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Are the Gulf States poised to become Uganda’s No. 1 trading partners? Emerging trends and imperatives


  • Ayoki, Milton


For centuries, Europe has been an important market for products from Sub-Saharan Africa. In the turn of the twenty-first century, however, the boundary of the trade geography dramatically changed, with African products increasingly going to the Gulf region. Using the World Bank WITS database, this paper examines the nature and evolution of the Uganda’s exports to the Gulf States over the last 15 years. Evidence shows high exports concentration within the top-5 products—precious stones and glass, raw materials, animal, vegetable, and consumer goods—with Uganda’s strongest revealed comparative advantage (RCA) being in vegetables. Uganda’s RCA profile has evolved over the years; its export sector strengths changed from hides and skins, and stone and glass, to vegetables and is trending towards animals and food products. This trend partly reflects the dynamic natures of the Gulf markets, suggesting continuous efforts at both government and industry level, to harness productivity and product quality, to stay ahead of completion.

Suggested Citation

  • Ayoki, Milton, 2019. "Are the Gulf States poised to become Uganda’s No. 1 trading partners? Emerging trends and imperatives," MPRA Paper 93646, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:93646

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Khadan, Jeetendra & Hosein, Roger, 2013. "New Empirical Insights into the “Natural Trading Partner” Hypothesis for CARICOM Countries," MPRA Paper 50493, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ayoki, Milton, 2015. "The GATS and regional approaches to services trade and investment liberalisation," MPRA Paper 91118, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2016.
    3. Schiff, Maurice, 2001. "Will the Real “Natural Trading Partner” Please Stand Up?," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 16, pages 245-261.
    4. Ayoki, Milton, 2018. "Recent Trends in Africa’s Services Trade," MPRA Paper 86430, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Panagariya, Arvind, 1996. "The Theory of Preferential Trade Agreements: Historical Evolution and Current Trends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 82-87, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ayoki, Milton, 2020. "The employment effects of trade policy reform in Myanmar," MPRA Paper 98090, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item


    Bilateral trade; revealed comparative advantage; Uganda; Gulf States; Bahrain; Iraq; Kuwait; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; the United Arab Emirates (UAE);
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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