Reports

2018

Radmir Khajbakhteev: Is an Infrastructure the New Development Agenda: In the Case of the AIIB and the NDB

Abstract:

The rise of China and its transformation to one of the influential actors at the global stage is evident. In this light, the launch of the One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR) is one of the major Chinese projects of the contemporary time period which is extensively discussed in political and academic realms. The initiative was announced in 2013 and designed to improve connectivity, trade and infrastructure in the Asian countries (Murphy 2016, p. 247). China portraits the OBOR as a way to shrink the infrastructure gap and to contribute to economic growth of the Asian region (Ong 2017). According to the Asian Development Bank (Rillo et. al., 2017, p. 1), the infrastructure gap in Asia is huge and requires substantial amount of investments, around USD 22.5 trillion in the period 2016-2030. It might be assumed that none of the existing Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) is able to fill this gap. At the same time, it is witnessed that the integration of China into global economy and the importance of infrastructure for China, has led the country to take a proactive role in infrastructure initiatives. Hence, in order to facilitate infrastructure projects, two new development banks were established in 2016, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the New Development Bank (NDB). The banks are unique in comparison to other development banks as they were initiated by the BRICS countries. Both banks have new big sponsors which are the emerging BRICS economies, with the significant role of China in these banks. Likewise, the aforementioned banks present themselves as the new multilateral development banks with new mechanisms of finance and different development agenda in comparison to other MDBs. Hence, this research is aimed at better understanding of these two new development institutions. Primarily, the research attempts to explore the differences between the AIIB and the NDB as well as between them and the traditional MDBs. Analysis of these aspects can help to understand the following features: i) whether these new banks are new or they imitate other MDBs; ii) to explore the role of the new development banks in the field of international development finance; and iii) to study the intention of China in these institutions and the global stage.

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Caroline Jansen: Green Energy Markets in Emerging Economies – The case of the Wind Power Industry in Brazil

Abstract:

Brazil has recently invested in different renewable energy sources not only to meet the rising energy demand but also to promote socioeconomic development, create jobs, and mitigate poverty. Wind energy is considered an alternative to hydropower during dry seasons. Reducing Brazil´s reliance on hydropower helps promote the country´s energy security (Lucena et al. 2016, MME 2018).As a result, Brazil has been introducing a variety of initiatives that encourage the expansion of other renewable energy sources to finally diversify its energy matrix. The Brazilian Renewable Energy Incentive Program PROINFA, introduced in 2004, was an initial move towards cleaner and affordable energy. In 2009, the first wind power capacity was contracted through a competitive bidding mechanism, the auctions, that led to a significant increment in its installed wind power capacity (IRENA and GWEC 2013). From less than 1 GW in 2009, six years later there were 7.5 GWinstalled, corresponding to 304 wind parks and representing 5.23% of the national energy matrix (Melo 2016). Today, the installed wind power capacity has reached 13 GW reducing the country´s CO2 emissions by more than 2 million tons per month (ABEEOLICA 2018). In this context, Brazil has implemented industrial policies, for instance, a local content requirement for wind power technologies as a prerequisite for funding wind energy projects by the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES 2018).The research analyzes those policies regarding their ability to empower domestic enterprises and to encourage environmental innovations. Reinforcing the national industry is a necessary step to create new job opportunities and enhance higher productivity through technological upgrades leading to sustainable economic growth. It seems to be imperative to question how inclusive the auctions are for local actors along the wind energy value chain. Therefore, this research project aims to determine drivers and barriers for Brazilian firms along the wind power supply chain to develop their capacities to engage and be competitive in the regulated market.

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Jiali Zhou: Empowerment Perspective of Chinese Female Labour Migration: A qualitative research of women’s rural-urban migration in Hangzhou

Abstract:

Since the implementation of the economic reform (open door policy) at the end of the 1970s, China has been through rapid industrialization and urbanization. In order to seek better and more prosperous lives in the cities, hundreds of millions of rural farmers have left their hometown village and migrate to big cities. Women makes up about half of the Chinese internal migrants, yet they are often disadvantaged because of their considered subordinated role in the patriarchal society. Most of the existing studies about female migration treat them as rational economic beings and have been focused on the negative and disempowering aspects. It was recommended by Oishi (2005) to call for more research about female migration and focus on the social aspects of the empowerment of the female migrants.


The analysis of the migration is usually either focus on the agency of the individuals or on the structure which has been applied on them. Most of the studies have not discussed the fact that the individuals as social agents can negotiate and transfer the structure (the interaction between agency and structure) (Giddens, 1984). Therefore, it is interesting to start the narratives from the point of rural migrate women themselves, like how do they perceive migration; what does migration means for their lives; how does the migration experiences change their strategies of livelihood, their sense of “inner-self” and their motivations, willingness, and the abilities to communicate or negotiate with the existing power structures. Therefore, this field research will explore the empowerment process of female migrate workers in China by conducting eight individual interviews with the migrant women in the city of Hangzhou.

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Thiago Costa: Promoting Development in the Global South: Innovation, Business Engagement and Capitalism in Brazil

Abstract:

Over the course of history, the concept of innovation moved from a vice by the opponents of change to a word of honour in contemporary societies (Godin, 2015: 5). Scientific and technological by nature, innovation as a phenomenon has both economic and social consequences (Smith, 2006: 66). Following the National Innovation System (NIS) approach, it constitutes a complex and dynamic process that requires the articulation of a variety of agents and institutions attaining to different logics and procedures (Marzano, 2011: 43). Rather than a quasi-autonomous field, innovation is, thus, reckoned as part of the economic world. In the context of the developing countries, the inherent uncertainty of the activity is heightened by economic crises, political instability and institutional flaws. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil is the country with the greatest technological efforts and that has most advanced towards a public policy in the field (Rivas, Rovira and the EU, 2014: 9). The promising political and economic contexts of the 2000s provided a real push towards innovation in the country, by bringing it back to the core of the industrial policies (Mazzucato and Penna, 2016: 46). Under the leadership of the Worker’s Party, innumerable measures have been implemented to develop Brazil’s innovation capacity, such as Research and Development (R&D) tax incentives, subsidised credit for innovation and new regulatory frameworks (GII, 2017: 121). Notwithstanding the advances in the field, Brazil’s position has been in a descent trend in the Global Innovation Index (GII) since 2011 and the Brazilian business sector has reported to face continuous challenges to engage with innovation. As crucial actors of the innovation system, companies cannot maintain an innovation culture in isolation (Manzini, 2012: 4).

Therefore, it is the objective of this research to find out which are the main strengths and hurdles of the Brazilian innovation system and how they impact on companies’ innovation performance in the context of the revival of the innovation policies during the 2000s.

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