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Abstract

The paper aims to analyse the comparative advantage patterns of agriculture in the Commonwealth of Independent States. It is relatively understudied in the literature, especially in Central Asia. Agriculture still plays an important role in the region but in a different way than before. Despite that, the majority of the CIS countries are net food importers. Based on the revealed comparative advantage (RCA) index, country-level analysis shows that Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia have the highest Balassa indices in the region, and Belarus, Ukraine and Azerbaijan are also having some comparative advantage. Product level analysis pointed out that the region’s major agricultural export products groups are cereals. It is important to emphasise that the top five product groups have high, between 3.0-4.4, RCA values. It implies that the regional trade structure is consistent with comparative advantages. However, stability and duration tests show that these are not persistent, since survival chances fell appreciably from 2000-2003 to 2012-2015.

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