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Beijing's Orphans? New Chinese Investors in Papua New Guinea

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Abstract:

This paper will explore the perspectives and narratives developed by three different sets of Chinese investors in Papua New Guinea (PNG): investors in the retail, mining and construction sectors. It is estimated that 90 percent of new Chinese private investors in the PNG retail sector hail from Fuqing, a coastal community in Fujian Province with a long history of transnational migration. Larger state-owned mining ventures and construction companies draw on a more disparate workforce, even though they are headquartered in Beijing. All three sets of investors face different degrees of stigmatization from their competitors, the media and different Chinese and local actors. Based on interviews with Chinese investors in PNG and China, and drawing on Chinese scholarly studies, this paper will explore the interaction of these three groups of investors with Chinese state and non-state actors, and evaluate how this shapes the process of “localization.” The paper will examine how relations with state and non-state actors in PNG are evolving over time, as both groups find ways to “get things done” in a country where mainland Chinese investors have a short history of engagement.

Keywords: CHINA; INVESTMENT; LOCALIZATION; PAPUA NEW GUINEA; STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES; STIGMATIZATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5509/2013862327

Publication date: 2013-06-01

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