Study: U.S. to hold onto tech lead

The United States will stay at the helm of the global technology scene for years to come despite the rise of Asia as a tech manufacturing powerhouse, according to a U.S. government-funded study.

This vote of confidence was expressed in a report on the competitiveness of countries released this week by Rand's National Defense Research Institute, an independent research and development center financed by U.S. government agencies. Rand said the U.S. will cement its lead in the global information technology revolution because its authorities provide "a hospitable environment to IT business development." "U.S. businesses are focused on innovation, and Americans readily accept change," the report added.

The United States is ahead because it is willing to let uncompetitive industries fail, said the report. "Unlike many other nations that concentrate on protecting existing businesses and institutions, the United States presses ahead with change even when it means 'creative destruction' of companies that drive its economy today in order to build a stronger economy tomorrow," said Richard O. Hundley, the lead author of the study. The report took a snapshot of IT developments around the world and concluded that most countries are lagging behind the United States, with the possible exception of China in times to come.

"Asia already dominates IT manufacturing, accounting for 70 to 80 percent of total world output of a wide range of important IT materials, components and products. China is rapidly emerging as a major IT player in Asia and the world," Rand said in a statement. The research center added that China's ascension to IT prowess could come at the expense of Asian powerhouses such as Japan, if that country's economic stagnation persists. The Rand report comes amidst growing fears of job losses in the U.S. technology sector as tech companies continue to outsource parts of their operations to lower-cost Asian countries such as China and India.

News source: C|net

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