Foreign Trade Reforms and Development Strategy by Jean-Marc Fontaine

By Jean-Marc Fontaine

A good rebuttal to the orthodox view that constructing international locations should still liberalise their exchange regulations. The members reflect on either the theoretical framework and the empirical proof.

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3, p. 61. Notes: *Data for 1986. **For the first three indicators a ‘strong reform programme’ is defined by the existence of a World Bank policy-based lending programme in that country. characterized, in the World Bank’s view, by ‘weak or no reform programmes’, the real effective exchange rate has declined since 1980, on-farm prices for agricultural exports have risen and real interest rates have risen. As a broad generalization, policy adjustment has gone furthest in respect of those policy instruments that can be manipulated within the central bank or the ministry of finance without any need for legislative sanction or complex institutional planning, and to which political barriers are therefore smallest—in other words, public expenditure and the exchange rate.

Third, weak macroeconomic performance and conflicts between policy reform and stabilization goals have sometimes slowed (Morocco, the Philippines, Malawi, Kenya) or reversed (Argentina, Zambia) trade liberalization. Fourth, lags in supply response to policy reform have, by reducing the apparent benefits, limited the enthusiasm for reform, especially in the low-income countries of sub-Saharan Africa. 2GDP and export growth for developing countries, 1965–88 Source: Based on World Bank data GDP=average GDP growth rate during 1965–88 X=average growth rate of exports of goods and nonfactor services during 1965–88 LL=fitted line based on least square regression Performance outcomes If countries are to compete in a rapidly modernizing international economy, they need to increase their efficiency, become flexible in their production structures, and adapt to changing global demands.

Real exchange rate depreciation and commercial policy reforms are linked to such improved performance. Both additional financing and policy reforms connected with adjustment lending have contributed to relative improvements in the 1980s. After controlling for some other factors, trade adjustment lending is associated with a mild improvement in GDP, exports, and other variables. This improvement is stronger and statistically more significant among early and intensive loan recipients (those receiving three or more FOREIGN TRADE REFORMS AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 41 adjustment loans with a substantial trade component).

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