emerging from a protracted economic crisis.
100 The World Bank Legal Review increasing number of developing countries are becoming more technologically sophisticated. According to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report, however, “the world economy has entered a very difficult phase characterized by significant downside risks and fragility,” with developingcountry growth expected to decline to 5.4 percent and 6.0 percent versus 6.2 percent and 6.3 percent in June 2011 projections.56 Developing countries should be encouraged to identify new drivers of growth, one of which is technology transfer. Although technology transfer can be a time-consuming and complex process, given the right incentives and strong interest by developing countries in increasing their access to international technologies, companies from developed countries can assist LDCs in achieving sustained economic change and growth in domestic productivity. Intellectual property, in particular, helps realize the model necessary to transfer technology and should be viewed as a vital tool that can aid in social and economic progress. As countries develop their own assets, they will have greater incentives to respect the IP framework and implement and enforce strong IP regimes that will aid in the facilitation of new types of positive partnerships. Although not all countries are equally prepared to integrate complex technology into their production chains, the level of complexity on the technology transfer spectrum varies, beginning with knowledge and skills training as the most basic form. Therefore, the transfer of technology should be encouraged in all regions of the developing world, because building local capacity can play a major role in moving LDCs to the next stage of development and significantly affect the pace of innovation within these countries. 56 World Bank, Global Economic Prospects: Uncertainties and Vulnerabilities ( Jan. 2012).