In Chapters 3 and 4 we traced the changing pattern of China’s export commodities and the even more substantial changes that have taken place in the sources of those exports within China. In this section of the book we will examine the equally substantial changes that have occured in the destinations for these rising export volumes. Looked at historically, a clear evolutionary pattern becomes apparent. Initially, in the immediate aftermath of the opening of the Pearl River Delta and the open coastal cities to foreign investment in 1985, it was Hong Kong and other Chinese markets in Taiwan and Southeast Asia that were the principal destinations for Chinese exports. This quickly changed, however, and the United States and the Euopean markets soon became more important as final destinations. Unsurprisingly, there were limits to how much the ‘Chinese’ markets could absorb and China had soon become the major offshore production base for Hong Kong and Taiwanese entrepreneurs for goods destined for western markets. By the mid-1990s, however, it was clear that a fundamental shift in the pattern of China’s exports was underway. Japan had been a principal buyer of raw materials, but particularly petroleum, from China in the early reform period.
KeywordsEconomic Crisis Europe Petroleum Shipping Marketing
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