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Low technology (LT) and low and medium technology

Low technology (LT) and medium-low technology (LT/LMT) – a chance for Ukraine?

Every day, we hear a lot about innovative and sophisticated technologies that are rapidly developing in the first world, with the participation of the best scientists and engineers and the use of state-of-the-art laboratories. However, in Ukraine, the current environment makes rapid innovation impossible in many areas of technology. Nonetheless, we can turn to technologies of a different level that will help us navigate the crisis period with minimal losses and reach a new level of innovation in all areas after the victory.

Definitions of low technology (LT) and medium-low technology (LT/LMT)

Industrial production can be grouped into four levels of technological complexity: high-tech (HT), medium-high technology (MHT), medium-low technology (LT/LMT), and low technology (LT). In this article, we will focus on the last two levels of sophistication, LT and LT/LMT.

According to Glossary:High-tech classification of manufacturing industries by Eurostat the following industries are classified as LT and MLT:


  • Reproduction of recorded media;
  • Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products;
  • Manufacture of rubber and plastic products;
  • Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products;
  • Manufacture of basic metals;
  • Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment, excluding Manufacture of weapons and ammunition;
  • Building of ships and boats;
  • Repair and installation of machinery and equipment.


  • Manufacture of food products;
  • Manufacture of beverages;
  • Manufacture of tobacco products;
  • Manufacture of textiles;
  • Manufacture of wearing apparel;
  • Manufacture of leather and related products;
  • Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials;
  • Manufacture of paper and paper products;
  • Printing and reproduction of recorded media excluding Reproduction of recorded media;
  • Manufacture of furniture;
  • Other manufacturing, excluding manufacture of medical and dental instruments and supplies.

About innovation in the low technology (LT) and medium-low technology (LT/LMT) sectors

Innovation in the low technology (LT) and medium-low technology (LT/LMT) sectors involves the development and implementation of new ideas, processes, and products using simple and affordable technologies. These sectors include, among others, agriculture, construction, textiles, and food processing. Given Ukraine’s developed agriculture and food industry, this topic should be of interest to Ukrainian businesses and our foreign partners.

Innovation in the LT/LMT sectors is crucial for economic growth and development, especially in developing countries. They can help create new jobs, increase productivity, and improve the quality of life for people in rural and urban areas. Additionally, LT/LMT sectors can serve as a stepping stone for countries to move up the technology ladder and enter higher value-added sectors.

There are various examples of innovations in LT/LMT sectors, such as the development of low-cost solar panels, drip irrigation systems, and small wind turbines. Overall, innovations in the LT/LMT sectors can play a crucial role in stimulating economic growth and, in times of crisis, supporting a country’s economy.

Low technology (LT) and medium-low technology (LT/LMT) as the main share of exports.

A country may have low technology (LT) and medium-low technology (LT/LMT) as its main export share for various reasons, including:

Comparative advantage: A country may have a natural advantage in the production of LT/LMT goods due to its resources, labour force, or historical specialization. For example, a country with abundant agricultural land and a skilled labour force may specialize in the production of agricultural products.

Price advantage: LT/LMT goods may be cheaper to produce and export than competitors due to lower labour costs, cheaper materials, and simpler production processes. This can make LT/LMT products more competitive in global markets.

Limited technological capabilities: Some countries may have limited technological capabilities, which can make it difficult to produce and export high-tech goods. Instead, they may focus on producing NT/LMT goods that require less advanced technology.

Trade barriers: Some countries may face trade barriers, such as high tariffs, that make it difficult to export high-tech goods. In such cases, LT/LMT products may be the most viable export option.

A country may have low technology (LT) and medium-low technology (LT/LMT) as its main export share for various reasons, including comparative advantage, price advantage, limited technological capabilities, and trade barriers. In general, a country’s ability to export low- and medium-technology goods is influenced by a complex set of factors, including its resources, labour force, technological capabilities, and global market conditions. However, countries can move up the value chain over time and diversify their export base by investing in education, research and development, and infrastructure, among other things.

While they may not be as high-tech or advanced as some other industries, LT/LMT products can still be innovative and have a significant impact on people’s lives.

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