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Mike Morris

University of Cape Town

Mike Morris is Emeritus Professor within the School of Economics and and Honorary Research Associate in the IDS at the University of Sussex. Prior to this was the founder and Head of School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal from 1995 – 2002. His recent research, policy activities and publications have focused on the dynamics of global value chains, industrial restructuring and international competitiveness, sector analysis, industrial clusters, renewable energy, and industrial policy.
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publication
Global Value Chains, Industrial Policy and Economic Upgrading in Ethiopia's Apparel Sector

This article examines whether low‐income countries can still benefit from participating in manufacturing global value chains (GVCs) in terms of broader industrial development in a global context of greater competition and higher requirements. It contends that developing internationally competitive local firms and domestic linkages, in addition to upgrading, is crucial for participation in GVCs to drive industrialization. The study focuses on Ethiopia's recent experience with developing an apparel export industry through strategic industrial policy. Based on original empirical data collected through firm‐level surveys and interviews with government officials, industry experts and buyers, the article analyses the upgrading and localization trajectories of foreign and local apparel‐exporting firms. It argues that value‐capture benefits in assembly positions in apparel GVCs have become more difficult. The potential for localization benefits depends on the type of global buyers and foreign producers and their levels of embeddedness, but whether this potential is realized also depends on local firm characteristics and related industrial policy. Ethiopia's industrial policy has been relatively successful regarding national economy linkages, but less successful in developing competitive local export firms due to a weak local manufacturing tradition combined with a global context that has led to a supplier squeeze.

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Energy and Industrial Policy Failure in the South African Wind Renewable Energy Global Value Chain: The political economy dynamics driving a stuttering localisation process

This paper utilises a combination of a political economy approach and a GVC framework to analyse the dynamics of the wind energy value chain in South Africa. The paper focuses on the complex intertwined interplay between energy and industrial policy and shows how they negatively impacted on efforts to increase localisation of domestic manufacturing and services industries. Itdiscusses the opportunities and constraints, success and failures of a localisation process contained arising from the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). It finds that early modest industrialisation gains, linked to the local content requirements in the REIPPP auctions, notwithstanding the policy shortcomings, did have a notable localisation impact but fell short of the ambition in broader policy documents. Nonetheless, these signs of progress from foreign lead firms, large global 1sttier suppliers, and local firms, were substantially undermined, in some cases reversed, as a consequence of the political choices to suspend the renewable energy programme. It shows how political economy dynamics resulted in a failure to ensure continuity and predictability of the auction bidding process within REIPPPP, and how this cascaded down the wind energy value chain constraining the initial localisation processes. These dynamics also resulted in a failure of the South African governmentto prioritise, develop, and embed renewable energy within its industrial policy framework. As the economy emerges from the Covid-19 crisis this will pose political economy challenges as coalitions of South African stakeholders struggle over the task of breaking from a carbon intensive path dependency and inauguratinga new green industrialisation path.

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Trade and Industrialisation in Africa: SMEs, Manufacturing and Cluster Dynamics

Trade in manufacturing through global and regional value chains has played an especially prominent role in global economic growth in recent decades. However, Africa faces severe challenges in growing manufacturing activities in the face of China and Southeast Asia’s competitive dominance of global manufactured product markets. Traditionally, global trade is heavily concentrated at the corporate level. But this reliance on large firms as a driver of trade is problematic for Africa given its need for a more inclusive synergistic trade and economic growth path that is more employment intensive, more decentralised and which provides scope for enhanced activities by indigenous and small-scale industry. This is not to argue for the exclusion of large firms or foreign direct investment in economic growth, but rather to argue the case for an increased presence of indigenous small-scale firms in the economy and in export trade. There is evidence of dynamism in Africa, both within individual Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and in clusters of SMEs. In understanding the challenges faced by this sector, and in examining the prospects for their participation in external trade, we review the experience of 25 African clusters using four dimensions: the nature of unintended externalities (e.g., external economies), market orientation and upgrading and growth trajectories, cluster dynamism and joint action for upgrading, external institutional support and upgrading. In terms of policy challenges for SMEs and export trade we discuss four major areas: (i) participation in governed global value chains feeding into high-income markets, (ii) export sales to non-regional low-income markets, (iii) export sales to regional markets and (iv) informal sector cross-border trade to regional economies. We conclude that for Africa, trade and industrialisation are integrally linked and attempts to facilitate regional trade policies cannot ignore the need for developing appropriate industrial policy and adopting an approach of developmental regionalism. This is especially evident with respect to SME development.

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Industrialization paths and industrial policy for developing countries in global value chains

Structural transformation to higher productivity and value-added activities remains a key objective for developing countries. Industrial policy has historically had an important role in supporting such transformation processes. Today, the external context is fundamentally different with the rise of global value chains (GVCs). This requires a reconceptualization of how GVCs shape industrialization paths and industrial policy options in developing countries. The chapter does this by (1) providing a critical discussion of opportunities and challenges for industrialization in developing countries related to the rise of GVCs; (2) highlighting the importance of different GVC types and of the contested nature of upgrading; and (3) stressing industrial policy implications relating to the importance of connecting to and leveraging lead firms, of thinning, stretching and thickening in different GVC types and integration phases, of strategically linking global, regional and domestic markets, and of building locally embedded productive capacities.

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Rents, Power and Governance in Global Value Chains

This paper addresses the  generation  of  rents  and  the  distribution  of  gains  in  the  global  operations  of  governed Global  Value  Chains  (GVCs)  and  seeks  to  provide  an  architecture  for  analyzing  the  governance  of  GVCs.  It distinguishes between four sets of rent—gifts of nature; innovation rents; exogenously defined rents; and market power—and three spheres of governance—setting the rules -“legislative governance”; implementing the rules -“executive governance”; and monitoring rules and sanctioning malfeasance -“judicial governance.” The exercise of governance power in GVCs over the generation, protection and appropriation of rents is considered though the lens of four sets of key GVC stakeholders—the corporate sector, civil society organizations, the nation state and supranational institutions. This general analysis is given flesh through three case studies: food-safety standards in GVCs; taxation  policies  and  competition  policies.  In these  sectors,  the  corporate  sector  is  generally  much  more effective in governing rent generation and appropriation in the global operations of GVCs than are the three sets of  non-corporate  stakeholders.  From this  observation  we  offer  a  hypothesis  that  the  capacity  of  non-corporate stakeholders, including national states, to govern GVCs is contingent upon the extent to which this coincides with the interest of the corporate sector. However, as noted, this balance of power between private and non-corporate actors is a contested terrain and dynamic in nature.

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Standards, regulation and sustainable development in a global value chain driven world

Regulations and standards have become an increasingly important factor affecting the capacity of producers to participate in global markets. Directly and indirectly, they not only determine the terms of market-entry but also affect the extent to which different producers are able to position themselves in global value chains in a manner which provides for socially and environmentally sustainable income growth. Standards compliance can enhance producer capabilities and assist in meeting many of the SDG objectives. But it may also involve trade-offs between different SDG goals. Standards compliance is simultaneously inclusive (facilitating the participation of low and middle income countries producers in global production and spreading incomes more widely globally) and exclusive (barring small producers from market access and displacing unskilled labour from supply chains). What policy measures will best lead to the most positive outcomes as standards diffuse through global value chains?

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“One thing leads to another”—Commodities, linkages and industrial development

With a particular focus on low income economies in SSA, this paper addresses the nature and determinants of linkages from the commodities sectors and challenges the received view that enclave development is an inherent characteristic of resource extraction, particularly in the hard and energy commodities sectors. It argues that there has been a steady increase in linkage development and that there are significant opportunities for deepening this process. The opportunities may be greater for backward than for forward linkages, particularly in the minerals and energy sectors. In making this case, this Discussion Paper draws on the experience of high income countries which have resource intensive economic structures, the geographical specificity of many resources and the growing interest of large resource extracting firms in outsourcing the production of inputs which are outside of their core competences and in supporting local production of some inputs, it sets out a general model of linkage development which distinguishes between win–win and win–lose outcomes.

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