Foreign Firms, Technological Capabilities and Economic Performance Evidence from Africa, Asia and Latin America
Evidence from Africa, Asia and Latin America
Chapter 2: Productivity, export and technological differences in Kenya
2. Productivity, export and technological differences in Kenya Rajah Rasiah and Geoffrey Gachino 2.1 INTRODUCTION Typical of many developing economies, Kenya pursued import-substitution industrialisation since independence in 1963 (Nyong’o, 1988). Although GDP on average grew at over 7.0 per cent per annum in the ‘golden economic period’ of 1965–72, extensive participation of the public sector behind infantindustry protection instruments in ﬁnal consumer goods without a focus on capability building to face external competition undermined the country’s resources (Coughlin and Ikiara, 1988; Nyong’o, 1988). A number of development ﬁnance and industrial training institutions were built to support small and large ﬁrms: e.g. Kenya Industrial Training Institute; Kenya Industrial Estates; Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation; Kenya Bureau of Standards; National Council for Science and Technology; and recently Kenya Industrial Property Ofﬁce (KIPO) (Ikiara, 1988; Enos, 1995). Liberal instruments were introduced to attract foreign direct investment (FDI): e.g. the Foreign Investment Protection Act of 1964 guaranteed foreign investors the right to transfer proﬁts, dividends and capital out of the country. Inward-oriented policies, low wages, raw materials and politically unstable neighbouring economies (e.g. Uganda) helped attract FDI particularly in the 1960s and 1970s (Kaplinsky, 1978). Textiles and garments, and agro-industries became important recipients of FDI in this period (Leys, 1975, 1996; Langdon, 1978; Kaplinsky, 1978), with food processing and beverages becoming most important since the 1980s. In contrast to the 1960s and 1970s, in the 1980s the Kenyan economy slowed down substantially: annual GDP and manufacturing output growth rates dipped from...
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