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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2007/2008 Research Topic: 1-01
Chinese Enterprises: The Quest for Industrial Upgrading amid Transition


In recent years China has been in the process of establishing itself as the world’s country with the largest manufacturing capacity, churning out enormous varieties of products from textiles to automobiles. Indigenous Chinese firms are gaining competitiveness in export-oriented manufacturing, which was once almost completely dominated by foreign firms. Behind this accelerated industrialization we witness an ongoing tide of transformation of industrial sub-sectors.

On the one hand, China is building up its capacity for producing industrial materials such as steel and petrochemical, including high value-added products which have been generally imported from industrialized countries in the past. In advanced sub-sectors such as communication equipment and semiconductors, the country is eager to build its own technological capabilities. On the other hand, in labor-intensive sub-sectors in which China still boasts a strong competitive advantage, Chinese firms are aggressively entering the international market, exploiting the country’s huge industrial agglomeration as leverage.

In this context, our China project focuses on a survey of recent development in some representative sectors (mobile phones, automotives, automotive parts, steel, textiles and garments, daily commodities, beer, and physical distribution), with a special emphasis on industrial upgrading and the building up of production networks. We then explore the question of how corporate and industrial changes will affect both China’s economic growth and the development of the world economy.


Members of the Research Project

IMAI Kenichi
HIGASHI Shigeki (Professor, Department of Economics, Seinangakuin University)
HUANG Xiaochun (Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Hirosaki University)
MARUKAWA Tomoo (Associate Professor, Institute of Social Sciences, Tokyo University)
NAKAYA Nobuhiko (Associate Professor, Economic Research Center, School of Economics, Nagoya University)
Shiu Jing-Ming (Ph.D Candidate, School of Economics, Tokyo University)