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Are the Gulf States poised to become Uganda’s No. 1 trading partners? Emerging trends and imperatives

Ayoki, Milton (2019): Are the Gulf States poised to become Uganda’s No. 1 trading partners? Emerging trends and imperatives.

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Abstract

For centuries, Europe has been an important market for products from Sub-Saharan Africa. In the turn of the twenty-first century, however, the boundary of the trade geography dramatically changed, with African products increasingly going to the Gulf region. Using the World Bank WITS database, this paper examines the nature and evolution of the Uganda’s exports to the Gulf States over the last 15 years. Evidence shows high exports concentration within the top-5 products—precious stones and glass, raw materials, animal, vegetable, and consumer goods—with Uganda’s strongest revealed comparative advantage (RCA) being in vegetables. Uganda’s RCA profile has evolved over the years; its export sector strengths changed from hides and skins, and stone and glass, to vegetables and is trending towards animals and food products. This trend partly reflects the dynamic natures of the Gulf markets, suggesting continuous efforts at both government and industry level, to harness productivity and product quality, to stay ahead of completion.

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