Copyright (c) 1999 Fordham University School of Law
Fordham International Law Journal
ESSAY: TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL ORDER
22 Fordham Int'l L.J. 2096
Chantal Thomas *
In addition to the three classical factors [land, labor, and capital], economic growth depends on a vital fourth factor, technology. 1
As vital as technology is to economic growth in industrial ized economies, it is all the more so in the developing world. And yet, "in a developing country, self-development of in dependent technology is generally impossible or ruinously costly" precisely because of the relatively low level of industriali zation. 2 The introduction of industrial technology developed elsewhere is, as a consequence, critical to economic develop ment. Moreover, notwithstanding theoretical debate over whether industrialization represents the natural end of a univer sal economic evolutionary path, 3 few dispute that developing- country governments have sought to accelerate the industrializa tion process, lending even greater import to this process of tech nology transfer.
No coherent framework for technology transfer has yet arisen at the international level. This gap in the international legal order is far from unique, of course. Yet, as both interna tional economic integration and related international legal re gimes have grown, so have the level and complexity of technol ogy transfer needs in developing countries. This Essay begins by describing the technology transfer needs arising from both inter national economic integration and related international law. The Essay then examines the existing international rules for technology transfer and finds them insufficient to address these needs. The goal of this Essay is to advocate the formulation of a viable international legal framework for technology transfer ...
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