AN ASSESSMENT OF BARBADOS’ COMPETITIVENESS WITHIN THE EU MARKET 1992-2006


Created 27 Jul, 2009
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This paper sought to assess Barbados’ competitiveness within the European Union (EU) market in light of its recent signing of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU. Using data at the one-digit SITC level from 1992-2006, indices of revealed comparative advantage (RCA) were calculated. We found that Barbados possesses comparative advantages in Food and Live Animals and Beverages and Tobacco, indicating their competitiveness in these products; the competitiveness of the latter commodities were very stable over time; the country faces the most competition for the EU market from St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent; and there is evidence that additional export opportunities in other commodities (Fuels, Lubricants, etc.; Animal, Vegetable Oils Fats, Wax; Chemicals, Related Products; Manufactured Goods; and Goods not Classed by Kind) may exist for Barbadian producers. Sensitivity tests revealed that the RCA indices are stable, are satisfactory as cardinal and dichotomous measures, but are less useful in ranking commodity groups.

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