A close look at the industrialization processes in East Asia reveals that learning and innovation (L&I) activities became the building blocks of their economic growth and international competitiveness. This article explores the micro-dynamics of knowledge-based economies and analyses the East Asian success stories from the perspective of learning and innovation (L&I) processes. It also develops a theoretical framework in order to understand how East Asian companies manage to overcome entry barriers into high-tech industries. When utilizing this approach in the interpretation of the ‘East Asian miracle’, some empirical regularities emerge, suggesting the existence of learning paths that define the systemic interactions, pace, and direction of learning and innovation activities.