South African trade policy matters
South African trade policy has exerted a major influence on the composition and aggregate growth of trade. In the Apartheid period, South Africa developed a comparative advantage in capital-intensive primary and manufactured commodities partly because of its natural resource endowments, but also because the pattern of protection was particularly detrimental to exports of non-commodity manufactured goods. By contrast, trade liberalization from 1990 not only increased imports, but by reducing both input costs and the relative profitability of domestic sales also boosted exports. This evidence suggests that additional trade liberalization and policies that afford South African firms access to inputs at world prices could well be part of the strategy to enhance export diversification. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2008 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
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Volume (Year): 16 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
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