The tropical timber industry in Gabon: a forward linkages approach to industrialisation
AbstractThe breadth and depth of forward linkages in the tropical timber industry of Gabon is a result of three inter-acting drivers: the nature of final markets, ownership of production, and sector-specific policy. The Forestry Code set explicit domestic processing targets built on the trajectory of French processors. Still, while this is theoretically in line with European market demands for wood products, the forced beneficiation resulted in Chinese, Malaysian, and Gabonese producers, whose prime activity is the exploitation of logs for processing industries in China, to limit their participation in forward linkages to the sawnwood sub-sector, characterised by low entry barriers and negative producer margins. Gabon's comparative advantage lies in the exploitation of its natural resource tropical timber for export markets. Logging is also a 'superior' technology allowing the appropriation of resource rents. These are largely diluted in processing due to production cost penalties such as high reservation wages, inadequate infrastructure, lack of skills, and the political economy of Gabon. The conflict between the envisaged forward linkages approach to industrialisation (in light of falling oil reserves), industry actors' market focuses, motivations, and capabilities, as well as conclusions drawn about comparative advantages and linkage-blockages, has significant consequences for industrial development.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 37976.
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
emerging economies; China; Gabon; timber sector; global value chains; trade; industrialization; resource-based growth;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General
- L73 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Forest Products
- O25 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Industrial Policy
- L78 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Government Policy
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
- A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2012-04-17 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2012-04-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-SEA-2012-04-17 (South East Asia)
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