WeiWei Chen on the political economy of Chinese private investment in Ethiopia

WIDER Seminar Series

WeiWei Chen on the political economy of Chinese private investment in Ethiopia

WeiWei Chen will present at the WIDER Seminar Series on 20 November 2019. 

Abstract -  The political economy of Chinese private investment in Ethiopia: a case study of Eastern Industry Park

Conventional wisdom sees a large role for Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Africa. “Popular discourse and consciousness do not distinguish between state and private Chinese investors, who were all lumped together as ‘Chinese companies’” (Lee, 2017). In fact, a stark contrast can be seen between the Chinese state and private capital in Africa. Both official statistics and empirical evidence collected shows that the Chinese private sector plays a dominant role in Chinese investment in Ethiopia both by the number of projects and by value. Not only is there the economic impact from Chinese private firms to consider but also their social and political influences on the host country are so significant that they should not be neglected or underestimated.

With the increasingly supportive ‘Go Out’ (zou chu qu) policy that the Chinese government is promoting, ferocious competition in the domestic market due to increasing globalisation and the experience and skills that Chinese private firms have accumulated has meant the nature of private OFDI in Africa is becoming far from one-dimensional and is growing increasingly dynamic.

About the speaker

Weiwei is a PhD fellow at UNU-WIDER, a candidate in Development Studies at SOAS, University of London. Her academic interests include Chinese Small-Medium Enterprises' internationalisation, Chinese Migrant Entrepreneurs in Africa and Chinese Private Overseas Foreign Direct Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics. The weekly sessions held in Helsinki are open to local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others interested in development topics. Click here to learn more.

Seminars will be live streamed on Facebook and recordings and presentations will be available after the event here.

For more information email tomi@wider.unu.edu

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