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FDI, AGOA and Manufactured Exports by a Landlocked, Least Developed African Economy: Lesotho

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  • Sanjaya Lall

Abstract

Lesotho, a resource-poor country located inside South Africa, is now Africa's largest exporter of apparel to the US. Its performance, very unusual for Africa, relies heavily on Asian investors and trade privileges. This article traces the origins of FDI in Lesotho and the determinants of its export competitiveness, showing that apparel production suffers from low productivity, poor skills and weak local links. Its prospects after AGOA (the African Growth and Opportunities Act) remain uncertain unless the government addresses these structural problems. Lesotho holds important lessons for industrial development in Africa, going beyond creating a good investment environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanjaya Lall, 2005. "FDI, AGOA and Manufactured Exports by a Landlocked, Least Developed African Economy: Lesotho," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 998-1022.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:41:y:2005:i:6:p:998-1022
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380500155254
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    Cited by:

    1. Sanjaya Lall & Manuel Albaladejo & Jinkang Zhang, 2004. "Mapping fragmentation: Electronics and automobiles in East Asia and Latin America," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(3), pages 407-432.
    2. Lawrence Edwards & Robert Z. Lawrence, 2014. "AGOA Rules: The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Special Fabric Provisions," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume III: Modernization and Development, pages 343-393 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Garth Frazer & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2010. "Trade Growth under the African Growth and Opportunity Act," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 128-144, February.
    5. Cornelia Staritz, 2011. "Making the Cut? Low-Income Countries and the Global Clothing Value Chain in a Post-Quota and Post-Crisis World," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2547.
    6. Staritz, Cornelia & Morris, Mike, 2012. "Local embeddedness, upgrading, and skill development: Global value chains and foreign direct investment in Lesotho's apparel industry," Working Papers 32, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE) / Austrian Foundation for Development Research.
    7. Phelps, Nicholas A. & Stillwell, John C.H. & Wanjiru, Roseline, 2009. "Broken Chain? AGOA and Foreign Direct Investment in the Kenyan Clothing Industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 314-325, February.
    8. 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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