Trade policy options for export diversification: The case of Mali, Chad, Niger, and Guinea

Nihal Pitigala, Jose Lopez-Calix

Article ID: 1200
Vol 4, Issue 2, 2021, Article identifier:261–286

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The landlocked and fragile countries’ ability to create a sustainable path to economic growth and poverty reduction is inextricably linked to their export diversification potential, itself related to their connectivity within themselves, in the region, and other external markets. Mali, Chad, and Niger are first challenged by their geography—their landlocked nature with their vast and thinly populated space serves to isolate the most vulnerable communities from external and internal markets. Adding to these geographic disadvantages non-landlocked is incentive environment—defined by high and variable customs common external tariff regimes resulting from multiple overlapping regional trade arrangements—places a wedge between domestic and international prices, provides a disincentive to exports in favor of non-tradable and domestic-oriented sectors. By bringing greater coherence and convergence between the many common external tariff regimes in operation and the rationalization of their structures, and improving connectivity within and between markets, Mali, Chad, Niger, and Guinea can better promote the reallocation of resources toward tradable goods and services, putting the countries on a path toward greater economic inclusion and sustainable growth.


trade policy; empirical studies on trade; economic integration; diversification

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