This paper discusses the emerging contradictions that may have serious implications for the sustainable growth and performance of China’s rubber industry in the era of internal restructuring and global market integration. The contradictions arise from the growing mismatch between shortage of resources (natural rubber and synthetic rubber) against the ever expanding rubber industry with thin regional spread of manufacturing base.While the dynamic growth of rubber industry in the pre-reforms era was achieved under a heavy import oriented trade policy regime, the sustenance of the same is fraught with serious challenges in the emerging global context affecting the economic performance of
the rubber industry. Following a comprehensive analysis of development of rubber industry in retrospect, the paper suggests some important policy options for resolving the impasse and thereby sustaining the growth dynamism of the industry in the country in the era of market integration. Invariably, sustainable growth of the rubber industry in China calls for a thorough revamping of the state policies and devising virtually non-existent institutional development strategies covering a broad spectrum of activities, viz., a) demand and supply management; b) redefining the status of natural rubber as a strategic commodity and industrial raw material; c) strengthening property rights claims of the peasantry; and d) R&D investments facilitating rubber expansion to agro-ecologically suitable areas. Given that the global market integration would continue to stimulate the growth of the domestic rubber industry, the paper highlights that the issues at the production side are to be tackled on a priority basis. However, this would need China to make a rational choice between or a combination of alternatives, viz., a) strengthening the domestic natural rubber production sector; b) continue to follow import of NR and SR;and c) massive launching of rubber investment programmes in the neighbouring regions of the Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines.
Dr. Viswanathan P. K., “Critical Issues Facing China’s Rubber Industry in the Era of Market Integration: An analysis in retrospect and prospect”, Critical Issues Facing China’s Rubber Industry in the Era of Market Integration: An analysis in retrospect and prospect . Gujarat Institute of Development Research Gota, Ahmedabad, 2007.