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Journal of Competitiveness

Towards an Asian Model of Clusters and Cluster Policy: The Super Cluster Strategy

Arkadiusz Michał Kowalski

Keywords:
clusters, cluster policy, competitiveness, location quotients (LQ), foreign direct investment (FDI), Special Economic Zones (SEZ)

Abstract:
Clusters are recognized as important drivers of competitiveness and economic development. There are various models of clusters development all over the world, some of which may be initiated bottom-up by private firms, as in most European countries, or top-down by public administrations. In the case of Asian clusters, many are driven by foreign direct investments (FDI), with the most notable example being China. The objective of this study is to examine the Super Cluster strategy introduced in Thailand in 2015, especially in terms of the rationale and mechanism for selecting assisted clusters as well as the instruments used to support them. The goal is to contribute to a more in-depth formulation of the Asian model of clusters and cluster policy. The conducted analysis shows that Thai strategy deviates from traditional bottom-up approaches to cluster policy, veering towards the top-down approach in which government designates targeted regions and industries for the development of clusters. Another finding is that the Super Cluster strategy shares more common characteristics with Special Economic Zones (SEZ) than it does with the traditional approach to cluster policy in terms of its main objective of attracting foreign direct investments (FDI), securing support mechanisms as well as in the selection of target areas and the type of instruments to be implemented. The experience of Thailand is discussed along with that of other Asian countries, most notably China, in order to identify and verify the characteristics of the Asian model of clusters and cluster policy.

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10.7441/joc.2020.04.05


Kowalski, A, M. (2020). Towards an Asian Model of Clusters and Cluster Policy: The Super Cluster Strategy. Journal of Competitiveness, 12(4), 74–90. https://doi.org/10.7441/joc.2020.04.05

Journal of Competitiveness

  

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ISSN 1804-171X (Print); eISSN 1804-1728 (On-line)


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