Discussion Papers provide insights into on-going research, including that of affiliates, associate and visiting scholars.

State-directed multi-national enterprises and transnational governance: Chinese investments, corporate responsibility and sustainability norms

CCS_DP_Corporate_Responsibilities_Cisse_Grimm_Nolke_2014_Format _201/2014

By Daouda Cissé, Sven Grimm, Andreas Nölke

Africa clearly needs foreign investments for its development. But such investments in extractive industries and hydropower projects should not cause ecological degradation and threaten the livelihoods of many Africans. Sustainability comprises economic, social and environmental dimensions and is thus a broad concept, rather describing a balancing act and a process of continuous improvement than an achievable target. The emphasis of this paper is on the environmental dimension of sustainability and how it sits with the other dimensions, particularly in Chinese investments in African states. The discussion is embedded into the general context of the rise of non-triad multinational enterprises and its implications for transnational regulation.

[Download CCS Discussion Paper 01/2014]

Does China plan and evaluate foreign aid projects like traditional donors?


By Nicola Cabria

This Discussion Paper focuses on a relatively less analysed question regarding the Chinese Foreign Aid system. Firstly I examine the basic features of the planning and evaluation system of the Development Assistance Committee members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This study is useful as it provides a basis for comparison in order to be able to explore the methodologies and features pertaining to the planning and evaluation systems of the Chinese. I start this exploration path by analysing the principles that form the foundation of Chinese foreign aid and compare them with those of traditional donors. This comparison gives us an idea of the strong cultural, political and economical differences that exist between the traditional donors and China. Moreover I define the identity of the two main aid channels, and survey the main planning and assessing features connected to them. For both aid channels I analyse the design and evaluation system separately, observing the presence or lack of information about actors, methodologies, features and criteria. To better present the results of this research, and to make easier comparisons of similarities and differences, the results disclosure is made, where possible, through illustrative graphs and explicative tables.

[Download CCS Discussion Paper 06/2013]

Strengthening Africa-China relations: a perspective from Botswana


By Frank Youngman

This paper is a preliminary consideration of issues relating to the relationship between Botswana and China. There is little existing research on the subject and the paper seeks to develop the basis for further conceptual analysis and empirical study. It provides a country-level exploration of Africa-China relations and how they might be strengthened. The paper addresses three general questions on Africa-China relations in the context of Botswana, namely:
• What are the different dimensions of Africa-China relations?
• What are the issues currently facing Africa-China relations?
• What specific measures can be taken to strengthen Africa-China relations?
Firstly, the paper identifies the different dimensions of relations between Africa and China so that the multi-faceted and complex nature of these relations is emphasized. The next section considers the historical development of Botswana-China relations, after which an assessment is made of the issues present in the current situation. On the basis of this analysis, possible measures to strengthen relations are examined. A case study is provided of the role of the University of Botswana in promoting Botswana-China relations. In conclusion, it is proposed that empirical research on the topic is necessary.

[Download CCS Discussion Paper 05/2013]

A Study on the employment effect of Chinese investment in South Africa


By HUANG Meibo and REN Peiqiang

The employment effect of Chinese investment in Africa has always been questioned by the international observers. Therefore, in order to investigate the suspicions from international observers, this paper uses a survey of the investment of 16 Chinese enterprises in Johannesburg, South Africa (South Africa) to analyse their possible employment effect in South Africa. From the survey, we found these Chinese investments brought about job increment to the local people, alleviating employment pressure, including many local low-skilled or unskilled labour. On the other hand, we argue, South Africa’s strict labour laws, its powerful labour unions, as well as the international orientation of Chinese enterprises in South Africa ensure the employment quality of Chinese enterprises will meet the host country’s legal requirements. As a result, the assumptions of international observers concerning the employment effect of China’s investment in Africa are untenable as far as South Africa is concerned. Finally, the paper argues that the improvement of investment environment in South Africa is a prerequisite for further expanding the employment effect of Chinese firms.

[Download CCS Discussion Paper 04/2013]

Political risk factors: what Chinese companies need to assess when investing in Africa

CCS_DP_Political Risk_Gerda_du_Toit_Online_2013 03/2013

By Gerda du Toit

Security and profitability objectives are becoming more relevant for Chinese firms as they expand their business operations on the African continent, where the political environment often exposes the firms to high political risk. Political risk analysis is increasingly important as a way of identifying, assessing and addressing the issue of political risk. This study explores the political risk factors that may influence the operations of Chinese firms operating in Africa.

[Download CCS discussion paper 3/2013]