Trade as Aid: The Role of the EBA-Trade Preferences Regime in the Development Strategy
This study focuses primarily on trade preferences offered by the European Union (EU) and in particular on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade preferences regime, which is targeted exclusively on least developed countries (LDCs). Using the gravity model, an estimation of the influence of the EBA preferences on exports from the ACP LDCs to the EU-15 is presented. The model is applied to the time period 1995 to 2005 for the ACP countries’ exports to the EU-15 and estimated with the help of different econometric techniques. The core questions of the investigation are two: First, to examine the influence of the EBA preferences on the ACP LDCs’ export performance and second to compare the impact of the EBA scheme with the one of official development assistance. In addition to their separate effects the combined impact of EBA and aid flows is also analysed. The main results show a very poor performance of the EBA regime. However, the combined effect of the EBA and aid on exports is positive, indicating that the development strategy of the developed countries, in this case of the EU, needs to include both sorts of assistance, aid and trade preferences.
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