Joe Studwell, author of How Asia Works: “US and China can be sources of capital for Africa”
Joe Studwell, author of the book How Asia Works, shared his insights on the development of economies in Asia, China and Africa with The Asian Banker’s Emmanuel Daniel.
As an economist, researcher, and journalist, he wrote three important books: The China Dream in 2002, Asian Godfathers in 2007, and How Asia Works in 2013. He is currently writing How Asia Works in Africa.
Studwell grew up in the UK, later moving to Hong Kong and then to Beijing. He has lived in Africa for the past four years, writing about the lessons, constraints and achievements of the continent.
He shared his thoughts about the challenges in Africa, such as low population density and the need for educational catch-up to get the population employed in a modern economy. Studwell observed that Asia sustains its economic growth helped by a critical-mass population and noted that there’s not much poverty in East Asia or South Asia; this made him focus on Africa, and how the size of its population affects growth here.
He commented on the intense commercial engagement between China and Africa—China’s manufacturing surplus is being sold in Africa. The two biggest debtors to China in Africa are Ethiopia and Angola where China invested in infrastructure developments such as hydropower projects, roads and railways.
With the ongoing tension between China and US, Studwell ventured that the US will prevent China from getting cutting-edge technology in many areas, such as the semiconductor industry. He noted that countries in Africa are not only building good relationships with China but also with the US, recognising that both are the best sources of capital for Africa.
In 1997, Studwell established Dragonomics, a research business he later sold to Gavekal, a French company.
Keywords: Economy, Population, Politics, Infrastructure, Capital, Book
Institution: Dragonomics, Gavekal
People: Joe Studwell, Emmanuel Daniel