This chapter brings together a collection of indicators that contrast and compare national technological competitiveness across a broad range of important technological areas. Based on the various indicators of technology development and market competitiveness examined, the United States continues to lead or be among the leaders in all technology areas. Advancements in information technologies (computers and telecommunications products) continue to influence new technology development and to dominate technical exchanges between the United States and its trading partners.
Asia's status as both a consumer and developer of high-tech products has been enhanced by the technological development taking place in the newly industrialized Asian economies-in particular, Taiwan and South Korea-and in emerging and transitioning economies such as Malaysia, China, and the Philippines. Asia's influence in the marketplace seems likely to expand in the future as other technologically emerging Asian nations join Japan as both technology producers and consumers.
Recently, several Asian nations have faced turmoil in their banking systems and capital markets. It is unclear how these developments will affect Asian economies and S&T capabilities.
The current strong position of the United States as the world's leading producer of high-tech products reflects its success both in supplying a large home-based market as well as in serving foreign markets. In addition to the nation's long commitment to investments in science and technology, this success in the international marketplace may be in part a function of scale effects derived from serving this large, demanding domestic market; it may be further aided by the U.S. market's openness to foreign competition. In the years ahead, these same market dynamics may also benefit a more unified Europe and/or a rapidly developing Asia and complement their investments in science and technology.