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Trade Competitiveness and Diversification

Competitiveness, through employment generation, is central to harnessing private sector growth for sustainable poverty reduction and, ultimately, wealth creation. Firms, especially small- and medium-sized ones, in all sectors serving export and domestic markets, cannot exploit opportunities if they are burdened by costs outside of their control that make them uncompetitive. Increasing the number and value of products produced, the number of markets served, and the survival rate of firms is conditional on lowering such costs.

Activities in this area center on the economy-wide incentive framework created by prevailing policies and regulations, including:

  • Restrictions on imports and foreign direct investment;
  • Trade in Services as a new means to access international best practices and expand exports;
  • The design and implementation of specific actions to address market and information failures.

The emphasis remains on the creation of enabling policy environments that are conducive to the emergence of successful firms in the production of goods and services for both export and domestic markets.


CALL FOR PAPERS: National Competitiveness, Scalability of International Value Chains and Location of Production 

Conference organizers welcome the submission of papers identifying changing features of Global Value Chains (GVCs)  


Compnet Research Network, European Central Bank and Eurosystem

Peterson Institute for International Economics

International Trade Department, World Bank 



Recent Publications

TCD Toolit ImageFeatured Publication
Trade Competitiveness Diagnostic Toolkit (
free download), March 2012  

The TCD Toolkit facilitates a systematic assessment of a country’s position, performance, and capabilities in export markets. It combines quantitative analysis with qualitative techniques, including in-country interviews with key stakeholders across trade value chains.


Innocent bystanders : how foreign uncertainty shocks harm exporters

Gravity Chains: Estimating Bilateral Trade Flows When Parts and Components Trade is Important


The Mysterious Case of Chilean Service Exports

Exporting is easy; the challenge is making it sustainable


Pathways Cover SmallPathways to African Export Sustainability



Does What you export matter? small

Does What You Export Matter? In Search of Empirical Evidence for Industrial Policies 






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