One of the critical issues facing the South African economy is the extent to which trade liberalisation is accompanied by increasing exports. Exports however, are not just dependent on reductions in tariff rates but on a range of other factors. In sum, a successful trade liberalisation program will depend heavily on how competitive sectors are in the economy. Hence, international competitiveness is a key concern to policy makers. However, little quantitative analysis of the many facets of this concept is currently undertaken in government or amongst the research community for that matter.
This workshop sought to explore some of the measures of competitiveness in a quantitative way so that policy analysts can start thinking about how best to track the performance of a particular South African industry. The workshop was conducted over two days.