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


  • Kutin-Mensah Florence
  • Dechun Huang
  • Boateng Ofosu Richard
  • Chiponga Rutendo


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

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    More about this item


    Ghana; Special Economic Zones; Revealed Comparative Advantage; Trade; Export patterns; Free zones;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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


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