n Africa Insight - Understanding an aspect of China's governance and economic growth

Volume 41, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The People's Republic of China is the world's fastest-growing major economy, with growth rates averaging 10 per cent over the past 30 years, a phenomenon ascribed to China's industrial development strategies through special economic zones (SEZ). This industrial growth has been credited to economic reforms implemented under Deng Xiaopeng's regime, and performance legitimacy practised by the state. Yiwu, a Chinese industrial zone and a case study in this article, has become one of the world's most successful zones as it has become a leading market for about 100 000 small commodities. These factors beg the questions addressed in this article. How did Chinese SEZs achieve this rapid growth? What have the key drivers been? And, most importantly, what can South Africa learn from the SEZs?

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