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“Going Global in Groups”: Structural Transformation and China’s Special Economic Zones Overseas

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  • Bräutigam, Deborah
  • Tang, Xiaoyang

Abstract

China’s special economic zones helped the country industrialize by attracting foreign investment. In 2006, Beijing initiated an overseas trade and cooperation zone program, assisting Chinese companies to invest abroad while also building China’s soft power through the transfer of a key component of China’s development success. Little is known about the 19 zones approved so far under this program, or the impact they are likely to have on structural transformation and industrial development in their host countries. This paper identifies the 19 zones and their proposed locations, the process of selection, developers, implementation, and the Chinese incentive regime. It then focuses on the African zones. Using a typology of factors that have proven critical for zone development in the past, the paper evaluates the potential of these zones for fostering structural transformation in Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Bräutigam, Deborah & Tang, Xiaoyang, 2014. "“Going Global in Groups”: Structural Transformation and China’s Special Economic Zones Overseas," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 78-91.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:63:y:2014:i:c:p:78-91
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.10.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rhee, Yung Whee, 1990. "The catalyst model of development: Lessons from Bangladesh's success with garment exports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 333-346, February.
    2. Rotunno, Lorenzo & Vézina, Pierre-Louis & Wang, Zheng, 2013. "The rise and fall of (Chinese) African apparel exports," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 152-163.
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    Cited by:

    1. Newman, Carol & Page, John & Rand, John & Shimeles, Abebe & Soderbom, Mans & Tarp, Finn (ed.), 2016. "Manufacturing Transformation: Comparative Studies of Industrial Development in Africa and Emerging Asia," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198776987.
    2. Ronald B. Davies & Arman Mazhikeyev, 2015. "The Impact of Special Economic Zones on Exporting Behavior," Working Papers 201528, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    3. Adolph, Christopher & Quince, Vanessa & Prakash, Aseem, 2017. "The Shanghai Effect: Do Exports to China Affect Labor Practices in Africa?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 1-18.
    4. repec:gam:jeners:v:12:y:2019:i:6:p:1174-:d:217318 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lectard, Pauline & Rougier, Eric, 2018. "Can Developing Countries Gain from Defying Comparative Advantage? Distance to Comparative Advantage, Export Diversification and Sophistication, and the Dynamics of Specialization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 90-110.
    6. repec:bla:devchg:v:50:y:2019:i:1:p:245-274 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. King, Alan & Ramlogan-Dobson, Carlyn, 2015. "Is Africa Actually Developing?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 598-613.

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