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Rethinking Trade Preferences: How Africa Can Diversify its Exports

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  • Paul Collier
  • Anthony J. Venables

Abstract

This paper argues that the contribution of trade preferences to economic development needs to be reappraised in light of the growth of globalised trade in manufactures. Trade preferences may be able to act as a catalyst for manufacturing exports, leading to rapid growth in exports and employment. To do so, preferences need to be designed to be consistent with international trade in fragmented ‘tasks’ (as opposed to complete products) and need to be open to countries with sufficient levels of complementary inputs such as skills and infrastructure. Recent experience with the African Growth and Opportunities Act shows that, in the right conditions, Sub‐Saharan African countries have had large manufacturing export supply response to trade preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Collier & Anthony J. Venables, 2007. "Rethinking Trade Preferences: How Africa Can Diversify its Exports," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(8), pages 1326-1345, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:30:y:2007:i:8:p:1326-1345
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9701.2007.01042.x
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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