China – growth engine or obstacle for Asian developing economies?

John Humphrey 1  and Hubert Schmitz 1
  • 1 Brighton/UK


Over the last 30 years, changes in the East and Southeast Asian region have been fast and deep. China is the growth engine of a new regional production system which in turn has provoked changes in many other parts of the world. For its own fast growth, China has relied heavily on importing intermediate products from neighbouring countries, but this is changing with China now producing more of its own inputs and occupying also the more skill intensive parts of the value chain. Some countries in the region trade relatively little with China, but the trade itself may undermine long-term growth prospects. The paper analyses these trade impacts, distinguishing between groups of countries and products. It shows that China’s growth augments opportunities for some but pulls others into a race to the bottom.

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Journal + Issues

The primary focus of the German Journal for Economic Geography (ZFW) is on theory-led empirical research about spatial economic structures and regional dynamics. ZFW, which is the only scientific journal on Economic Geography in German speaking countries, addresses scientists and students as well as decision makers in private firms and economic promotion agencies.