Call for Papers: Chinese investment in Europe: Business strategies and employment relations

Von Andreas Patana, 14 September, 2015

Chinese investment in Europe: Business strategies and employment relations

ETUI Research Workshop | Call for papers
Zagreb, 25-26 November 2015
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The dynamism of the ‘newcomer’ multinational companies from China in pursuing their international strategies has been apparent also in Europe. The industrial policies of China’s central government –especially its ‘go global’/’going out’ strategy – have been of a fundamental importance for the increasing momentum of Chinese outward FDI. While numerous Chinese companies have invested in Europe since 2000, their activities have become particularly important in the context of the Great Recession after 2008 that put internationalization strategies of other actors on hold while creating acquisition opportunities for the newcomer MNCs. A number of high-profile acquisitions have attracted headlines recently. The list of greenfield projects carried out by Chinese investors is also growing rapidly. The changing patterns of foreign direct investment flows are indicative of a shift in the international division of labour – both regarding production as well as R&D, with the newcomer MNCs assuming new roles. The evolution of global production networks as shaped by the strategies of these new players is likely to have a profound impact on employment, labour conditions and the trade union movement in Europe.

This workshop investigates the patterns of Chinese investment in Europe as well as the strategies of these newcomer MNCs active in Europe.  It focuses in particular, but not exclusively, on the impact on employment, labour conditions and industrial relations in Europe. This is a first research workshop in a wider project on newcomer MNCs. The aim is to take stock of the existing research and plan follow up activities that will include also original research and knowledge-transfer towards practitioners.

We thus invite research presentations on the following topics.

- Patterns of Chinese investments in Europe: regional and industrial differences, determinants of investment flows
- Strategic aspects of such investments in Europe: aims of acquisitions and greenfield investments
- Labour relations at Chinese-invested companies in Europe
- Strategies of European trade unions towards Chinese investors
- Industrial and investment policy aspects: EU-level and national-level policies towards inward FDI
- Chinese regulations of outward FDI, with a special focus on labour relations and CSR

We are interested in papers covering both production as well as R&D-related investments. We are particularly interested in international comparative work, but we welcome also within-country comparisons and case studies. Contributions from a variety of disciplines – such as economic geography, economics, industrial relations, international business, and organizational sociology – are encouraged.

The deadline for submission of paper proposals is 14 October 2015. Please send a short abstract In case of acceptance, ETUI will cover accommodation (one night) and travel (from Europe). The workshop language is English. The agenda will allow participants to travel on 25 November and get back on 26 November. For more information, contact: Jan Drahokoupil.

Dr Jan Drahokoupil | Senior Researcher | @jan_drahokoupil
Tel: +32 (0)2 224 05 12 | Fax: +32 (0) 2 224 05 02
European Trade Union Institute | Bd du Roi Albert II, 5
1210 Brussels | Belgium