South-South export rebounded faster than world trade after the 2008 crisis

26 June 2012

South-South trade has grown dramatically in the past decade. It claims about a quarter of the value of world trade, says UNCTAD´s new South-South Trade Monitor.

UNCTAD has launched the South-South Trade Monitor, an online publication to be issued twice a year that reports the growth trend in South-South trade - trade among developing countries.

The inaugural issue covers: South-South exports by region; main export sectors; and the evolution of factor intensity of exports by destination.

South-South trade is a case of regional specialization: Asia exports manufactures and Africa and the Americas (i.e. Latin America and the Caribbean) export commodities to Asia.

However, in trade within a region, manufactures claim the highest share both in Africa and Latin America. Another notable point is that, in the decade from 2001 to 2010, these two regions have substantially shifted the destinations of their manufacture exports from the North to the South. Africa's exports of manufactures to the South increased from 33% (2001) to 45% (2010) of its total manufacture exports. The Americas show an even greater shift, from 19% (2001) to 33% (2010).

A breakdown of South-South manufacture exports reveals that those traded among the South are of higher skill intensity than those exported to the North (i.e. developed countries), which indicates that South-South trade can provide a ground for increasing export value added.

South-South Trade Monitor will be released every 6 months.