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How Sustainable are Benefits from Global Production Networks? Malaysia's Upgrading Prospects in the Electronics Industry

Dieter Ernst

No 57, Economics Study Area Working Papers from East-West Center, Economics Study Area

Abstract: The paper introduces an operational definition of industrial upgrading (IU and documents the emergence of complex, multi-tier "networks of networks" which provide new opportunities for IU, but which also raise threshold requirements for participating in these networks. I highlight structural weaknesses of the Malaysian electronics industry that constrain its upgrading prospects; assess current policies that try to link cluster development and global network integration; discuss adjustments in linkages with global brand leaders (OEMs); and ask to what degree linkages with contract manufacturers (CMs) can broaden network benefits. The paper concludes, by exploring new opportunities for international knowledge sourcing that could complement Malaysia's linkages with GPNs. A completely revised and updated version has been published as: "Global Production Networks and Industrial Upgrading -Malaysia's Electronics Industry", in: J. Kidd and F.J. Richter, eds., Trust and Anti-Trust in Cross-Cultural Alliances, published for the World Economic Forum, Palgrave, London, 2003.

Date: 2003-06
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