These two discussions are completely orthogonal.
To achieve growth in a small country, you can be nimble and find relatively small market opportunities and then exploit them relentlessly. That simply doesn't scale to 1bn+ people.
Economic reality is actually the opposite of what you state. A big country represents a big domestic market - you don't need export niches or even good products, but can just build to service the internal markets, with massive economics of scale - and then muscle your way into foreign markets when all your corporations are 800lbs gorillas.
If Taiwan is wealthier than the PRC, it is not because their economy and population is so tiny - there is another reason...
You need to get to Norway before you see a reasonably sized country.
If what you claimed was true, the US would be on top.