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Trade, Foreign Firms, and Economic Policy in Indonesian and Thai Manufacturing


  • William E. James

    (Nathan Associates, Inc.)

  • Eric D. Ramstetter

    (International Centre for the Study of East Asian Development and Kyushu University)


This paper first examines the rapid growth and changing composition of manufactured exports in Indonesia and Thailand, highlighting the rapid growth of office and computer machinery and electric machinery, somewhat slower growth of non-electric and transportation machinery, as well as the low growth of previously large exports of textiles apparel. Second, the important contributions of foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs) to export growth in the machinery industries, particularly in electric, office, and computing machinery, are documented. Third, the paper describes trade policies in all these industries in some detail, emphasizing how low protection was a key facilitator of rapid export growth in the MNEs that dominated the electric, office, and computing machinery industry, while high protection reduced incentives to export among MNEs in the transportation machinery industry.

Suggested Citation

  • William E. James & Eric D. Ramstetter, 2005. "Trade, Foreign Firms, and Economic Policy in Indonesian and Thai Manufacturing," Economics Study Area Working Papers 78, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:ewc:wpaper:wp78

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Theodore H. Moran, 2001. "Parental Supervision: The New Paradigm for Foreign Direct Investment and Development," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa64, October.
    2. Ito, Keiko, 2004. "Foreign ownership and plant productivity in the Thai automobile industry in 1996 and 1998: a conditional quantile analysis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 321-353, April.
    3. Haryo Aswicahyono, 2000. "How Not to Industrialise? Indonesia's Automotive Industry," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 209-241.
    4. Takatoshi Ito & Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Growth and Productivity in East Asia, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 13," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_04-2, January.
    5. Sadayuki Takii & Eric Ramstetter, 2007. "Survey Of Recent Developments," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 295-322.
    6. Takatoshi Ito & Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Introduction to "Growth and Productivity in East Asia, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 13"," NBER Chapters,in: Growth and Productivity in East Asia, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 13, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Takii, Sadayuki, 2004. "Productivity Differentials Between Local and Foreign Plants in Indonesian Manufacturing, 1995," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1957-1969, November.
    8. William James & David Ray & Peter Minor, 2003. "Indonesia'S Textiles And Apparel: The Challenges Ahead," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 93-103.
    9. Sadayuki Takii & Eric Ramstetter, 2005. "Multinational presence and labour productivity differentials in Indonesian manufacturing, 1975-2001," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 221-242.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cole, Matthew A. & Fredriksson, Per G., 2009. "Institutionalized pollution havens," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1239-1256, February.
    2. repec:sdo:regaec:v:26:y:2017:i:3_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Azam Chaudhry & Gul Andaman, 2014. "The Need for a Coordinated Industrial Strategy to Boost Pakistani Exports: Lessons from Asia," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 19(Special E), pages 177-206, September.
    4. Tulus Tambunnan, 2007. "Trade and Investment Liberalization Effects on SME Development: A Literature Review and a Case Study of Indonesia," Working Papers 4207, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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