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FDI And Export Participation Of Local Firms In Africa: The Case Of The Kenyan Garment Industry

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Executive Summary

FDI in the garment sector has been the single case of large-scale manufacturing investment in African low-income countries since the 1990s. While FDI has triggered the development of local industries in many developing countries, it has not yet been realized in Africa. This paper describes the spillover process in the Kenyan garment industry and investigates the background of local firms' behavior through firm interviews and simulation of expected profits in export market. It shows that credit constraint, rather than absorptive capacity, is a primary source of inactive participation in export opportunity. Only firms which afford additional production facilities without sacrificing stable domestic supply may be motivated to start exporting.

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