Spokes in the wheels of trade reform: An African perspective

Nsanzabaganwa M. ; Black P.A. (2002)


African countries like Rwanda would seem to find themselves in a Catch 22 situation: conventional wisdom dictates that trade liberalisation is at least a necessary condition for achieving sustainable economic growth - and yet available evidence seems to suggest the opposite, i.e. that a strong and growing economy is a prerequisite for a successful policy of trade liberalisation. The questions raised here are not really new, though the answers are much less obvious. Should African countries follow the Asian example and slow down the pace at which they are liberalising their domestic economies? Should or can trade liberalisation be accompanied by tight macroeconomic policies and an easing of foreign exchange controls? Or should liberalisation be put on hold until such time as the necessary infrastructure has been put in place and the required institutional reforms have been completed?.

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