After read Eric Reinert's "How Rich Countries Got Rich ... and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor", I've got the question:

Reinert theory is:

  1. Rich West countries are investing to advanced branches at their home to get rich, and ...
  2. Buy raw products from poor countries to send them back to stone ages.

If Reinert theory is true, why rich West is investing so much to advanced business branches on new East companies, like Foxconn?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Small thing - you're assuming that the 'West' acts as a single agent? $\endgroup$
    – Kontorus
    Jul 21, 2016 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ Traditional theories of foreign investment revolve around investors investing in whatever makes the highest returns, not necessarily what will benefit 'their' countries. If the best returns are found in Western countries, then investors should invest in their homelands. If the best returns are found in Foxconn, then they would invest in Foxconn. $\endgroup$
    – Kontorus
    Jul 21, 2016 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ Reinert wrote about International Monetary Fund and such orgs as unified agent with strong and destructive ideology. if it's true then China and Thaiwan should export only socks and tea, not lenovo notebooks $\endgroup$
    – Y.N
    Jul 21, 2016 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


I've read Eric Reinerts book and I do not think it is conspiracy theory because he explains also the economic background of the both symptoms you show.

One point he describes is how free trade discussion prefers the developed countries. Industrial production profits a lot more from scale effects than agricultural production. So he says, it is not fair to hinder countries to develop an industrial sector. Your argument about the so called tiger states has 'roots' in another development strategy of Japan for neighboring countries. The so called flying geese paradigma was one the reasons why it is now possible to buy high technology products from east asian countries. So it is more an example that strengthens Reinerts arguments. There was no leader goose for many other areas in the global south. Maybe china now plays this role. With the BRICS countries the situation today is more complex. But the fact that the world is changing, can't be an argument against a theory which tries to be rooted in history.

That Eric Reinert points out still valid issues can you see in the discussion about the Economic Partnership Agreements.

  • $\begingroup$ So you think it's a spontaneous effect? $\endgroup$
    – Y.N
    Aug 17, 2017 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ I think E. Reinerts writes about political and and economical policies which are in place for decades. The effects are more cumulative and not spontanous. $\endgroup$
    – giftnuss
    Aug 18, 2017 at 9:24

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