Do rising wages in China’s industry benefit Africa’s prospects?
China has been the industrial workbench of the global economy for decades. However, as its competitive advantages wane, up to 81 million low-cost industrial jobs could be at risk of relocation to other countries – unless China can keep the companies in the country through automation. This seminar will discuss the findings of three complementary studies into this area. These include:
- the current state of automation technology for clothing and footwear production;
- how clothing companies in China deal with the increased cost pressure and how great is the interest in Africa as a production location; and
- Africa’s competitiveness in clothing assembly, with empirical findings from Ethiopia and Madagascar.
Speaker Tilman Altenburg
leads the research programme ‘Transformation of Economic and Social Systems’, a team of about 30 researchers at the German Development Institute, the government-funded think tank for development policy in Germany. His main theme is how developing countries can design economic policies that enable them to improve their position in the global economy in a way that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.
, IDS emeritus fellow and alum (DP75
) is a development economist, with a particular interest in how and why big obstacles to transformations are overcome. His work has focused on answering the question: Who drives climate-relevant policies in the rising powers? Wei Shen
, IDS research fellow, is a political economist who worked for development finance agencies in China for over ten years. His research interests include: the political economy of China’s low-carbon transformation and climate change policies; China’s role in global climate finance and climate governance; and South-South cooperation on climate change issues.
Chair Jing Gu,
IDS senior fellow and Director of the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development
, has an interdisciplinary background in law, economics and international development. She has published widely on China and the emerging powers, and China’s international development role.