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浙江师范大学非洲研究院

中国投资推进非洲制造业进程

1019日,《中国日报》刊发非洲研究院尼日利亚籍研究员迈克博士的文章中国投资推进非洲制造业进程》。文章指出,制造业在推进国家发展中发挥着重要作用。当下,中国国内生产成本提高,相关产业正在转移生产基地,非洲各国应当抓住这一机遇,接受中国公司的投资和技术,将国内丰富的资源加工成高附加值产品,以促进当地人民就业和经济的发展。

全文请见:http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/weekly/2018-10/19/content_37100089.htm



Lack of industrialization still a cause for concern in Africa amid unemployment concerns, youthful population

For over 200 years, a strong manufacturing sector has been considered to be the main engine of economic growth. This exact recipe has transformed developed economies such as Germany, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and France into some of the richest economies. Nowadays, a handful of economies, mostly East Asian Tigers who took only four decades to catch up, have succeeded in using manufacturing to develop their economies.

As for China, a novel age of manufacturing has assisted its economy to attain dynamic growth, and is has emerged as the driver of global growth in a novel multipolar world, with the other Southeast Asian economies following closely behind. These are instances of how manufacturing can create speedy structural change, advance development, enhance employment and reduce poverty.

Nonetheless, the success story appears to bypass several African economies. Despite the manufacturing potential and promising trajectories of African economies, several economies on the continent still lack factories. Therefore, the absence of significant industrialization on much of the continent is a missed opportunity for more robust, diversified and sustainable economic development. Manufacturing has the highest multiplier effect of any sector. For every dollar spent in manufacturing, another $1.81 is added to the economy. And for every factory worker, there are another four employees hired elsewhere. Indeed, shifts in manufacturing can affect the larger economy significantly. As such, higher-value manufacturing is the clearest route for African economies to pursue job-generating growth and modern agriculture and services, which would bolster continental integration and promote sustainable development.

 

For that reason, African economies with better policies might tend to have higher economic growth buoyed by the growth of an African middle class. But more effort will be required to translate this growth into broad welfare gains. To translate this growth into wide-ranging welfare gains, African economies need to strengthen policies that favor manufacturing because a robust and thriving manufacturing sector usually precipitates industrialization which in turn, can create employment. This is the very reason why Industrialization has been identified as one of the pillars that will drive social and economic structural transformation in the next five decades. Nowadays, China's economy has reached the so-called Lewis Turning Point - a gradual shift of a manufacturing sector toward higher-value output that is affected by the cost of production exceeding gains in productivity. These structural changes in China's economy will have significant implications for Africa's development ambitions. The rapidity and scale of these changes over the past 15 years - through major transactions and political summits - have resulted in an African move toward China's commercial sphere of influence. This trend has been fast-tracked by the Western financial and economic crisis, with African economies reorienting toward emerging economies such as China rather than developed economies. Therefore, with China graduating to higher-value industrial production, Africa stands to benefit from the outsourcing of lighter manufacturing businesses from China to African Special Economic Zones. Global Value Chains and SEZs could improve Africa's chances to win a fair share of the number of jobs that need to be relocated from China, and reverse Africa's declining share in manufacturing. Irene Yuan Sun, the author of The World's Next Great Manufacturing Center believes that Chinese investment could help Africa industrialize and lift some African economies out of poverty. The US has been sending aid to Africa for years, but Chinese manufacturing might actually kick-start African economies.

Having said that, China's soaring wages will force Chinese companies to move labor-intensive manufacturing to Africa, where a plentiful labor supply and cheap wages will make Africa's booming manufacturing hub a worldwide market. If this opportunity is seized by progressively reformist African economies, they could well be on the cusp of a 19th-century style industrial revolution, generating employment and creating new industries. Africa's industrialization strategy will require seeking novel and innovative ways to attract Chinese investment in the manufacturing sector, and strategies that involve targeted investment in infrastructure, improved regional integration and the establishment of SEZs for priority subsectors. With the introduction of the Belt and Road Initiative, there will be more relocation of China's manufacturing sector. The drivers for this relocation will be linked with financial incentives from African economies such as the devaluation of African currencies versus the RMB, high import tariffs, especially on electronics, the EU's extension of preferential treatment to exports from Africa compared to exports from China, and preferential treaties such as the United States Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the EU's Everything But Arms (EBA) initiatives. All these make Africa-based production more attractive.

These Chinese investments in light industry and textiles in Africa provide an avenue for early-stage Chinese investors to enjoy a market with less competition, and this creates an opportunity for these Chinese investors to establish early-bird advantages. Recently a large share of China's investment in African economies has been shifting from extractive industries to manufacturing, and has been augmented in recent years. Irene Yuan Sun asserts that investment in manufacturing by private Chinese firms has soared from only 2 in 2000 to well over 150 in 2015 and 2016. Investment by these Chinese firms in Africa has usually been associated with natural resources or services, but are increasingly related to manufacturing. For the first time, a 2016 official report published data on sectoral breakdown of Chinese FDI in different regions, which proposes that manufacturing is presently the third largest sector of Chinese FDI in Africa, accounting for 13.3 percent of Chinese total FDI stock in Africa, or $4.63 billion in stock value according to Brautigam, Xiaoyang and Xia in their latest publication.

Presently, there are almost 8,000 Chinese firms engaged in nearly 4,000 projects in construction, manufacturing, information technology, and infrastructure and energy sectors with over 3,000 under discussion. According to EY (formerly Ernst & Young), in 2016, jobs generated from Chinese FDI stood at 38,400, more than double the figure in 2015 and more than three times the figure generated by the US, the second biggest investor in Africa.

All these projects and the creation of jobs allow Africans to feel that China's manufacturing sector is reshaping their continent. Industrialization will enable African economies to tell their own success narrative just like other successful economies. The Chinese showing up in Africa nowadays can make this occur and change Africa's situation for the better. China was precisely like Africa four decades ago. If the Chinese could change their narrative and join the club of successful economies that are driving the growth of the new multipolar world, then so can Africa. The quick success of Huajian in Ethiopia, C&H in Rwanda, JDU in Tanzania as well as Hisense, FAW and Haier provide a convincing instance for the approach.

 

 

作者:迈克尔

发表时间:2018-10-24

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