Assessing China’s role in foreign direct investment in Southern Africa

Van Der Lugt, Sanne ; Hamblin, Victoria ; Burgess, Meryl ; Schickerling, Elizabeth (2011-03)

An original research report by the Centre for Chinese Studies prepared for the Oxfam Hong Kong, March 2011

The original publication is available at


Popular claims link the inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) almost automatically to economic development. This notion increased in prominence with the rise of neo-liberal thinking in the 1980s. It was also fuelled by the success of the so-called Asian Tigers achieving high growth rates, coupled with poverty reduction through an outward market-policy orientation. This study explores FDI in Southern Africa and Zambia specifically, based on the analysis of policy documents and interviews with a small sample of twelve Chinese and African government officials, CSO representatives as well as private sector representatives.

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