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Chinese FDI in sub-Saharan Africa: Engaging with large dragons

Kaplinsky, R   Morris, M

European Journal of Development Research   21 (4) 551-569

January 2009

In the context of widespread interest in the impact of Chinese investment in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), this paper focuses on SSA’s engagement with large state-owned Chinese firms investing in SSA’s resource and infrastructure sectors. Evidence is provided on the extent of different types of Chinese investment, before focusing on the distinctive character of large scale state-owned Chinese investors. Chinese investments are closely bundled with aid and trade. The paper concludes that SSA countries should maximise the opportunities opened to them by their resource-base by adopting a similarly integrated and focused response to Chinese (and other large) investors who seek to draw on the continent’s natural resources.