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The experience of industry policy in the wider Asian region contrasts significantly with many of the neoliberal policy prescriptions prevalent in Australia today. Using the automotive industry as a comparative case study, this article compares industry policy in three demographic and geographic giants of the region: China, India and Indonesia. China’s dominant position has benefited from a highly ‘interventionist’ industry policy which places strict conditions on foreign carmakers in joint ventures. This policy has also influenced the emergence of a thriving domestic industry, with state-owned enterprises leading the way. While India has also emerged as a major auto producer, its industry policy has moved away from the joint venture model since the 1990s, with fully foreignowned operations now playing a much bigger role. In contrast, Indonesia retains a version of the joint venture model while local industry is dominated by Japanese capital. The record of industry policy in these countries challenges the idea that more ‘liberal’ economic systems lead to stronger domestic industries or firms.


Institute for Religion, Politics, and Society

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Journal Article

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