Integración regional : ¿el crecimiento económico a través de la diversificación de exportaciones?
Regional integration is under discussion nowadays. In 1991, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay created the MERCOSUR regional bloc, which was fully consolidated in 1995. The stabilization problems suffered by the region since 1999, asymmetry problems inside the bloc, the growth of commodities’ international prices and the country access to new markets, led Uruguay to re-discuss its international insertion, strengthening the idea of open regionalism. Uruguayan exports are little diversified, historically based on agricultural and basic products. This implied a poor export performance, concentrated in few products (commodities) with low technology and low-skilled labor. It also implied low dynamism and high volatility of exports income. Nevertheless, Uruguayan exports to the region (mainly Argentina and Brazil) have different characteristics from the ones destined to the rest of the world, especially, the high participation of manufactured exports without agricultural inputs. This paper analyses the determinants of Uruguayan manufactured exports without agricultural inputs to Argentina and Brazil (where they are principally destined). This was studied through a Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) including these exports to both countries, external demand and bilateral real exchange rates. The empirical analysis suggests that the external demand is the only determinant of this type of exports to the region, according to this model. This result implies that these exports depend only on Argentina and Brazil growth. Competitiveness seems not to be an important determinant for the performance of these exports to our neighbors.
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