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Has the Special Economic Zone Approach Improve Ghana¡¯s Competitiveness in the Global Market?

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  • Kutin-Mensah Florence

    ()

  • Dechun Huang
  • Boateng Ofosu Richard
  • Chiponga Rutendo

Abstract

Ghana adopted the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) model in an attempt to stimulate economic growth by moving from an era of import-based to an export-based development strategy and also to potentially improve competiveness in the world market. However, until now, it is not well understood if this move has been beneficial and whether it has positioned Ghana particularly in terms of trade on the global market. This study examines and demonstrate if the adopted SEZ model has had any significant effects on the trade patterns in Ghana. This was undertaken by analyzing the competiveness and the dynamics and/or level of comparative advantage of selected products traded within the SEZs on sectoral levels in the world market using the Balassa Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) index. The results shows that among the investigated products, Ghana shows little and/or no comparative advantage for manufactured goods with a maintained relative competiveness for raw materials. In addition, the RCA index indicates that Ghana has not improved its competiveness even in the exports of its resource intensive products such as Wood and Minerals. Clearly, it was revealed that Ghana appears to not have made any substantial progress towards taking advantage of the dynamic potential of SEZs as a tool for sustainable exports gains transformation. In the light of the evidence shown, some policy implications and recommendation are described.

Suggested Citation

  • Kutin-Mensah Florence & Dechun Huang & Boateng Ofosu Richard & Chiponga Rutendo, 2017. "Has the Special Economic Zone Approach Improve Ghana¡¯s Competitiveness in the Global Market?," Business and Economic Research, Macrothink Institute, vol. 7(2), pages 19-34, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mth:ber888:v:7:y:2017:i:2:p:19-34
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wu, Huaqing & Lv, Kui & Liang, Liang & Hu, Hanhui, 2017. "Measuring performance of sustainable manufacturing with recyclable wastes: A case from China’s iron and steel industry," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 66(PA), pages 38-47.
    2. Thomas Farole, 2011. "Special Economic Zones in Africa : Comparing Performance and Learning from Global Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2268, March.
    3. Litwack, John M. & Qian, Yingyi, 1998. "Balanced or Unbalanced Development: Special Economic Zones as Catalysts for Transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 117-141, March.
    4. Chi‐Keung Lau & Kin‐Man To & Zhiming Zhang & Jing Chen, 2009. "Determinants of Competitiveness: Observations in China's Textile and Apparel Industries," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 17(2), pages 45-64, March.
    5. Måns S–derbom & Francis Teal, 2003. "Are Manufacturing Exports the Key to Economic Success in Africa?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, March.
    6. Addy, Samuel N, 1998. "Ghana: revival of the mineral sector," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 229-239, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ghana; Special Economic Zones; Revealed Comparative Advantage; Trade; Export patterns; Free zones;

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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