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Accepted Paper:

China’s distant water fishing in Guinea-Bissau: variegated presences and lacklustre prospects for structural transformation  
Hang Zhou (Chr. Michelsen Institute)

Paper short abstract:

Despite growing attention on China's distant water fishing, little is known about its potential to foster structural changes in host country. This paper unpacks China's variegated presence in Guinea-Bissau's industrial fishing and explores its (im)possibility to engender structural transformation.

Paper long abstract:

China’s distant water fishing (DWF) has attracted growing attention from both media and research community. Much of the existing literature, however, has been primarily devoted to investigating its scale and ecological implications. We still know very little about what exactly happens and how when it comes to the developmental impact of Chinese DWF engagement on coastal host countries. By zeroing in on the case of Guinea-Bissau—one of the very first countries that host Chinese DWF fleets since 1985, this paper first makes an empirically grounded attempt to unpack the homogeneity involved in the constitutive features of Chinese DWF engagement in Guinea Bissau – actors (e.g., state-owned enterprise, private entrepreneurs, brokers, and port builders), spatial forms, and practices. It then moves to explore whether this non-monolithic and variegated presence of Chinese DWF could lead to structural transformation in Guinea-Bissau’s fisheries sector. It argues that this maritime engagement remains heavily subject to the logics of elite capture and extraversion in Guinea-Bissau and present lacklustre prospects for structural changes.

Panel Econ25
Diversifying dependence or structural transformation: China's engagement in Africa
  Session 2 Saturday 3 June, 2023, -