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International Trade and Economic Diversification: Patterns and Policies in the Transition Economies




This report counter-poses the patterns of trade specialization and trade diversification of two groups of economies the new member states of the European Union, NMS, and the follower countries of the Soviet Union, the NIS (Newly Independent States). It is shown that the NIS export structures are characterized by an exceptionally high degree of concentration and a very strong specialization in trade with the EU (towards fuel, metals, and - for a sub-group of NIS economies - labour-intensive commodities). The NMS economies show a much more diversified export structure, there is more evidence for upgrading. There is, furthermore, a discussion of differences of trade structures with respect to EU markets, intra-NIS trade and trade with the Rest of the World. We discuss reasons for the differences in the degree of export concentration and patterns of trade specialization between the two groups of economies, particularly the link to institutional and reform processes, as well as potential policy options for NIS economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Landesmann, 2008. "International Trade and Economic Diversification: Patterns and Policies in the Transition Economies," wiiw Research Reports 350, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  • Handle: RePEc:wii:rpaper:rr:350

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    Cited by:

    1. Gabor Hunya & Michael Landesmann & Leon Podkaminer, 2009. "Monthly Report No. 2/2009," wiiw Monthly Reports 2009-02, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.

    More about this item


    trade specialization; trade diversification; NIS economies; New Member States;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • P23 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population
    • P27 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Performance and Prospects
    • P33 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - International Trade, Finance, Investment, Relations, and Aid

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