The impact of trade facilitation factors on South Africa's exports to a selection of African countries

19 Nov 2014

Economic growth can be enhanced through increased trade among countries, provided the correct institutional structures are in place. A country’s trade is dependent not only on its own trade facilitation reforms but also on those of the trading partners. This paper, using an augmented gravity model, examines trade facilitation factors that impact on South Africa’s exports to other selected African countries. The results of the estimation reveal the following. An improvement in the customs environment within the importing country provides the largest gain in terms of increasing trade flows, followed by the regulatory environment and domestic infrastructure. Furthermore, adjacency and common language impact positively on South African exports, while distance between countries impacts negatively on it. Being part of the Southern African Development Community is also enhancing exports from South Africa, compared with being part of the East African Community.