How have East Asian economies managed to grow so rapidly, while reducing the inequality of income distribution and increasing international competitiveness? Independently of the impact of the current financial crisis in East Asia, it is still important to highlight the extraordinary accomplishments achieved by these countries between 1960 and the mid-1990s and to stress the rich experiences from which developing countries can continue to draw lessons. This study focuses on the development of a more comprehensive approach helping to explain the systemic nature of industrial dynamics and the interdependence of economic variables involved in development strategies. The spectacular momentum of East Asian growth achieved during this period, and now threatened by the financial crisis, is the result of the establishment of a virtuous circle of learning, innovation and economic growth.