Synthesis Documents

Increasing Value Addition in Exports, EPS PEAKS 2014

    Methods for info gathering
    The analysis in this piece of research aims to provide answers to the following queries:
    - What kinds of policy initiatives, institutional reforms, and infrastructure developments have helped countries like Vietnam, Botswana, Mauritius, Turkey, Mexico, or other countries that may be good examples of success, in increasing value added component of their exports.
    - What kinds of programmes/support did external development partners/donors provide them in successfully undertaking these initiatives, reforms and developments?

    Summary of results
    In responding to these questions the analysis in this report is set out as follows. The first section briefly explores the emergence of GVCs and the implications for developing countries, particularly in terms of what these countries need to do in order to effectively participate in these GVCs, and provides insights into the key issues or constraints which these countries need to address to build their competitiveness and types of support which external development partners such as DFID can support to assist in this process, thereby providing insights and clues to both questions.

    These issues are explored in further detail through case studies of two countries, Malaysia and Mauritius, two countries which have developed and grown very successfully over the past thirty years using export-led development models, based on moving away from the export of primary commodities into the export of more value- added manufactured, and more recently services orientated, exports1. Each case study highlights the key policy initiatives, institutional reforms and infrastructural developments which allowed these countries to overcome some of the constraints highlighted in previous section and diversify and add value to their exports, as well the assistance they received from external donors in implementing these initiatives.

    It is important to note that external development assistance did not play a hugely significant role in the reforms undertaken by these countries, these countries were selected because of their success in developing their export sectors and to highlight the key lessons which can learned by other countries looking to undertake similar reforms and types of programs and support which donors could support to facilitate this process. Development partners did however provide important support in certain instances, in building institutions in Malaysia and in the key reforms undertaken by Mauritius during the mid-2000s, and these instances are emphasised in the case studies.

    The final section captures the key findings from these two sections, emphasising the kinds of programmes or support that external donors can provide to help developing countries overcome the constraints highlighted in the first section and successfully undertake similar reforms and developments to those of Mauritius and Malaysia.