IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

An Assessment of Barbados' Competitiveness within the EU Market 1992-2006


  • Lorde Troy

    () (The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados)

  • Alleyne Antonio

    () (Research and Planning Unit, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Barbados)

  • Francis Brian

    () (The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados)


This paper assesses Barbados' competitiveness within the EU market in light of its recent signing of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU in 2008. Using SITC data from 1992-2006, indices of revealed comparative advantage (RCA) were calculated. We found that Barbados possesses comparative advantages in Live Animals; Raw Sugars, Beet and Cane; and Spirits. However, policies such as the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), stringent sanitary and phytosanitary requirements, onerous rules of origin and non-tariff barriers including technical barriers to trade, threaten to undermine these advantages. These developments strongly suggest that Barbados must move agriculture up the value chain and increase value-added, as well as integrate it more fully with other sectors of its economy. Greater attention must be focused on countries in the EU other than the UK, if full advantage is to be taken of the EPA, as the UK market is already mature. There is evidence that export opportunities to these countries exist in other commodity groups (Fuels, Lubricants, etc.; Animal, Vegetable Oils Fats, Wax; Chemicals, Related Products; Manufactured Goods). When these issues are placed within the context of Barbados' history of weak capacity to take advantage of the market access opportunities available from their trading arrangements, the overarching challenge for Barbados is one of effective market access. This will require, among other things, a capable export promotion agency. The export of non-traditional commodities should be promoted, and greater support, perhaps in the form of incentives, should be provided to large firms that are not yet exporters to encourage them to look beyond the domestic market.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorde Troy & Alleyne Antonio & Francis Brian, 2010. "An Assessment of Barbados' Competitiveness within the EU Market 1992-2006," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-24, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:10:y:2010:i:2:n:7

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Denny Lewis & Alan Webster, 2001. "Export Specialisation in the Caribbean and its Implications for Trade Negotiations," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(6), pages 809-828, June.
    2. Salvatore Dominick, 2004. "Globalization, Comparative Advantage, and Europe's Double Competitive Squeeze," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-20, October.
    3. J. David Richardson & Chi Zhang, 1999. "Revealing Comparative Advantage: Chaotic or Coherent Patterns Across Time and Sector and U.S. Trading Partner?," NBER Working Papers 7212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Pomfret, Richard, 1981. "The Impact of EEC Enlargement on Non-member Mediterranean Countries' Exports to the EEC," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(363), pages 726-729, September.
    5. Ballance, Robert H & Forstner, Helmut & Murray, Tracy, 1987. "Consistency Tests of Alternative Measures of Comparative Advantage," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 157-161, February.
    6. Imre Fert– & L. J. Hubbard, 2003. "Revealed Comparative Advantage and Competitiveness in Hungarian Agri-Food Sectors," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 247-259, February.
    7. Finger, J M & Kreinin, M E, 1979. "A Measure of 'Export Similarity' and Its Possible Uses," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 905-912, December.
    8. Clark Don P. & Sawyer W. Charles & Sprinkle Richard L, 2005. "Revealed Comparative Advantage Indexes for Regions of the United States," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, March.
    9. Balassa, Bela, 1979. "The Changing Pattern of Comparative Advantage in Manufactured Goods," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 259-266, May.
    10. Karmakar Suparna, 2007. "Services Trade Liberalisation and Domestic Regulations: The Developing Country Conundrum," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-47, February.
    11. Thomas Vollrath, 1991. "A theoretical evaluation of alternative trade intensity measures of revealed comparative advantage," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 127(2), pages 265-280, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:10:y:2010:i:2:n:7. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.