Tuesday, July 07, 2009


World Economic Forum recently published its annual report on enabling trade around the world (link).

The report estimated broader openness to trade after taking all indicators, regulatory and administrative factors into account. Notably, among these are the ease of market access, customs administration, difficulty of export and import procedures, quality of transport infrastructure, the availibility of transport services and the use of ICT. The report found a positive and moderate correlation between the GDP per capita and enabling trade index. Thus, it implies that countries with higher GDP per capita, on average, tend to be more trade-friendly.

There are, of course, some other factors, aside from GDP per capita, that affect broader openness to trade. The research by the WEF found that the customs regulations, quality of regulatory and business environment and the quality of transport infrastructure and services significantly explain country's openness to trade flows fairly well.

Countries with the highest Enabling Trade Index (ETI) are Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden, followed by Canada, Norway, Finland, Austria and the Netherlands. In spite of robust growth of trade volume before the economic crisis, Russia ranks 109th out of 121 countries in the report, accompanied by countries such as Syria and Nepal. This suggests that Russia's growth of trade volume before the crisis can be assigned to its factor-driven economic growth. WEF's report reveals that Russia's score poorly in terms of border administration, market access and the business environment while performing modestly in terms of quality of transport infrastructure. Index of Economic Freedom noted that Russia's trade freedom is inhibited by the inefficient arbitrary customs administration. The latter restrains trade and is a popular protectionist policy measure. The least trade-friendly countries, according to the report, are: Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

1 comment:

Asia Economics said...

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