Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)




Marketing and International Business

First Advisor

Prof. WHITLA Paul

Second Advisor

Prof. CHOW Kong Wing Clement


The study of the extent to which incoming FDI results in ‘spillovers’ (technology, R&D, management practices and know-how) has so far yielded only mixed results, and research has largely been restricted to north-north and north-south interactions; this study develops a model of knowledge spillovers based on previous literature and extends inquiry into south-south FDI by investigating spillovers from Chinese FDI to the Cambodian garment and light manufacturing industries. Several significant factors including the nature and extent of FDI linkages, local industry absorptive capacity, nature of the network relationship, and local firms’ learning orientation have been found to influence the extent to which knowledge spillovers occur. These variables are integrated within this paper which develops a conceptual model of knowledge spillovers based on the Awareness-Motivation- Capability framework to examine knowledge spillovers derived through both horizontal and vertical linkages. One area of interest examined in the study is the FDI influence on domestic firms’ export performance since light manufacturing represents the most significant portion of Cambodia's total export products. The thesis, addresses two primary questions: (1) when, where and under what conditions are significant knowledge spillovers created? And (2) what are the effects of the spillovers on domestic companies' technological capability and export performance? The research contributes to the previous literature by further developing the theory on the realisation of knowledge spillovers as well as exploring the nature and channels of knowledge spillovers from South-South FDI in labour-intensive industry, an area of study previously unexplored. Our results show that knowledge spillovers occur through both horizontal and vertical linkages and Cambodian firms receive more spillovers from Chinese FDI than they do from FDI from developed countries.



Recommended Citation

Vicheth, P. (2018). The impact of South-South FDI: knowledge spillovers from Chinese FDI to local firms in the Cambodian light manufacturing industries (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from

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