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The rise of China: a new fear of trade competition for Mauritius?


  • Baboo M. Nowbutsing
  • Sonalisingh Ramsohok


Purpose - The relationship between China and Mauritius dates back centuries due to the Chinese diaspora in Mauritius. The rise of China in the global economy has raised several questions. China is investing massively in several nations. The question remains whether it is for mutual benefits or the Chinese quest for world dominance. China is the second top importing partner of Mauritius. However, the main export destinations of Mauritius remain Europe and the USA. The purpose of this paper is to address the impact of the emergence of China on the Mauritian economy. Design/methodology/approach - In order to assess the short-term costs stemming from Chinese competition, the authors have built two indexes of trade competition. The aim of these indexes is to compare the exporting structure of China with Mauritius in a particular period of time. If the exporting structure between two countries is quite similar, then trade competition is more likely. These indexes are built using the Comtrade database. The indexes are modified versions of the well-known coefficient of specialisation (CS) and coefficient of conformity (CC). These two indexes examine and compare the exporting structure of Mauritius and China to finally show the degree of trade competition between the two economies. Further the paper adopts the Engle Granger procedure to assess the impact of import competition from China. Findings - Using two indexes of trade competition, it is found that both countries have similar export structure. The authors presume that it will be impossible for Mauritius to compete with China mainly because of the latter's cheap labour advantage and natural resources availability. Further, it was found that while Mauritius is consolidating its revealed comparative advantage (RCA) in its two top exporting products, China's RCA is increasing in those products where that of Mauritius is decreasing. Finally, it was found that an increase in real GDP per capita will have a positive impact on Mauritius and there is no relationship between the two countries' openness. Originality/value - To the knowledge of the authors, this is the first study attempting to assess the impact of the rise of China on the Mauritius economy. Further, the analyses make use of a both statistical and econometric analysis to tackle the problem in hand.

Suggested Citation

  • Baboo M. Nowbutsing & Sonalisingh Ramsohok, 2012. "The rise of China: a new fear of trade competition for Mauritius?," Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 91-106, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ceftpp:v:5:y:2012:i:2:p:91-106

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Navas Antonio & Licandro Omar, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Competition and Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-28, May.
    2. Chen, Natalie & Imbs, Jean & Scott, Andrew, 2009. "The dynamics of trade and competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 50-62, February.
    3. Jorge Blázquez-Lidoy & Javier Rodríguez & Javier Santiso, 2006. "Angel or Devil? China's Trade Impact on Latin American Emerging Markets," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 252, OECD Publishing.
    4. Tushar Poddar, 2004. "Domestic Competition Spurs Exports; The Indian Example," IMF Working Papers 04/173, International Monetary Fund.
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