The Trade Performance of Small States

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This paper analyses the trends in the relative significance of small states in world trade, and looks at the reasons for their marginalisation. It advocates that dependence on primary products and increasing globalisation explain much of the trend in the declining significance of small states, but that there are four other key factors: the structure of the export trade; the unfavourable geographical positions of many small states; their lack of financial resources; the global trade regime under the WTO.



Small States in World Trade: Volume, Growth Rate and Share

Between 1950 and 2000 world exports of merchandise goods grew by more than 100 times, from around US$62 billion to $6,327 billion. Developed countries registered a 108-fold increase over 1950, while developing economies experienced a rise of 112 times. By these standards, the performance of small states was at best modest; their export receipts increased from $0.6 billion to $28.4 billion, i.e. an increase of 47 times over 1950.


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