Export market selection methods and the identification of realistic export opportunities for South Africa using a decision support model
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Market selection methods, of which a vast number exist, are a critical tool in firms’ and government’s policy, planning and budgeting processes. To this end, the primary aim of this paper is to determine the international market selection method best-suited to the identification of potential export opportunities for South Africa. The secondary aim is to apply the chosen method to South Africa in order to determine realistic export opportunities (country-product combinations). The decision support model chosen for application in this study consists of a screening process of four consecutive filters, through which relevant information on markets (such as country risk indicators, macroeconomic data, imports per product group, etc.) is fed, and which allows the identification realistic export opportunities. Results are reported on the application of this decision support model to the case of South Africa, adapted for an analysis of foreign trade data at the SITC four-digit level up to 2004. In this way, South Africa’s export opportunities in individual countries are listed and categorised according to criteria such as import market characteristics and South Africa’s market share in the various markets.