AN EXPORT PROCESSING ZONE FOR THE NELSON MANDELA BAY METRO07 Apr 2016, by
Over the last few decades China has become the centre of global manufacturing, particularly of labour-intensive exports. However, rising wages in China mean that many firms are looking for other locations to base either existing operations or new factories. The number of jobs being relocated is potentially very large; one estimate, by the former chief economist of the World Bank, is that the number will eventually be 85 million.
At present, most of these relocated jobs are destined for Asian countries including Vietnam, Bangladesh and India, although some African countries, notably Ethiopia, are starting to attract some manufacturing firms.
Even a tiny share of these jobs would be enormously beneficial to South Africa. The first major benefit would be the new jobs created. These are labour- intensive (unskilled and semi-skilled) activities that South Africa desperately needs, and which its present growth path fails to deliver. The second benefit would be the increase in exports, which would enhance economic growth and hence indirectly have a further positive impact on employment. (See the CDE Growth Agenda series Report 2, Jobs.)DOWNLOAD EPZ