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Export Diversification In Low-Income Countries: An International Challenge After Doha

  • Federico Bonaglia

    (OECD Development Centre)

  • Kichiro Fukasaku

    (OECD Development Centre)

This paper discusses major policy issues related to commodity dependence and export diversification in low-income countries. Contrary to some widely-held view, it argues that natural resources are not necessarily a ‘curse’ that condemns low-income countries to underdevelopment but can provide a basis for sustained export-led growth. Natural resource-based sectors have potential for export diversification. The OECD ‘mirror’ trade data indeed suggest that many different routes to diversification exist, including resource-based manufacturing and processing of primary products. However, these opportunities are far from being exploited in many low-income countries. This is because export diversification is typically a slow process, and this process needs to be sustained by an appropriate and coherent strategy, characterised by a combination of vision, co-ordination and management of conflicting interests. Moreover, the analysis of trade support services in two African countries points to a mismatch between private sector’s needs and services actually provided and to a limited institutional development of the trade and investment support network. The lessons for trade capacity building are important for Africa but are also relevant for other low-income countries.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/dev/papers/0307/0307001.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0307001.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 02 Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0307001
Note: Type of Document - Acrobat pdf; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP; pages: 46 ; figures: included
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Paul Cashin & C. John McCDermott, 2002. "The Long-Run Behavior of Commodity Prices: Small Trends and Big Variability," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(2), pages 2.
  2. Blomström, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 2003. "From Natural Resources to High-tech Production: The Evolution of Industrial Competitiveness in Sweden and Finland," CEPR Discussion Papers 3804, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Agosin, M., 1997. "Export Performance in Chile: Lessons for Africa," Research Paper 144, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
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