Trade and Regional Integration
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Fields of Specialization
INTERNATIONAL TRADE, CLIMATE CHANGE, CARBON ACCOUNTING, TRADE POLICY
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 (https://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/9172 ).
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
The Initial and Potential Impact of Preferential Access to the U.S. Market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act(World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2004-04) Brenton, Paul ; Ikezuki, TakakoThe ability to export clothing products under preferences with liberal rules of origin is the key factor currently determining whether the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has a significant impact on non-oil exporting African countries. At present only a small number of countries receive substantial benefits and least developed countries that do not receive preferences for clothing have yet to see an impact of AGOA on their overall exports. However, the benefits from exporting clothing under AGOA appear fragile in the face of the removal of quotas in the United States on major suppliers, such as China, at the end of 2004, and the planned removal of the liberal rules of origin that allow for the global sourcing of fabrics from least-cost locations. To entrench and enhance the benefits of AGOA, it is important that the scheme be extended over a much longer period, if not made permanent, and the special liberal rules of origin for clothing products be extended considerably beyond 2004. The effective inclusion of textile products and a number of high-duty agricultural products would also help to broaden the range of opportunities for African exporters in the U.S. market. Nevertheless it is important that the opportunities created by AGOA are integrated into a broader framework for promoting trade and that it be recognized that if the opportunities offered by more open trade are to be exploited, there must be concerted efforts to improve the environment for investment countries covered by AGOA.
Integrating the Least Developed Countries into the World Trading System : The Current Impact of EU Preferences under Everything but Arms(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-04) Brenton, PaulTrade preferences are a key element in industrial countries' efforts to assist the integration of least developed countries (LDCs) into the world economy. Brenton provides an initial evaluation of the impact of the European Union's recently introduced "Everything but Arms" (EBA) initiative on the products currently exported by the LDCs. He shows that the changes introduced by the EBA initiative in 2001 are relatively minor for currently exported products, primarily because over 99 percent of EU imports from the LDCs are in products which the EU had already liberalized, and the complete removal of barriers to the key remaining products-rice, sugar, and bananas-has been delayed. Brenton looks at the role EU preferences to LDCs in general have been playing and could play in assisting the integration of the LDCs. He shows that there is considerable variation across countries in the potential impact that EU preferences can have given current export structures. There is a group of LDCs for whom EU trade preferences on existing exports are not significant since these exports are mainly of products where the most-favored-nation duty is zero. Export diversification is the key issue for these countries. For other LDCs, EU preferences have the potential to provide a more substantial impact on trade. However, the author shows that only 50 percent of EU imports from non-ACP (Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific) LDCs which are eligible actually request preferential access to the EU. The prime suspect for this low level of use are the rules of origin, both the restrictiveness of the requirements on sufficient processing and the costs and difficulties of providing the necessary documentation. More simple rules of origin are likely to enhance the impact of EU trade preferences in terms of improving market access and in stimulating diversification toward a broader range of exports.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-08) Brenton, Paul ; Newfarmer, RichardThis paper examines the export performance of 99 countries over 1995-2004 to understand the relative roles of export growth through "discovery" of new products and growth during post-discovery phases of the export product cycle -- acceleration and maturation -- in existing markets and expansion into new geographic markets. The authors find that expanding existing products in existing markets (growth at the intensive margin) has greater weight in export growth than diversification into new products and new geographic markets (growth at the extensive margin). Moreover, growth into new geographic markets appears to be more important than discovery of new export products in explaining export growth. Of particular importance is whether an exporting country succeeds in reaching more national markets that are already importing the product it makes. This geographic index of market penetration is a powerful explanatory variable of export performance. This suggests that governments should not focus solely or even primarily on the discovery channel, but also seek to identify and address market failures that are constraining exporters in subsequent phases of the export cycle.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-09) Brenton, Paul ; Hoppe, MombertCan the clothing sector be a driver of export diversification and growth for today's low-income countries as it was in the past for countries that have graduated into middle income? This paper assesses this issue taking into account key changes to the market for clothing: the emergence of India and especially China as exporting countries; the rise of global production chains; the removal of quotas from the global trading regime but the continued presence of high tariffs and substantial trade preferences; the increasing importance of large buyers in developed countries and their concerns regarding risk and reputation; and the increasing importance of time in defining sourcing decisions. To assess the importance of the factors shaping the global clothing market, the authors estimate a gravity model to explain jointly the propensity to export clothing and the magnitude of exports from developing countries to the E U and US markets. This analysis identifies the quality of governance as an important determinant of sourcing decisions and that there appears to be a general bias against sourcing apparel from African countries, which is only partially overcome by trade preferences.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-05) Brenton, Paul ; Hoppe, Mombert ; Newfarmer, RichardTrade can be a key driver of growth for African countries, as it has been for those countries, particularly in East Asia, that have experienced high and sustained rates of growth. Economic partnership agreements with the European Union could be instrumental in a competitiveness framework, but to do so they would have to be designed carefully in a way that supports integration into the global economy and is consistent with national development strategies. Interim agreements have focused on reciprocal tariff removal and less restrictive rules of origin. To be fully effective, economic partnership agreements will have to address constraints to regional integration, including both tariff and non-tariff barriers; improve trade facilitation; and define appropriate most favored nation services liberalization. At the same time, African countries will need to reduce external tariff peak barriers on a most favored nation basis to ensure that when preferences for the European Union are implemented after transitional periods, they do not lead to substantial losses from trade diversion. This entails an ambitious agenda of policy reform that must be backed up by development assistance in the form of "aid for trade."
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-08) Brenton, Paul ; Hoppe, MombertThe African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the flagship of U.S. commercial and development policy with Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper looks at the impact of the trade preferences that are the central element of AGOA on African countries' exports to the U.S. and puts them in the perspective of the development of the region. The paper finds that, while stimulating export diversification in a few countries, AGOA has fallen short of the potential impetus that preferences could otherwise provide African exporters. The impact of AGOA would be enhanced if preferences were extended to all products. This means removing tariff barriers to a range of agricultural products and to textiles and a number of other manufactured goods. There also needs to be a fundamental change in approach to the rules of origin. Given the stage of development and economic size of Sub-Saharan Africa, nonrestrictive rules of origin are crucial. For all countries in Africa, those that have and those that have not benefited from preferences, there are enormous infrastructure weaknesses and often extremely poor policy environments that raise trade costs and push African producers further away from international markets. Effective trade preferences (those with nonrestrictive rules of origin) can provide a limited window of opportunity to exports while these key barriers to trade are addressed. But dealing with the barriers is the priority.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012-07-02) Brenton, Paul ; Cadot, Olivier ; Pierola, Martha DenisseThis report provides tentative leads toward such policy prescriptions, based on an overview of the empirical evidence. Chapter one sets the stage by putting Africa's export-survival performance into perspective and proposing a framework that will guide the interpretation of empirical evidence throughout the report. Chapter two covers country-level determinants of export sustainability at origin and destination, including the exporting country's business environment. Chapter three explores some of the firm-level evidence on what drives export sustainability, including uncertainty, incomplete contracts, learning, and networks. Finally, chapter four offers tentative policy implications. The main conclusions from this overview of the causes of Africa's low export sustainability should be taken with caution both because of the complexity of the issue and because of the very fragmentary evidence on which the overview is based. The author should be more cautious in drawing policy implications, as hasty policy prescriptions are the most common trap into which reports of this kind can fall. A first, solid conclusion is that the author needs substantial additional work on the nature and causes of low export survival rates in developing countries to determine the path to high export sustainability.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-12) Diop, Ndiame ; Brenton, Paul ; Asarkaya, YakupFor Rwanda, one of the poorest countries in the world, trade offers the most effective route for substantial poverty reduction. But the poor in Rwanda, most of whom are subsistence farmers in rural areas, are currently disconnected from markets and commercial activities by extremely high transport costs and by severe constraints on their ability to shift out of subsistence farming. The constraints include lack of access to credit and lack of access to information on the skills and techniques required to produce commercial crops. The paper is based on information from the household survey and a recent diagnostic study of constraints to trade in Rwanda. It provides a number of indicative simulations that show the potential for substantial reductions in poverty from initiatives that reduce trade costs, enhance the quality of exportable goods, and facilitate movement out of subsistence into commercial activities.
Breaking into New Markets, Raising Quality, and Improving Services : Neglected Avenues for Export Diversification(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-09) Brenton, Paul ; Walkenhorst, PeterExpanding 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.