IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

South Africa's Trade and Growth


  • Przemyslaw Kowalski


  • Ralph Lattimore
  • Novella Bottini


This paper examines key trade and trade related issues facing South Africa. It describes South Africa‘s re-entry into the global trade architecture and its economic growth in the context of its trade performance, as well as the composition and performance of South African exports at the product and sector level in the period from the early 1990s to 2006. The study also assesses South Africa‘s comparative trade performance based on a gravity model of international trade and discusses some key historical and recent trade policy developments. Finally, the study provides an econometric assessment of the impact of South Africa‘s trade liberalisation during the period from 1988 to 2003 on labour and total factor productivity across its industrial sectors. It shows that while South African trade performance has been good in recent years there is significant room to liberalise further as an adjunct to labour market reforms. Further trade policy liberalisation would bring about important equity and efficiency gains. Multilateral trade liberalisation has the potential to maximise the gains and ease the transition to freer trade for South Africa but unilateral liberalisation also deserves consideration.

Suggested Citation

  • Przemyslaw Kowalski & Ralph Lattimore & Novella Bottini, 2009. "South Africa's Trade and Growth," OECD Trade Policy Papers 91, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:traaab:91-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Adrino Mazenda, 2016. "The Effect of BRICS Trade Relations on South Africa’s Growth," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2016/11, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.

    More about this item


    dynamic gains from trade; gravity model; productivity; regional integration; revealed comparative advantage; South Africa; tariffs; trade; trade network; trade performance;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:traaab:91-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.