Do rising wages in China’s industry benefit Africa’s prospects?

This event is in the past. Here for information only.

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.


Tilman Altenburg, Head of the research programme Transformation of Economic and Social Systems, German Development Institute


Hubert Schmitz, Emeritus Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies and adviser to bilateral and multilateral development agencies

Wei Shen, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies


Jing Gu, Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for Rising Powers, Institute of Development Studies

This seminar is part of the China and Global Development Series, convened by the UK Anchor Institution for China International Development Research Collaboration, led by IDS and the IDS Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development, and in partnership with the China International Development Research Network (CIDRN).


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