The motivation for organising this seminar is to bring together scholars examining research themes pertaining to the evolution of production models in regions of India and China, in relation to the progressive opening of these large economies to trade and FDI. Of particular interest is a focus on industrial policies emerging at the state or provincial level, presumably more responsive to territorially embedded production systems, which are often specialized in particular sectors and rely on specific types of social capital (assets/liabilities). Equally important is the manner in which these public policies interact with firm-level strategies, to complement or compensate, in pursuit of more broad-based development goals. This reflection, from a subnational perspective, builds on research-in-progress on the industrial policies of several Indian states (Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu), and on industrial restructuring and technological upgrading in the provinces of Guangdong, Hubei (around the city of Wuhan) and in the Yangtze delta, mainly in textiles, automobiles and IT.
On the basis of this on-going research, it was observed that there are striking similarities in the constraints and opportunities facing India and China in the context of increasing competition in export markets. Especially remarkable is the expression of identical policy objectives, both national and regional, in both countries concerning industrial development: promoting sectors with higher value added, technological upgrading, and various efforts to generate local employment. At the same time, this research as well as the academic literature published in the field of economic and technological growth in emerging economies stress important differences in the way subnational regions in each country respond to and articulate with global markets. Regional capacities and modes of global articulation remain intimately linked with the specific historical trajectories of industrialization in the concerned regions (past industrial policies, policy environment for foreign investment and trade, political and social factors, to name just a few).
To explore these themes, the ISID is organising this international seminar, in collaboration with two French research institutes, the Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) in Hong Kong and the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) in Delhi. This seminar has three main objectives:
- Bring together Indian and Chinese researchers working on these themes, in order to identify the main similarities and differences in the industrial trajectories of the study regions in terms of policy, restructuring, technological upgrading, and international trade.
- Fill the gap in comparative research in this area by encouraging scholarship in the form of seminar presentations, and by publishing selected papers. This seminar could contribute to stimulating future research in this field.
- Put in place a research network, that could form the basis for a grant proposal to fund subsequent research in India and China is this emerging field.