Annual Forum Papers

Consumer Demand in South Africa

  • Year: 2002
  • Author(s): Swapna Mukhopadhyay

A major argument for trade liberalisation has been that openness increases efficiency, ensures greater market access to goods and employment, and these factors in due course raise growth rates and reduce poverty. However, it is also recognized that distribution of trade benefits among trading partners may be skewed, and that transmission of such benefits as may devolve within the national economies, may be uneven between different income groups. The lines of transmission may be clogged far too often, for far too long. There is a fair amount of evidence now that indiscriminate liberalization without adequate national policies and proper safeguards, can spell disaster for poor communities in developing countries across the world.