Past Event


Is China upgrading from manufacturing into branding? Case studies from Ningbo and Zhejiang province

27 October 2011 17:00–18:30

University of Sussex, Arts A1 lecture theatre

Sussex Development Lecture event, co-organised by IDS

About the lecture

China is at the forefront of the huge shift in production capabilities from OECD nations to East Asian developing countries. Seen as the ‘Factory of the World’, China’s manufacturing success is well documented. Based on findings from her recent research ‘Global brands from China? A comparative study of the acquisition of branding capabilities in domestic and global value chains’ Dr Navas-Alemán will explore whether Chinese firms can now use branding to boost their global economic gains.

Branding capabilities are linked to higher incomes, long-term global competitiveness and reduced exposure to market uncertainty. But how do Chinese firms acquire these capabilities? Using case studies from the city of Ningbo and the Eastern Zhejiang province, Dr Navas-Alemán will look at how firms in the garment and home appliance sectors have overcome common challenges, such as lack of marketing expertise, and developed their capacity to build strong and resilient brands.

About the speaker

Dr Lizbeth Navas-Alemán is a socio-economist with extensive experience in the field of international development. She carries out academic research, training and consultancy on private sector development, industrial organisation and innovation in Latin America, Asia and Europe. Clients include the Inter-American Development Bank, ILO, Ford Foundation, UNIDO, UNDP, ITC, UNCTAD and government agencies in developing countries. Her academic contributions involve advancing measurement tools for governance and upgrading attainment of developing country firms and clusters operating in global and national value chains; highlighting the role of domestic markets in the acquisition of higher value-added capabilities (marketing and branding); proposing ‘multichain’ strategies for increased competitiveness and analysing ways to enhance the impact of donor-led value chain programmes on poverty alleviation.


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