Settling Down in Industrial Zones in Northern Vietnam: Production Network Reconfiguration of Electronics Industry in Southeast Asia

Authors: Yuen Tung CHAN*, Hong Kong Baptist University, Chun YANG, Hong Kong Baptist University
Topics: Economic Geography, Regional Geography, Asia
Keywords: Global and Regional Production Networks, Reconfiguration, Production Relocation, Firm-specific Strategies, Manufacturing, Vietnam, Southeast Asia
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Diplomat Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

FDI on the manufacturing sector, especially the electronics industry, has increased rapidly in Northern Vietnam. Drawing upon the recently developed Global Production Network 2.0 framework, this paper examines the spatial and organizational reconfiguration of the electronics production networks under the current wave of production relocation. Based on a 6-month extensive field investigation, the current study tries to explore the production network organization of the emerging electronics cluster around Red River Delta in Vietnam. Comparative case studies at the firm level show that it is crucial for the firms to leverage on the industrial zone policies and to set up production networks through developing close coalitions with different levels of the local governments as well as building up inter-firm relationships with not only their suppliers but also the local producer service firms. We argue that, despite the industrial zone policies, the extra-firm bargaining is featured by the divergent policies of governments towards various tiers of relocated firms. Also, there are different degrees of inter-firm control between the lead firm and various tiers of suppliers as well as different degrees of the inter-firm partnership between the inter-industry firms. Apart from updating the understanding of the recent wave of production relocation, this study sheds light on the developing literature on GPN 2.0 by extending the analysis of intra-industry actors to non-firm and inter-industry actors in organizing the production network and by looking into the inter-relationships between those firm-specific strategies.

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