Working Paper

Competitiveness of ACP Sugar Exports in the Global Market

We employ the Normalized Revealed Comparative Advantage (NRCA) index on data for the period 1961-2013 to examine the competitiveness of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in the global sugar market. Results indicate that the majority of the ACP states had comparative advantage in the global sugar market during the period 1961-2013. However, most of these countries also experienced declining comparative advantage, except for a few African countries that emerged from initial states of extreme comparative disadvantage to marginal comparative (dis)advantage. This occurred despite the fact that these countries enjoyed tariff free access to the highly protected EU market. Mauritius, followed by Fiji, Guyana and Jamaica, recorded the strongest comparative
advantage among the ACP countries. However, it recorded weaker comparative advantage than the leading comparator non-ACP countries of Australia, Brazil and Thailand, which experienced considerable increases in comparative advantage over the considered period. Overall, there has been convergence in comparative advantage among ACP states since the signing of the Lomé convention in 1975.