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Title: Industrialisation and regional development in Guangdong province, China : a comparative study of two models in the post-1978 period
Author: Wu, Mei
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 0601
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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Against the backdrop of the increasing expansion of global capitalism and the growing powers of transnational corporations (TNCs), this thesis explores the mechanisms and effects of local initiatives in industrial development. In particular, it presents a detailed analysis of industrialisation and regional development in the Pearl River Delta, China, beginning in the year 1978 when China began its reform and opening. A comparative study of two distinct models adopted by Dongguan and Foshan is used to illustrate differences between export oriented production dominated by TNCs, and domestic market oriented production dominated by locally-owned enterprises. The discourse is developed within the framework of global production networks (GPNs), focusing on their performance when coupled with the demands of the lead firms of GPNs. Dongguan and Foshan have both achieved rapid industrialisation and regional development over the past thirty years. Although sharing common starting points and similar regional assets, their development paths have significantly diverged since the 1990s when China furthered its reform. Dongguan has represented a typical case of a host region run as a processing and assembly base for TNCs, while Foshan has developed localised GPNs, consisting of local lead firms and strategic suppliers, by taking advantage of China's domestic market. Illustrated through cases studies, this thesis argues that the differences between the two models highlight issues of firms' ownership and local power relations. Using quantitative analysis, it is demonstrated that Dongguan has maintained a labour-intensive strategy, and Foshan has engaged in a process of capital deepening. Although the development of Dongguan has been in line with a canonical neoclassical view, Foshan, which has made greater gains in overall efficiency, productivity and financial performance, offers an alternative feasible development model.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral