Joint UNU-MERIT/School of Governance Seminar: The rise of China and the reshaping of the global resource sector
By 2030, China will once again become the world’s largest economy, resuming a position it held for more than two millennia. Its growth occurs in a context in which the terms of trade have systematically turned against raw material producers for more than a century.
The declining commodities-manufactures terms of trade have played a major role in shaping development strategies. But as the North struggles with low growth rates, middle-income economies such as China and India are likely to continue to thrive. Their growth paths are commodities intensive, and the supply responses in all three families of commodities (minerals, energy and soft commodities) are sluggish. Moreover, the financialization of the global economy mitigates against risky and long-gestation investments. For all these reasons, commodities prices are likely to remain robust for some years to come. This has important implications for a range of development strategies.
Raphael Kaplinsky is Professor of International Development at The Open University. He has published extensively in the fields of technology, innovation, globalisation and industrialisation, and more recently on global value chains and the impact of China, India and other emerging economies on low and middle income economies. He has had extensive policy experience, working with national governments, a variety of international organizations and with the private sector.
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