Friday, February 16, 2007

Don't condemn Africa to underdevelopment

Good article.
Summary: Too many African economies are one crop/one export oriented, and China needs these raw materials.
Short term, China will help the economies by developing these things, but Africa needs to diversify, and China will not help this.
Also, by being competition to Europe, China will improve the economies by letting Africans get better prices.
But the bottom line is that China takes care of itself first, and is not altruistic.

And his summary needs to be noted:

In South Africa, official figures shows that cheap Chinese textiles have led to the loss of at least 67,000 jobs the past 4 years. South African unions have lobbied their government, who is busy negotiating a free trade deal with China to include clauses committing China to respect minimum labor, human rights and environmental standards. Most African countries, just like South Africa, export the capital-intensive commodities or raw materials that China hungers for, and import labor-intensive manufactured goods from China. So, the rise in exports to China typically generates few jobs, while imports from China take away jobs. If this continues, argues South African President Thabo Mbeki, the African continent could be "condemned to underdevelopment" and "recolonization". Africans should heed the warning.

This is what we find in the Philippines, where cheap Chinese goods prevent local factories from selling locally. Indeed, a recent agreement with china for vegetable imports may very well destroy many of our local farmers (and here that means more NPA or local communist support).

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