8.5.1 Barriers to Technology Transfer between Countries
The barriers to technology transfer of transport options between countries
discussed above can be categorised into technological, financial, institutional,
information and social. These should be seen along with the generic barriers
already discussed in Chapter 5 of this report. In the
transport sector, an overriding barrier that require emphasis is the lack of
an enabling business environment for both technology supplier and technology
recipient countries to promote technology transfer. Industrialised countries,
which are mostly technology suppliers, can institute economic and fiscal measures
and regulations with the necessary compliance regimes that can stimulate the
private sector to transfer transport technologies. Technology recipients, which
are mostly developing countries, need to create the enabling environment that
is receptive to transport technologies (UNEP, 1998). Lack of a suitable enabling
environment is particularly absent in low-income and capital constrained countries.
In general, technology recipient countries need to build an effective business
environment to attract involvement of the private sector, which is now increasing
its role in transport technology flows, especially in transport infrastructure.
An important technical barrier to technology inflows to any country is lack
of the necessary manufacturing capabilities, especially in technology recipient
countries. Additionally, a lack of companies to undertake sub-contracting, as
may be required by large transport companies, and the absence of suitable facilities
for training and RD&D can create serious problems for technology development
and transfer. An important financial barrier is access to capital, because most
of the transport options are very expensive and involve long lead times such
as building or modifying highways and bridges. These activities may involve
significant capital outlay and many institutions with different interests. Harmonising
and optimising these interests can prove to be challenging (Pacudan, 1999).
Also, implementing some non-motorised measures such as wider use of cycling
can be expensive, because of the need for dedicated lanes and other support
infrastructure, which would be a barrier for many countries. Lack of compliance
and arbitration institutions can be a barrier for effective private sector participation.
Lack of knowledge of the existence and development of environmentally friendly
transport options, including their weaknesses and benefits, will be a major
barrier in adopting them. This is common among technology recipients. Differences
in social and cultural systems among countries can be a barrier, because some
transport options are sensitive to these differences. Adopting cycling may require
certain lifestyle change as well as some other non-motorised systems. Similarly,
adoption of recently smaller and more fuel-efficient cars that is being manufactured
by many of the major manufacturers may not be acceptable to many countries because
of their transport needs. Political will by respective governments for technology
transfer is needed and so can be a major obstacle if absent.