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On the nature of intergenerational and social networks in the African forest sector: the case of Chinese, Lebanese, Indian and Italian business networks

Jean-Marc Roda ()

Chapter 17 in Governing Africa's forests in a globalized world, 2010, vol. 1, pp 335-353 from CIRAD, Forest department, UPR40

Abstract: Chinese investments in Africa have become a subject of studies, along with Indian investments and transnational companies. This chapter investigates the evolution of global trade leading to this situation, and evaluates the positive and negative impacts of transnational companies operating in Africa. A new pattern of economic regime is identified regarding African forests and tropical timber. The specificities of social and business networks operating in the African forest sector are described. Structural similarities between Chinese, Indian, Syro-Lebanese and Indian networks are analysed. "Coo-petition", Trust, intergenerational reputation and finance, intermediation and transaction costs appear as key factors of transnational networks economics. Against common perceptions, the results show that Chinese, Indian, Syro-Lebanese and Italian companies do not exhibit any particular difference in environmental performance, compared to other companies. Policy lessons are discussed.

Date: 2010
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