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Trade and Structural Adjustment Policies in Selected Developing Countries

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Listed:
  • Jens Andersson
  • Federico Bonaglia
  • Kiichiro Fukasaku
  • Caroline Lesser

Abstract

The experience of the five examined industries (agro-food in Chile, cut flowers in Kenya, garment in Lesotho and in Mauritius and seafood in Thailand) demonstrates that non-traditional industries can emerge and achieved strong growth rates in very diverse settings in terms of geography and initial economic and social conditions. In most of these cases, the government adopted a relatively export-oriented, business-friendly attitude and adapted its policies as the industries developed. Hence, a key factor for successful structural adjustment has been the pro-active role of government in establishing an enabling economic and policy environment that allows local firms to operate on a level-playing field and strengthen their competitive edge in international markets. This highlights the importance of implementing trade policies in the framework of comprehensive development strategies and establishing a consultative national policy-making process for ensuring a coherent approach to trade and structural adjustment. The case studies also underscore that countries (government and industry) are compelled to constantly adapt in light of new sources of competition, growing wage levels, environmental constraints, technological advances and demanding product and process standards. Policy-makers in most countries under review are aware of this challenge. As a consequence, some of them have taken the initiative to set up specific mechanisms or programmes for further enhancing the competitiveness of existing export sectors and/or promoting emerging non-traditional export industries. L’expérience des cinq filières étudiées (agro-alimentaire au Chili, fleurs au Kenya, vêtements au Lesotho et à Maurice, et fruits de mer en Thaïlande) démontre que des industries non traditionnelles peuvent naître et générer de solides taux de croissance dans les contextes les plus variés de géographie ou de fondamentaux économiques et sociaux. Dans la plupart de ces cas, les pouvoirs publics ont adopté une approche relativement favorable à l’exportation et aux affaires, et adapté leurs politiques au développement de ces activités. Partant, le facteur clé d’un ajustement structurel bénéfique a été la détermination des gouvernements à adapter leur économie et le cadre politique pour permettre aux entreprises d’opérer à un stade approprié et de renforcer leurs avantages comparatifs sur les marchés internationaux. Ce qui souligne l’importance d’inscrire la politique commerciale dans le cadre des stratégies de développement global et de mettre en place, pour assurer une approche cohérente de l’ajustement commercial et structurel, une procédure consultative nationale d’adoption des politiques. Les études de cas soulignent aussi que les pays (pouvoirs publics et entreprises) sont condamnés à s’adapter constamment en fonction des nouvelles sources de concurrence, de la charge salariale croissante, des contraintes de l’environnement, des avancées technologiques, et des exigences de la demande et des progrès. Les décideurs politiques de la plupart des pays passés en revue sont conscients de ce défi. Et c’est pourquoi plusieurs d’entre eux ont pris l’initiative de mettre en oeuvre des mécanismes ou des programmes spécifiques pour renforcer la compétitivité des actuelles filières d’export et/ou pour favoriser l’émergence d’activités exportatrices non traditionnelles.

Suggested Citation

  • Jens Andersson & Federico Bonaglia & Kiichiro Fukasaku & Caroline Lesser, 2005. "Trade and Structural Adjustment Policies in Selected Developing Countries," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 245, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:245-en
    DOI: 10.1787/712551221673
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Federico Bonaglia & Kichiro Fukasaku, 2003. "Export Diversification In Low-Income Countries: An International Challenge After Doha," Development and Comp Systems 0307001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thierry Mayer, 2006. "Policy Coherence for Development: A Background Paper on Foreign Direct Investment," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 253, OECD Publishing.
    2. Jonathan Munemo, 2011. "Foreign aid and export diversification in developing countries," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 339-355.
    3. Peerally, Jahan Ara & Cantwell, John A, 2012. "Changes in Trade Policies and the Heterogeneity of Domestic and Multinational Firms’ Strategic Response: The Effects on Firm-Level Capabilities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 469-485.

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    JEL classification:

    • O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth
    • P - Economic Systems

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