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Enhancing productive capabilities through intra-regional trade and cross-border investments in Southern Africa

Alexis Habiyaremye ()

Development Southern Africa, 2019, vol. 36, issue 4, 409-425

Abstract: Regional integration is an important factor for enabling knowledge flows between economies and enhancing the capacity of firms within the integrated block to benefit from local knowledge spillovers. This study analyses data on economic interactions between Botswana and its technologically more advanced southern neighbour, South Africa, to examine the extent to which knowledge flows facilitated by geographical proximity translate into fostering technological learning and productivity of manufacturing firms. Industry- and firm-level data on bilateral capital goods trade and investments over the period 1991–2013 are used to assess the technological learning of the manufacturing sector in Botswana. This study also applies the Hunt, J, & Tybout, J (1999. Does Promoting High-Tech Products Spur Development? FEEM Working Paper REG 42. Milan: Fondazione Eni EnricoMattei) technological sophistication framework to analyse the role played by regional trade and investment flows between the economies of South Africa and Botswana in the skills intensification of manufacturing firms. Skills intensity decomposition reveals that Botswana’s manufacturing technical intensity has been positively influenced by the extent of capital goods trade and investment linkages with South African economy.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2018.1504673

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