Trade liberalisation has a significant impact on firm-market dynamics in a regional context. The purpose of this paper is to use an industrial organisation framework, focusing on the analytical units, the firm and the market, to assess the impact of trade liberalisation within the Southern African region, SADC. It is specifically the firm-level responses to various policies that will provide insight into changes in national industrial configurations, regional patterns of industrialisation and the potential for sustainable supply chain development in Southern Africa.
The purpose of intra-regional trade liberalisation is to facilitate trade within a regional economic space, and through enhanced trade opportunities to elicit firm-level decisions to expand productive capacity. Such expansion of productive capacity, through various modalities of investment, can have important implications for the development of markets and market processes, resulting in robust, sustainable regional development.