Trade patterns and trade clusters: China, India, Brazil and South Africa in the global trading
The present paper analyzes the evolution of the specialization and trade patterns of China, India, Brazil and South Africa (CIBS) and other WTO countries. It aims to provide an answer to the following questions: is there a tendency to a multi-polarization of trade patterns? If so, is CIBS’ rise leading to new clusters with or among CIBS or other emerging countries? Also, ultimately, does this multi-polarization have a regional element to it? The paper deals with the above questions by presenting: i) a world map of trade clusters involving WTO countries and CIBS; ii) a comparison of the above clusters and their key characteristics in the last decade; and iii) the key drivers of clusters’ trends. The novelty of this study is twofold: first, it adopts a more comprehensive dataset for a wide range of countries and trade dimensions; second, it provides an evolutionary look at the clusters’ trends. The empirical results do not show neither a remarkable phenomenon of multi-polarization, nor evidence of CIBS as a significant separate group and/or regional agglomeration
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