SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Weiwei Chen

BA (CCIT, China) MSc in Development Studies (SOAS)
  • Overview
  • Research
  • Publications

Overview

Weiwei Chen
Name:
Weiwei Chen
Email address:
Thesis title:
The Dynamics of Chinese Private Outward Foreign Direct Investment in Ethiopia: A Comparison of Light Manufacturing Industry and Construction Material Industry
Year of Study:
3
Website:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/weiwei-chen-56127774/
Internal Supervisors

Biography

Weiwei's academic interests include Chinese Small-Medium Enterprises' (SME) internationalisation, Chinese Migrant Entrepreneurs in Africa and Chinese Private Overseas Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Prior to her PhD at SOAS, she worked for the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) in Germany and the Chinese Embassy in the UK. Weiwei has been working as a research assistant for the Principal Investigator, Dr Carlos Oya in a 3-year international collaborative academic research project titled ‘Chinese Firms and Employment Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Analysis’, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and Economic Social Research Council (ESRC). She has been conducting fieldwork in both Angola and Ethiopia since 2015. Research undertaken so far has led to a deep understanding of the ecosystem and the way that Chinese firms operate in SSA.

Weiwei was the National Research Consultant for the Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa and in the Pacific (PIGA) project during her fieldwork in Ethiopia (2018). PIGA is a partnership between DFID, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), the China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) and the International Trade Centre (ITC). Weiwei took charge of conducting surveys with a wide range of Chinese firms in the light manufacturing and the agro-processing sectors and producing summary reports for ITC headquarters in Geneva.

Weiwei was also affiliated with the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) as the Chinese Investment Advisor between Oct 2017 and Sep 2018. Her work for the EIC included receiving high officials, delegates and investors (both Chinese and International); observation of the EIC One-Stop Service Station and Industry Park Developers in selected industrial parks; and exploring characteristics and investment trajectories of Chinese firms within and outside of industrial parks.

PhD Research

My research will look into the nature and dynamics of Chinese private OFDI in Ethiopia’s manufacturing industry. By taking the light manufacturing industry and construction material industry for comparison, why Chinese private firms are investing in Ethiopia and to what extent do the investment trajectories of Chinese SMEs in these two sectors differ and why will be explored.

Conferences

  • 'The Political Economy of the Chinese Private Investment in Ethiopia: A Case Study of Eastern Industry Park', Oxford Talk,Feb19th 2019,Oxford University, Oxford, UK [Unpublished]
  • 'The Political Economy of the Chinese Investment in Ethiopia’s Developmental State’, FCO Briefing, 20th December 2018, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, UK [Internal]
  • ‘Exploring the Dynamics between the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), the Chinese Business Institutional Mechanism and Tacit Networks in Chinese Private Investment in Ethiopia’ (revised version)’, Ethiopian Studies Conference, 18th December 2018, University of Edinburgh, UK [Unpublished]
  • ‘Exploring the Dynamics between the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), the Chinese Business Institutional Mechanism and Tacit Networks in Chinese Private Investment in Ethiopia’, ASAUK conference, 13th September 2018, University of Birmingham, UK [Unpublished]
  • ‘The Dynamics of Chinese Private Investment in Ethiopia: Realities and It's Political Economic Implications towards Ethiopia’s Structural Transformation’, ASAUK conference, 13th September 2018, University of Birmingham, UK [Unpublished]
  • ‘The Ethiopian Case Study in Manufacturing for Growth and Development on the Continent’, China-Africa Joint Research & Exchange Seminar, 8th June 2018, The HSRC & The Chinese Embassy in South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa [Publication Pending]

Affiliations

  • Ethiopian Investment Commission
  • Royal African Society (ASAUK)
  • SOAS Research Students' Association

Research

My research will look into the nature and dynamics of Chinese private OFDI in Ethiopia’s manufacturing industry. By taking the light manufacturing industry and the construction material industry for comparison, why Chinese private firms are investing in Ethiopia and to what extent do the investment trajectories of Chinese SMEs in these two sectors differ and why will be explored.

Publications