Does COMESA Have Export Potential to Emerging Economies?

Kenya - 31 May 2020

Trade topics: Regional Integration

By the virtue of their size, Emerging Market Economies (EMEs) present trade opportunities for both developed and developing countries. To benefit from such opportunities, countries need to identify the areas where they have comparative advantage. This paper analyses the export potential of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member countries to selected emerging market economies (EMEs) including Brazil, Russia, India, China, Turkey, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa and Nigeria. The aim is to investigate if COMESA member countries are competitive in the EMEs and identify the specific products which the region has a revealed comparative advantage (RCA) in specific EME market. Using RCA method, the study finds that COMESA countries have RCA in at least 200 products (about 4 percent) of the total 5,134 products they export to the selected emerging markets. Export of these products also account for a small market share in the emerging markets. COMESA countries therefore have a large export potential in these markets which remains unexploited. Export potential is larger in Russia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and UAE, respectively. Textiles and textile products, mineral products, base metal and articles of base metal, live animals and vegetable products have the largest export potential in EMEs.