Yi Gang published a thinking article in People's Daily 12 years ago: what is the foundation of innovation?


Image Source @视觉中国

Image Source @视觉中国

Titanium media note: this article is from the first Finance and Economics, the article is the current governor of the people's Bank of China, deputy secretary of the Party Committee Yi Gangyuan published in the "People's Daily" 2007 / 09 / 26 edition of the article.

As you know, China's economic growth is a miracle. In the past 29 years, the average growth rate of our GDP is 9.7%. In this process, labour productivity and total element productivity have been significantly improved.

However, there is still a gap between the growth of total factor productivity as the core indicator of growth quality and that of innovative countries, that is, the lack of economic innovation capacity, and more on capital and labor input. Such growth cannot last forever. For the entire society to achieve comprehensive development, we must reflect on innovation.

(Yi Gang, then assistant governor of the people's Bank of China)

(When he was Assistant to the Governor of the People's Bank of China, Yi Gang)

Innovation, at the shallower level, is the innovation of products, such as lights, watches, computers, the Internet and so on. Most of these products were not invented by the Chinese. So far, most of our product innovation is actually copying, introducing and learning from other people's products, which is not really original.

Organizational innovation is the second level of innovation. Innovation may come from individuals, but since modern times, most innovations have been done in accordance with organizational models such as companies, companies, and markets. Without these organizations, without the mechanisms and incentives of these organizations, many innovations are unimaginable. China's surface is the backwardness of product innovation, behind the backwardness of organizational innovation.

The operation of the organization is fixed in the form of concepts, rules, laws and so on, which involves the third level of innovation. It is precisely in this respect that China lags behind. World competition rules, such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and so on, are made by other countries. In the legal aspect, the basic law of Chinese financial circles, to a large extent, also draws lessons from the experience of other countries.

Who is responsible for all these above innovations? It is an individual who organizes in some form and acts according to the rules of the game. Therefore, innovation must be implemented in the final analysis to have a large number of people with innovative capabilities, which is the fourth level of innovation.


At a higher level than people, how can we create an environment in which individuals can have a truly independent personality and become what we call peaceful, down-to-earth, innovative people. This requires the protection of property rights, especially intellectual property rights, the protection of basic human rights. This is the fifth level of innovation. In such an institutional environment, we can produce independent personality, independent thinking people. Only with them can there be innovation.


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Yi Gang 12 years ago published People's Daily an article reflection article innovation the book

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