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  • Author: Laurence Marfaing, Alena Thiel
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the twenty‐first century, Africa has seen the arrival of a new form of Chinese migration. Largely independent from big Chinese players, these “new entrepreneurial migrants” come to Africa not as workers in the highly prestigious state projects, but rather to follow their own economic interests. Engaging in business activities as diverse as petty manufacturing, printing, pharmaceutical and medical services, restaurants, beauty salons and last but not least, general trade, these independent Chinese migrants are often acknowledged for bringing affordable new commercial services and goods to low‐income households on the African continent. On the other hand, the high visibility of the Chinese entrepreneurial activities has also sparked anti‐Chinese sentiments among many African entrepreneurs.
  • Topic: Economics, Imperialism, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Ghana
  • Author: Dirk Kohnert
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The remarkable influx of Chinese migrant entrepreneurs in West Africa has been met with growing resistance from established African entrepreneurs. Whether the former have a competitive edge over the latter because of distinctive sociocultural traits or whether the Chineseʹ s supposed effectiveness is just a characteristic feature of any trading diaspora is open to question. This comparative exploratory study of Chinese and Nigerian entrepreneurial migrants in Ghana and Benin provides initial answers to these questions. Apparently, the cultural stimuli for migrant drivers of change are not restricted to inherited value systems or religions, such as a Protestant ethic or Confucianism; rather, they are continually adapted and invented anew by transnational migration networks in a globalized world. There is no evidence of the supposed superiority of the innovative culture of Chinese entrepreneurial migrants versus that of African entrepreneurial migrants. Rather, there exist trading diasporas which have a generally enhanced innovative capacity vis‐à‐vis local entrepreneurs, regardless of the national culture in which they are embedded. In addition, the rivalry of Chinese and Nigerian migrant entrepreneurs in African markets does not necessarily lead to the often suspected cut‐throat competition. Often the actions of each group are complementary to those of the other. Under certain conditions they even contribute to poverty alleviation in the host country.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Gunter Schucher, Jutta Hebel
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's transition to a market economy has been a process of basic institutional changes and institution building. The institutional change from a socialist labour regime (SLR) as one of the backbones upholding the traditional leninist system to a new 'socialist' market labour regime (SMLR) became particularly important for the success of economic and political reforms. This analysis is based on the analytical framework of regimes and makes use of the idea of path dependence. An ensemble of institutions, mutually interconnected and influencing each other, forms the regime and shapes its trajectory. Six institutions are identified to constitute the employment regime: (1) the system of social control, (2) the production system, (3) the system of industrial relations, (4) the welfare system, (5) the family order, and (6) the educational system. The SMLR is still characterised by its socialist past and differs from other varieties of transformation labour regimes and bears little resemblance to labour regimes in Western market economies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: China, Asia