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A Policy Approach towards Achieving Regional Economic Resilience in Developing Countries: Evidence from the SADC

Ockert Pretorius, Ernst Drewes, Mariske van Aswegen and Gerard Malan
Additional contact information
Ockert Pretorius: Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, Johannesburg 2006, South Africa
Ernst Drewes: Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
Mariske van Aswegen: Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
Gerard Malan: First National Bank, Johannesburg 2017, South Africa

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 5, 1-21

Abstract: External economic shocks such as the global financial crisis (GFC) affect regional economic growth in developing regions through impacting export demand and capital inflows. Resilience to these economic shocks—i.e., the ability to recover from the initial impact and prolonged effects of said shocks—is influenced by the inherent vulnerability of regional economies to their impact. The research objective is to investigate regional economic resilience policy in the context of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the wider perspective of trading blocs among developing countries. Central hereto is undertaking an equilibrium and econometric analysis to identify endogenous and exogenous factors of the regional economy that influence economic resilience. Analysis findings indicate that economic openness, export market dynamics and sectoral composition may influence economic resilience. SADC vulnerability may be attributed to the dependence on foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and exports to higher-income markets, relatively low import tariffs and the comparative importance of tertiary activities to output. A balanced regional policy approach is required: one focused on industrialization, while incorporating elements to support economic resilience. The latter includes increased intra-regional trade anchored in the development of regional supply and value chains which support primary sector activities, and capacitated supranational institutions to oversee regional integration initiatives.

Keywords: economic resilience; regional policy; regional integration; industrialization; SADC development policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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