Brenton, Paul

Trade and Regional Integration
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Paul Brenton is Lead Economist in the Trade and Regional Integration Unit of the World Bank. He focuses on analytical and operation work on trade and regional integration. He has led the implementation of World Bank lending operations such as the Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project in DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. He co-authored the joint World Bank-WTO report on The Role of Trade in Ending Poverty and has managed a range of policy-oriented volumes including: De-Fragmenting Africa: Deepening Regional Trade Integration in Goods and Services; Africa can Help Feed Africa; and Carbon Footprints and Food Systems: Do Current Accounting Methodologies Disadvantage Developing Countries? Paul joined the World Bank in 2002, having previously been Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Trade Policy Unit at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. Before that, he lectured in economics at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of East Anglia. A collection of Paul’s work has been published in the volume International Trade, Distribution and Development: Empirical Studies of Trade Policies ( ).
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    Breaking into New Markets, Raising Quality, and Improving Services : Neglected Avenues for Export Diversification
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-09) Brenton, Paul ; Walkenhorst, Peter
    Expanding international trade is an important avenue for growth and development in low-income countries. In addition to increasing the quantity of existing export flows, many countries seek to diversify into production and export activities that provide a higher return to the labor and capital resources employed. Export diversity also reduces a country's vulnerability to pronounced price swings in international markets. This note reviews the findings of a series of papers on the diversification process contained in Newfarmer, Shaw, and Walkenhorst (2009). The analysis suggests that there has been too much focus on simply adding new products to export portfolios, which often underscores the use of industrial policies. While such actions are important, a more comprehensive view of diversification, and hence a more comprehensive trade policy, is needed that improves the quality of existing exports, breaks into new geographic markets, and increases services exports.