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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

An industrial welder at work. Adobe Stock

Netflix’s “American Factory” and the New Geography of Manufacturing

Perhaps the most surprising was how similar these scenes playing out in America are to those I’ve seen in Africa. To be sure, many of the factories I visited in Africa were smaller-scale and simpler in their operations than the Ohio glass plant in American Factory. But some Chinese-owned factories in Africa are similarly large-scale and technologically advanced, and no matter the size of the factory, I witnessed many of the same struggles to find cross-cultural understanding, to teach workers genuinely difficult skills, and to withstand the pressure of a highly competitive, global industry.

Construction cranes around a building going up

The Myth of Chinese Exceptionalism in Africa

Chinese firms are a critical, rising force in African economies, yet many of us balk at the hype and hysteria about Chinese businesses in Africa. Using new data, a report finds that there's nothing unique about the way Chinese firms operate in Africa.

A column chart of external government debt for Sub-Saharan Africa by official, private, and Chinese creditors

2018 FOCAC: Africa in the New Reality of Reduced Chinese Lending

The 2018 FOCAC Summit will open tomorrow in Beijing. There is much speculation about the size of the investment package China will unveil at the summit. It appears, however, that we are in a new phase of Chinese financing. A combination of domestic and international pressures will likely alter China’s extensive lending program—African states that have relied on this lifeline must adjust to the new reality.

Scrap the G8

Once again the G8 has come up tragically short on climate change and a host of urgent problems affecting poor people in developing countries. The good news is that they are at least discussing the right topics. The first Hokkaido G8 document, on the World Economy spills lots of ink on relations between rich and developing economies, including for example, reaffirmation of support for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

China ExIm Partners with the IFC for Sustainable Investments

Last month, I reported on the first public release of China's Export-Import Bank's environmental policy and suggested that China's overtures of increased transparency might present an opportunity for other donors to engage China in a more cooperative partnership. It seems the International Financial Corp. (IFC), the World Bank branch for private sector lending, is doing just that.

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