Nigerian Leaders Can Learn From the Chinese as Tech Self-Sufficiency Becomes the Focus of their 5 Year Economic Plan
This week, Chinese leaders met to formulate an economic blueprint for the next five years that is expected to emphasize the development of semiconductors and other technology amid the feud with the US and Washington cutting access to U.S technology.
The Chinese government is working to promote self-sustaining growth supported by domestic consumer spending and technology development as tensions with trading partners hamper access to export markets and technology. The plan is for the Chinese industry to rely on domestic suppliers and consumers, a strategy that is being called “dual circulation”.
The broad outlines of the five-year plan are due to be announced after the meeting ends later this week but the full plan will be released in March next year
The latest plan is expected to emphasize the domestic development of semiconductors for computers and smartphones- China’s biggest single import by value- next-generation telecoms, artificial intelligence, and other fields.
What Should Nigerian Leaders Learn?
It is reasonable that economists warn that while this might help to reduce the disruption of trade disputes with the United States and other partners, it will raise costs and hurt productivity.
However, would this not be for the greater good? What I see with this plan, is that the Chinese government is striving to be technologically independent and in the long run this could pay off handsomely for the Chinese economy.
The ruling party has promoted semiconductor development for two decades but Chinese makers of smartphones and other products still rely on the U.S, Europe, and Japan for processor chips and now after the Trumps administration cut off access to most American supplies for Huawei Technologies Ltd, the pressure is even more for Beijing.
“While the biggest challenge for Beijing five years ago was a weak economy, the one today is a potential decoupling with the U.S., “Macquarie economists Larry Hu and Xinyu Ji said in a report.
This plan in my opinion is the perfect reaction to the most unfortunate events in 2020. China just wants to lower reliance on certain products especially key technologies that could affect the growth of their economy.
Now that there seems to be some sense of normalcy since the pandemic with automakers and other major industries resuming normal production, it is time to push for self-sufficiency.
The issue of expense and hyped production costs argued by economists is bound to be a temporary inconvenience. When it all falls in place, the height of global success China will receive is simply immeasurable.
Self-sufficiency is no small fit but yes it is attainable. Studies have shown that developing countries that accept globalization and operated ethically and strategically have benefitted immensely but unfortunately, not many countries have the ability to be completely self-sufficient for many reasons including lack of natural resources.
To some extent China can be self-sufficient but only in certain areas, like the focus on technology in my opinion is a very attainable goal.
Nigeria, on the other hand, is a long way from being self-sufficient in any field especially not technology, there is still a long way to go. However, developing a plan that puts that goal in motion with a focus on niches like technology as well as a rather interesting approach and along with other factors could potentially give the country an edge in the near future.