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Export Diversification in Low-Income Countries: An International Challenge After Doha

  • Federico Bonaglia
  • Kiichiro Fukasaku

This paper discusses major policy issues related to commodity dependence and export diversification in low-income countries. Contrary to some widely-held view, it argues that natural resources are not necessarily a “curse” — that they do not condemn low-income countries to underdevelopment but can provide rather a basis for sustained export-led growth. Natural resource-based sectors have potential for export diversification. The OECD “mirror” trade data suggest that many different routes to diversification exist, including resource-based manufacturing and processing of primary products. However, these opportunities are not being exploited in many low-income countries. This is because export diversification is typically a slow process, and this process needs to be sustained by an appropriate and coherent strategy, characterised by a combination of vision, co-ordination and management of conflicting interests. Moreover, the analysis of trade support services in two African countries ... Les principaux problèmes liés à la dépendance vis-à-vis des produits de base et à la diversification des exportations dans les pays à faibles revenus sont abordés dans ce Document technique. Contrairement à une opinion largement répandue, les ressources naturelles ne sont pas nécessairement une “tare” — elles ne condamnent pas les pays pauvres au sous-développement, mais peuvent au contraire constituer la base d’une croissance durable tirée par les exportations. Les secteurs liés aux ressources naturelles disposent d’un potentiel de diversification à l’exportation. Il ressort des données sur les échanges de l’OCDE que les voies de la diversification sont nombreuses et variées, notamment les activités de transformation des produits primaires et les activités manufacturières à base de ressources naturelles. Toutefois, ces possibilités ne sont pas exploitées dans de nombreux pays à faibles revenus. En effet, la diversification des exportations est un processus lent, qui doit être ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 209.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:209-en
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  1. Agosin, M., 1997. "Export Performance in Chile: Lessons for Africa," Research Paper 144, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
  2. Paul Cashin & C. John McDermott, 2001. "The Long-Run Behavior of Commodity Prices; Small Trends and Big Variability," IMF Working Papers 01/68, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Blomström, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 2002. "From Natural Resources to High-Tech Production: The Evolution of Industrial Competitiveness in Sweden and Finland," EIJS Working Paper Series 139, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
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