What are the major determinants of export performance?
Does the importance of these determinants vary with export performance itself?
Using quantile regression techniques this study investigates the contribution towards the performance of the external sector of linkages to international markets relative to internal supply-side conditions. Results indicate that, while trade barriers continue to be of concern, poor supply-side conditions have often been the more important constraint on export performance in various regions, in particular in Africa and the Middle East, despite a generalized deepening of international trade integration. Beside strong linkages to international markets, good transport infrastructures, macroeconomic soundness and good quality institutions appear to be major determinants in the development process of the external sector.