Spiegel: Great Wall this week became the first Chinese automobile manufacturer to open an automobile assembly plant inside the European Union…
…Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest country, is attractive as a labor market because it is an oasis of cheap wages and low taxes. Workers are considered well educated and the country is ideal as the site for a company like Great Wall to launch. Given that wages for factory workers have risen considerably in China in recent years, assembly sites abroad have become increasingly attractive for some manufacturers.
(H/T). Some thoughts:
- Don’t overweight cheap labour and underweight transport costs and clustering in thinking about global trade.
- There will be more of this. In the end the country with the most people wins – that means China for a while and India afterwards.
- There should be less of this, trade barriers mean international investments need to be made that would not were the EU a true open borders free trade area.
- East Asian labour is remarkably low-skilled and poorly educated despite what positive prejudices you might hold.
- Technology is highly mobile and drives convergences in incomes all round the world in interesting ways.
- The future prosperity do the world depends on the rich world restraining its xenophobic hostility to foreign capital, as much as foreign workers. You boss may one day speak another language and earn much of his money in a foreign currency, that should be fine so long as she still pays your wages.
- We live in interesting times.