Ever-Transient FDI and Ever-Polarizing Regional Development: Revisiting Conventional Theories of Regional Development from China, Southeast and South Asia

Authors: Xiaobin Zhao*, Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong, David W.H. Wong, The University of Hong Kong, David W.S. Wong, Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science, George Mason University
Topics: Economic Geography, Development, Business Geography
Keywords: Foreign direct investment, regional development, China, Southeast Asia, South Asia
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Truman, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In this new age of globalization, regions attempt to attract foreign direct investment (‘FDI’) in order to achieve regionally balanced development. We revisit existing theories of regional development and FDI by analyzing recent datasets on FDI, employment, and trade in China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. We find notable impacts of FDI exacerbating regional disparities in China. As envisioned by new economic geography, the effect of spatial agglomeration of economic activities has been significantly increased and clusters geographically in the coastal eastern region of China than its counterparts. Ever transient FDI movements, seeking low cost manufacturing bases and profitable markets, lead to ever polarizing regional development – which we describe using a leapfrog polarization strategy.

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