The Gravity of China's African Export Promise

22 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2015

See all articles by Lauren A. Johnston

Lauren A. Johnston

SOAS University of London

Stephen L. Morgan

University of Nottingham - Nottingham University Business School; University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Faculty of Social Sciences

Yuesheng Wang

Peking University - Department International Economics, School of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2015

Abstract

Africa's largest trade partner, China, criticised for exchanging resources for manufactures, has promised to increase imports and optimise the structure of trade with Africa. Using a gravity model of China's imports for the years 1995–2009, we explore potential dynamics for this promise, uniquely accounting for market economy recognition and Taiwan recognition. The former is associated with increased imports, while the latter effect is ambiguous and statistically insignificant. Comparison of projected against actual imports across three growth‐path‐aligned economic geography typologies – resource‐rich; landlocked and resource‐poor; coastal and resource‐poor – sets out China's imports trends in an abstract framework of African export potential. We find not only ‘under’ importing across a majority of resource‐poor countries. We also find that current trade policy is the least applicable to these comparatively poor exporters’ trade with China. If the latter are to serve a broader catalytic role in Africa's regional industrial transformation as compared to the role of coastal and resource‐poor countries in regional economic transformation in Asia and Latin America, China–Africa trade and investment policies may need additional thinking.

Suggested Citation

Johnston, Lauren A and Morgan, Stephen Lloyd and Wang, Yuesheng, The Gravity of China's African Export Promise (June 2015). The World Economy, Vol. 38, Issue 6, pp. 913-934, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2621101 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/twec.12229

Lauren A Johnston (Contact Author)

SOAS University of London ( email )

SOAS University of London 10 Thornhaugh Street, Ru
London, WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

Stephen Lloyd Morgan

University of Nottingham - Nottingham University Business School ( email )

Business School South
University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom
+44 115 82 32116 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/Chinese/people/s.morgan

University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Faculty of Social Sciences ( email )

199 Taikang East Road
Ningbo, Zhejiang 315100
China
+86 186-6780-2355 (Phone)

Yuesheng Wang

Peking University - Department International Economics, School of Economics ( email )

Beijing
China

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