Presentation on theme: "The evolution of Japanese manufacturing industry in Wales Reflecting on the longer term impact of transplant investment for Welsh development."— Presentation transcript:
The evolution of Japanese manufacturing industry in Wales Reflecting on the longer term impact of transplant investment for Welsh development
Introduction 40 years of history – a full circle Role in promoting regional economic development in 1980s and 1990s Evolution J FDI & more general debate in Wales; Is there still a place in the policy tool- kit for FDI; Is FDI relevant to ‘ new ’ regional context; Should we be that concerned about falling levels of FDI
Why Wales is an interesting case in which to study Japanese TMS ‘ Early ’ location marketing targeted on J firms ‘ Early ’ successes with J FDI Relatively high concentration of J FDI in Wales: research hub Agglomeration of J FDI permitted some analysis of factories v warehouses debate
Policy claims and academic debates Japanese as more reluctant inward investors with the result that: inward investments would be of negligible economic significance compared to those from the US etc. outward FDI by Japanese firms existed within a context of a preference for direct exports Japanese FDI might perform relatively badly in terms of productivity and profitability and then with negligible opportunities for productivity spillovers to domestic enterprises High import content of Japanese manufacturers, and focus on production only operations leads to lower quality employment, lower level of R&D jobs, with high value added operations retained elsewhere. Branch plant syndrome; regional economic development ramifications, efficient use of public money
Why Wales? Wales closest assisted area to SE and consumer markets and wholesale hubs; also distance from Channel ports Labour availability, relatively low unit costs RSA and RDG availability and other sweeteners and a well coordinated marketing effort Road infrastructure
Contribution to regional economic development Factories and warehouses debate suggests impact might be different, because of underlying motivation But also conclusions on role of J FDI important to future development of policy in Wales Currently international location marketing very limited
Wales: economic needs Low growth; poor productivity record Opportunities in the periphery Income and employment in disadvantaged areas Functional and occupational diversity Overcoming the branch plant syndrome Low levels of business R&D
Further research Regional analysis of productivity spillovers from Japanese vs other parts of manufacturing sector in Wales How did the systems set up in 1980s for IR, personnel management etc stand up to pressures in the new Millennium Need for more thorough audit of extent of foreign firm activity in Wales, particularly contribution of the services industry sector. Further consideration of real impacts of the policy resources devoted to indigenous versus foreign sector.
Japanese inward manufacturing investment is still relevant to the economic needs of Wales In some respects the regional economic context has changed markedly since 1980, but underlying needs of the Welsh economy are actually little changed. Decline of Japanese sector (and other parts of manu after 2000 been matched with employment growth in part time opportunities, and growth in the non- market sector. Neither of these latter developments would seem to square up with the ‘ new vision ’ of a dynamic learning economy. Falling levels of new foreign manufacturing investment, or disinvestment to other locations, will seriously compromise Welsh growth aspirations
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