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Trade Performance and Regional Integration of the CIS Countries

  • Lev Freinkman
  • Evgeny Polyakov
  • Carolina Revenco

The study provides a detailed quantitative analysis, based on standard econometric models, of the trends and the configuration of trade of the CIS countries, with an emphasis on its low income members. It also contains an analysis of the CIS countries' trade potential and its realization in a comparative perspective, as well as examination of the nature of the existing CIS intra-bloc trade. The study revealed no evidence that the CIS countries as a group underperform significantly in terms of either trade openness or export levels when compared to the countries of similar per capita GDP and population size. This means, however, that the low-income economies in the CIS (CIS-7) have been performing on average just marginally better than other low-income countries and that, overall, they have been falling behind the countries that benefit most from globalization. Overall, progress in the trade area was slower in the CIS-7 countries than in the higher income CIS members. This is reflected in: (i) lower overall export levels and slower export growth in the second half of the 1990s; (ii) higher trade deficits; (iii) lower share of manufacturing exports; (iv) incomplete re-orientation of trade flows from the CIS to global markets; and (v) lower incidence of intra-industry trade. The study found that the CIS free trade area is, on balance, a beneficial, trade-facilitating bloc. It features a free trade regime, agreements on mutual recognition of standards, and non-restrictive rules of origin. There is no evidence so far that the CIS integration is of the "South-South" type and thus may be harmful for some of its members. However, the potential benefits of CIS trade integration remain badly underutilized. The study suggests several directions for strengthening the legal and administrative framework for intra-CIS trade arrangements.

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This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 14933 and published in 2004-06.
ISBN: 0-8213-5896-0
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:14933
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  1. Oli Havrylyshyn & Hassan Al-Atrash, 1998. "Opening Up and Geographic Diversification of Trade in Transition Economies," IMF Working Papers 98/22, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Paul Brenton & Miriam Manchin, 2002. "Making EU Trade Agreements Work: The Role of Rules of Origin," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 27, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  3. Hoeckman, Bernard, 2002. "Economic Development and the World Trade Organization after Doha," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2851, The World Bank.
  4. Antonio Spilimbergo & Ernesto H. Stein, 1996. "The Welfare Implications of Trading Blocs among Countries with Different Endowments," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6860, Inter-American Development Bank.
  5. Piazolo, Daniel, 1996. "Trade integration between Eastern and Western Europe: Politics follows the market," Kiel Working Papers 745, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  6. K. Smarzynska, Beata, 2001. "Does Relative Location Matter for Bilateral Trade Flows? An Extension of the Gravity Model," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 16, pages 379-398.
  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 72, March.
  8. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
  9. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1991. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blan91-1, October.
  10. Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Imperfect competition and international trade: Evidence from fourteen industrial countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-81, March.
  11. Robert C. Feenstra & James R. Markusen & Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Using the gravity equation to differentiate among alternative theories of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 430-447, May.
  12. Tarr, David G., 1993. "How moving to world prices affects the terms of trade in 15 countries of the former Soviet Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1074, The World Bank.
  13. Michael Roberts & Peter Wehrheim, 2001. "Regional trade agreements and WTO accession of CIS countries," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 36(6), pages 315-323, November.
  14. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
  15. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Trade Policy and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," NBER Working Papers 6562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Elhanan Helpman & Assaf Razin (ed.), 1991. "International Trade and Trade Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262081997, June.
  17. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-81, August.
  18. Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi & Dani Rodrik, 2002. "Institutions Rule; The Primacy of Institutions Over Integration and Geography in Economic Development," IMF Working Papers 02/189, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Polyakov, Evgeny, 2001. "Changing trade patterns after conflict resolution in the South Caucasus," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2593, The World Bank.
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