Original Research

Trade liberalisation, competitiveness and the real exchange rate (RER): An analysis of developments in South Africa during the 1990s

L Rangasamy, C Harmse
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 6, No 4 | a1511 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v6i4.1511 | © 2003 L Rangasamy, C Harmse | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 December 2003 | Published: 15 November 2003

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L Rangasamy, SA Reserve Bank, South Africa
C Harmse,

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This paper tests whether tariff liberalisation has lead to increased competitiveness in the South African economy. The 46 sectors of the South African economy are classified as exportable, importable, importable and exportable and non-tradable. The impact of trade liberalisation on domestic prices for importables and exportables is then assessed by making use of real exchange rate calculations. It is concluded that while increased globalisation of production processes in South Africa may have improved the competitiveness of the tradable sector, tariff liberalisation played a minimal role in improving competitiveness in the manufacturing sector.


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