Annual Forum Papers

Trade Liberalization and South Africa's Export Performance

  • Year: 2002
  • Author(s): Newman Kwadwo Kusi
  • Countries and Regions: South Africa

This paper examines the impact of trade liberalization on export performance in South Africa during the 1980s and 1990s. It employs a time series regression analysis in which export performance is assumed to be determined by external market conditions, the ability to compete in the world markets, and the extent of diversification of the commodity composition of the country's exports. The results indicate that, external market conditions were the important determinant of export performance across all sectors during the sample period. While competitiveness contributed to the increased performance of manufacturing and mining exports, diversification into new export lines faltered in all sectors, pointing to a greater sensitivity of exports to demand conditions than to supply factors.