Export opportunities and export promotion activities in Belgium: Is there any connection?
In this paper, the concordance between the major tenets of the export promotion policies of the public export promotion organisations in Belgium, i.e. Export Vlaanderen (the predecessor of Flanders Investment & Trade), AWEX and Brussels Export, in the period 1999- 2003 on the one hand, and the most promising export opportunities on the other, are studied. The export opportunities in various markets in the world for the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU) are identified using a decision support model. Spearman rank correlation coefficients are calculated between these export opportunities and the export promotion activities of the regional public export promotion organisations. We find that the BLEU’s export opportunities only correlate weakly with the export promotion activities of the regional organisations. When account is taken of a hypothetical (but uncorroborated) focus of the export promotion activities on specific countries or sectors, the average correlation coefficients are even lower (and not significantly different from zero).
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