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The evolution of value added in assembly operations: the case of China and Mexico

  • Mehdi Shafaeddin
  • Juan Pizarro

China and Mexico embarked, around the early 1980s, on the process of liberalization of trade and FDI and established some export oriented industries through assembly operations with the help of FDI. Both countries had the same objective of increasing value added in export processing industries. The authors examine the comparative achievements of their common objectives in the light of the export oriented strategy hypothesis. Applying the indicators of Revealed Comparative Advantage to exports and imports, the authors show that while there are some similarities in the performance of the two countries, there are also striking differences. Both have managed to increase manufactured exports, particularly in IT products, significantly during 1990s. Both, but particularly China, have developed comparative advantage in export and production of many industries, which had been initiated through import substitution. However, Mexico has achieved little, compared with China, in increasing value added in exports and in developing comparative advantage in production in assembly operations. Further, unlike China, since the early years of the 2010 decade it has not been able to sustain its rapid export growth.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies.

Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 373-397

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:8:y:2010:i:4:p:373-397
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