Does Manufacturing Matter? Foreign Investment and Local Linkages in the Malaysian Solar Industry


About the Webinar

The US-China trade war created new opportunities for developing countries to attract foreign investment in solar manufacturing, which was historically concentrated in the United States, Germany, and China. To avoid the tariffs imposed by the United States and European Union on solar panel imports, Chinese solar panel manufacturers have relocated to Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. Renewable energy technology presents an important opportunity for developing countries seeking to both decarbonize and level up in global value chains, and industrial policy historically places significant emphasis on manufacturing as the foundation of domestic industrial upgrading.

This webinar will examine trends in the relocation of solar manufacturing to Malaysia. It will evaluate how and why renewable energy manufacturing struggles to create local linkages, most importantly, for local solar installation. This leads to an assessment of existing industrial policies that emphasizes the localization of production for downstream market growth and whether escalating global trade tensions can lead to inefficient externalities that do little to benefit local markets via technology transfer.

About the Speaker

Ishana Ratan is a PhD candidate in the Political Science Department at UC Berkeley, and a Project Director at the Berkeley APEC Study Center. Her research centers upon the international political economy of renewable energy, with a focus on solar deployment in the Global South. She is also a member of the Energy and Environment Policy Lab, and is a fellow at the Boston University Global Development Policy Center (2022-2023).


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Mar 08 2024


10:00 am - 11:15 am

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