PB 14/40 - The Competitive Effects of China on the South African Manufacturing Sector

Lawrence Edwards and Rhys Jenkins

Date of Publication: 
December 2014

A number of academic studies have analysed the economic impact of China on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in general. With a few notable exceptions these have given limited attention to the effects of China on manufacturing in SSA, partly reflecting the perception that the main economic impacts on the region are on primary commodities.

In this paper, we draw on research output to evaluate the competitiveness effects of Chinese trade on the South African manufacturing sector. Firstly, we focus on the direct impact of Chinese import competition on domestic prices. Secondly, the direct impact of Chinese import competition on output and employment in domestic manufacturing. And thirdly, the indirect ‘crowding-out’ impact on South African manufacturing exports from Chinese competition. Before presenting the key findings with respect to each of these effects, the paper first presents a brief overview of bilateral trade flows with China.

View Policy Brief: DPRU PB 14/40