In his paper ‘China’s Economic Takeoff: Implications for Africa’, which was first published as a Brenthurst disscusion paper, US economist and sinologist (a student of Chinese history, language and culture) David Hale writes that China has vastly increased the supply of low-cost labour in the global economy and is producing a major change in the composition of global trade flows.
With nearly $800-billion of exports, it could become the world’s largest exporting nation within three years, while, in five years, it could have a larger manufacturing sector than America’s.
China has already displaced the US as the world’s leading consumer of most industrial raw materials and it is also now emerging as a major investor in natural resource projects in Latin America, Africa and Australia.
The rise of China will undoubtedly have important implications for Africa, and indeed the continent’s economic powerhouse, South Africa.
Whether these implications will be beneficial or detrimental to the long-term sustainability of the continent is the subject of much debate, with some experts arguing that China offers a treasure chest of opportunities while others see the Chinese dragon more as ‘a curse in disguise’.
Speaking to Engineering News in an exclusive interview, CEO of Emerging Markets and director of the Centre for Chinese Studies at the University of Stellenbosch Dr Martyn Davies says that China does not offer as much a threat as it does a challenge.
“China offers competition and competition ultimately is beneficial to any economy. For us to assume that China is an unfair competitor reflects na