Trade and agroindustrialization in developing countries: trends and policy impacts

There have been important changes in the international trade of processed and high-value added food products from developing countries over the past several decades. One of them has been the emergence of oilseeds and fruits and vegetables, replacing traditional products such as sugar, coffee, and cocoa as the main exports from developing countries. Another trend has been the collapse of African agroindustrial exports and the increase of exports from Asia. The paper highlights key trends, and explores possible reasons for the trends, focusing on trade policies in less-developed countries (LDCs) and developed countries (DCs). The paper argues that national trade policies and other economic policies appear to have been relatively supportive of agroindustrial production and exports in Asia. In contrast, policies have had more mixed effects in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and seem to have been just one component in a larger array of forces inhibiting economic development in Africa. The performance of agroindustrial production and exports from LDCs may be now more dependent than ever on the completion of reforms in the agricultural trade policies of DCs. For Africa, however, a more supportive international environment and better macroeconomic and trade policies will not be enough to ensure a thriving agroindustrial sector within a broader process of economic development until military confrontations stop. © 2000 Elsevier Science B. V. All rights reserved.

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Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, 23, 3
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