China opens special economic zones(SEZs) in Africa: new

China opens special economic zones(SEZs) in Africa: new variety of globalisation


a. Globalisation. West centric ? Daniel Held View

b. Missed, sth negeleted needs to be added (LITERATUARE)

Is China Model, transferring its experiences (BRI、Chinese model Opening-up and reform in 1990s、Conficius institute)

c. Emperical study: China’s SEZ in Africa

d. Conclusion: compare state, private company project

Recommened materials:

Journal: Bandung

Journal: Development and chang

Google one report: World Bank report in Special Economic zones

Googel a journal from UK: Debt justice China

1. Introduction

1.1 Research Background: In the context of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese government has taken an important initiative to fulfil the goal of community with a shared future for mankind, and one of the key manifestations of this initiative is the development of international industrial parks, which is characterised by assisting enterprises to “go global”. This study is based on the “Belt and Road” initiative and the development of international industrial parks.

This research is presented in the context of two major projects: the Belt and Road

Initiative and international industrial parks. In 2013, President Xi Jinping gave an important speech in Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan, entitled “Carrying forward the people’s friendship to create a better future”, in which he put forward the important idea of building the “New Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”.

1.2 Research Significance:

In the early days of reform and opening up, special economic zones were a successful tool for initiating outward foreign direct investment flows to China. By analysing the successful model of transnational governance of China’s special economic zones in Africa, we can provide lessons for developing countries, such as Africa, to successfully achieve economic development.

2. Literature review and theoretical framework

3. Introduction to the types of Chinese special economic zones in Africa

3.1 Functional classification

Industrial manufacturing co-operation zones, agricultural trade and economic co-operation zones, and trade and logistics co-operation zones.

Categorised by the attributes of the investors’ shareholders, the zones are predominantly invested in by state-owned companies, while private companies have invested in the construction and development of the zones (e.g., the Oriental Industrial Park in Ethiopia and the Liaoshen Industrial Zone in Uganda).

3.2 Motivation for investment: resource-orientation or market development

3.2.1 Market behaviour is more than resource-driven. Resource orientation has tended to favour access to resources at low market costs, neocolonialism and even the rhetoric of the “African debt trap”. But the markets are characterised by a relatively high stage of development (Mauritius, Egypt, Algeria) or strong economic growth (Nigeria, Ethiopia, Zambia). In Nigeria (oil) and Zambia (copper), the search for resources remains an important motivation for Chinese FDI, but factories for the production of consumer goods (e.g. household appliances, textiles) and investment goods (machinery, construction materials) have only recently emerged.

3.2.2 Geopolitical factors are also likely to be important drivers of economic statecraft decisions.

With the exception of Mauritius and Zambia, all SEZs are located in countries with large populations and high regional political importance. Good economic and political relations with these countries have the potential to support China’s long-term strategic ambitions throughout Africa.

3.2.3 Institutional factors. China has not established SEZ’s in South Africa. One possible explanation is that the institutional environment in South Africa is sufficiently reliable that South Africa is less supportive of SEZ enclaves.

4. Establishment of special economic zones reflects power asymmetry


Degree of national governance: South African politicians and trade unions are concerned that the establishment of Chinese special economic zones may lead to low labour standards and the displacement of South African domestic firms (van der Westhuizen and Grimm, 2013). This concern also exists in other African countries, where local actors may not have sufficient bargaining power to negotiate the terms of FDI.

4.2 The level of corruption in local government: (Global Government Integrity Index can be cited), combined with the number of Special Economic Zones set up by China in Africa, whether there is a positive correlation. Possibly reflecting a neo-colonial flavour.

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