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Competitiveness in the CFA Franc Zone


  • Charalambos G Tsangarides
  • Gustavo Ramirez


This paper reviews the evolution of competitiveness in the CFA franc zone using a proposed comprehensive competitiveness framework. In particular, we examine competitiveness in the WAEMU and CEMAC regions by analyzing the "environment" and "policy" components of competitiveness and their quantifiable determinants, including indicators to measure productivity and labor market conditions, prices and costs, macroeconomic performance, business environment, governance, and technology and infrastructure. Our findings suggest that despite some recent improvements-particularly for the CEMAC-both regions face serious competitiveness challenges when compared to pier groups of countries. In order to become more competitive, raise growth, and improve the quality of life, there is a need for structural reform to improve productivity, reduce factor costs, and create the right business, legal, and political environment to attract economic activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Charalambos G Tsangarides & Gustavo Ramirez, 2007. "Competitiveness in the CFA Franc Zone," IMF Working Papers 07/212, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/212

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernesto Hernández-Catá & C. A. François, 1998. "The West African Economic and Monetary Union; Recent Developments and Policy Issues," IMF Occasional Papers 170, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Cashin, Paul & Cespedes, Luis F. & Sahay, Ratna, 2004. "Commodity currencies and the real exchange rate," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 239-268, October.
    3. Dominique Desruelle & Alessandro Zanello, 1997. "A Primeron the IMF's Information Notice System," IMF Working Papers 97/71, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Hinkle, Lawrence E. & Monteil, Peter J. (ed.), 1999. "Exchange Rate Misalignment: Concepts and Measurement for Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195211269.
    5. Yasser Abdih & Charalambos Tsangarides, 2010. "FEER for the CFA franc," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(16), pages 2009-2029.
    6. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501.
    7. Leslie Lipschitz & Donogh McDonald, 1991. "Real Exchange Rates and Competitiveness; A Clarification of Concepts, and Some Measurements for Europe," IMF Working Papers 91/25, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Ian W. Marsh & Stephen Tokarick, 1994. "Competitiveness Indicators; A Theoretical and Empirical Assessment," IMF Working Papers 94/29, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Cockburn, J. & Siggel, E. & Coulibaly, M. & Vezina, S., 1998. "Measuring Competitiveness and Its Sources: The Case of Mali's Manufacturing Sector," Equity and Growth through Economic Research 16, EAGER Publication/BHM.
    10. Luca Buldorini & Stelios Makrydakis & Christian Thimann, 2002. "The effective exchange rates of the euro," Occasional Paper Series 02, European Central Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kuikeu, Oscar, 2011. "Comment la dernière crise financière a relancé le débat relatif à l'arrimage du fcfa à l'euro
      [How the recent financial crisis have revived the debate on the parity between fcfa and euro]
      ," MPRA Paper 32077, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Mahvash S Qureshi, 2008. "Africa’s Oil Abundance and External Competitiveness; Do Institutions Matter?," IMF Working Papers 08/172, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Corinne Deléchat & Matthew Gaertner, 2008. "Exchange Rate Assessment in a Resource-Dependent Economy; The Case of Botswana," IMF Working Papers 08/83, International Monetary Fund.


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