unctad.org | South–South Trade Monitor No. 2 now available
South–South Trade Monitor No. 2 now available
11 July 2013

UNCTAD South–South Trade Monitor No. 2 reports on general trends with regard to the magnitude and dynamics of South–South exports, and their sectoral composition. South–South merchandise exports in 2011 reached US$4 trillion, or a quarter of the world’s exports. In the past two decades, all developing regions have significantly increased their exports to the South. ​



Manufactures have always featured prominently in South-South exports, however the contents of exported manufactures have shifted from low-skill to higher-skill products, particularly over the last decade.

The Monitor also focuses on how much of intraregional trade is of an intra-industry nature within South-South regional trade agreements (RTAs). Intra-industry trade can be used as a proxy to measure the degree of economic integration within a region.

The South-South RTAs studied - ASEAN, Mercosur, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) - show different degrees of intra-industry trade within each region. In all of these RTAs, however, a disaggregated view reveals that increases in intra-industry trade are still very much a phenomenon limited to trade between the more developed members of a given RTA.

In ASEAN, the increase in intra-industry trade was particularly clear in the manufacturing sector and was very much linked to the evolving regional production-sharing schemes. Mercosur revealed the highest degree of intra-industry trade among all three RTAs, but it was a phenomenon specific to the bilateral trade between Argentina and Brazil. In SAARC, some degree of intra-industry trade was detected in trade between Bangladesh and India, but at a relatively low level and only in some sectors, such as textiles and clothing.



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