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Structural dynamics of Belgium’s foreign trade

Emmanuel Dhyne () and C. Duprez
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C. Duprez: National Bank of Belgium, Research Department

Economic Review, 2013, issue i, 27-38

Abstract: The liberalisation of trade and finance, the reduction in transport costs and progress in the field of information and communication technologies have brought about profound changes in the international environment. As a result, the interpenetration of economies has increased sharply, and this has been reflected in the growing intensification of international trade in goods and services. Against this background, there has been considerable diversification of the type of goods and services traded across national borders and the list of trading partners has lengthened. This process of transformation is mirrored in the importance of the role played by the extensive margin in longterm growth of Belgian exports since 1995. The changing pattern of exports associated with new markets opening up or existing ones being abandoned, to which this extensive margin refers, even seems to have intensified during the recent recession. The growth of Belgium’s exports over the last five years has in fact largely had its roots in the diversification of Belgian exporters’ product portfolios. They seem to have repositioned themselves in market segments with higher technological content, in expanding markets like eastern Europe, China and India so as to safeguard or boost their market share abroad.

Keywords: international trade; extensive and intensive margins; Belgian export structure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F01 F10 F14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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