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An Assessment of International Competitiveness in CARICOM Services Exports

Troy Lorde (), Francis Brian and Antonio Alleyne ()
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Francis Brian: Department of Economics, The University of the West Indies – Cave Hill Campus, St. Michael BB11000, Barbados

Global Economy Journal, 2015, vol. 15, issue 4, 525-558

Abstract: CARICOM countries have determined that the export of services is the platform for future development of their economies in light of the loss of preferences for their traditional agricultural exports. This paper aims to determine if services can indeed fulfill this objective for the region within the context of international export competitiveness. We addressed the following questions: Which services exports in CARICOM countries are globally competitive; what is the degree of diversification in services exports; and what is the extent of export similarity in services in CARICOM. On a whole, other than Travel Services, and to a much lesser extent, Insurance Services, very few services exports in CARICOM countries are globally competitive. Most notably, Financial Services in the region, a sector touted as one to which several CARICOM countries are looking for future economic growth and development, are not competitive. St. Lucia and Jamaica are the only countries to exhibit advantages in Computer and Information Services and Personal, Cultural, and Recreational Services respectively. Guyana is competitive in Communications Services and Royalties and License Fees and Suriname in Transportation Services, Government Services and Other Business Services. Further, there is little diversification in services exports. Compounding this problem, there is a high degree of services exports similarity. If countries in the region wish to stake their future on the performance of services, regional governments will need to put in place strategies to enhance the sector’s competitiveness.

Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1515/gej-2015-0006

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