No momento que atravessamos de grave crise económica internacional em que os governos, sobretudo dos paises mais desenvolvidos, estão muito implicados na implementação de medidas de estimulo à economia, no apoio ao desenvolvimento de novas industrias e na execução de algumas iniciativas de reestruturação indutrial, Dani Rodrik, professor na Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), faz uma excelente reflexão sobre o significado e a importância da política industrial na actual conjuntura económica.
Na opinião de Dani Rodrik, " The real question about industrial policy is not whether it should be practiced, but how. Here are three important principles to keep in mind.
First, industrial policy is a state of mind rather than a list of specific policies. Its successful practitioners understand that it is more important to create a climate of collaboration between government and the private sector than to provide financial incentives. Through deliberation councils, supplier development forums, investment advisory councils, sectoral round-tables, or private-public venture funds, collaboration aims to elicit information about investment opportunities and bottlenecks. This requires a government that is “embedded” in the private sector, but not in bed with it.
Second, industrial policy needs to rely on both carrots and sticks. Given its risks and the gap between its social and private benefits, innovation requires rents – returns above what competitive markets provide. That is why all countries have a patent system. But open-ended incentives have their own costs: they can raise consumer prices and bottle up resources in unproductive activities. That is why patents expire. The same principle needs to apply to all government efforts to spawn new industries. Government incentives need to be temporary and based on performance.
Third, industrial policy’s practitioners need to bear in mind that it aims to serve society at large, not the bureaucrats who administer it or the businesses that receive the incentives. To guard against abuse and capture, industrial policy needs be carried out in a transparent and accountable manner, and its processes must be open to new entrants as well as incumbents." E conclui no mesmo post que "Thomas Watson, the founder of IBM, once said, “If you want to succeed, raise your error rate.” A government that makes no mistakes when promoting industry is one that makes the bigger mistake of not trying hard enough."