The identification of export opportunities for South African products with special reference to Africa
Steenkamp, Ermie Annelies
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This thesis identifies realistic export opportunities for South African products in the rest of the world and specifically in the rest of the African continent. The method chosen to achieve this goal is the Decision Support Model (DSM) developed by Cuyvers et al (1995) and Cuyvers (1997) that was specifically designed to assist export promotion institutions in planning and assessing their export promotion activities. This model is positioned into the international market selection literature and four main refinements to the DSM methodology are introduced to address the limitations of the model and to make it more applicable for the South African international trade conditions. The refined model is then applied to identify product–country combinations with the largest export potential for South Africa in the rest of the world and in the rest of the African continent specifically. The refinements to the DSM filtering process introduced in this study contribute to the effective use and application of the DSM results by South African exporters and more focused export promotion activities by South African export promotion organisations. The four refinements include (i) running the DSM on a HS 6–digit level, (ii) introducing a method to calculate the potential export value of each identified export opportunity in order to prioritise between the product–country combinations identified as realistic export opportunities, (iii) taking the production capacity of South Africa into consideration in order to identify export opportunities that can be pursued immediately due to the country's existing revealed comparative advantage in the production and exportation of these products and (iv) developing a market accessibility index per product–country combination from a South African point of view on a HS 6–digit level in order to make filter 3.2 (barriers to trade) of the DSM applicable for South African conditions. The results of the application of the refined DSM to identify export opportunities for South Africa in the rest of the world include the top 50 worldwide export opportunities. There are 17 countries in which the top 50 worldwide product–country combinations identified as export opportunities for South Africa are located. These include the United States, Japan, India, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Singapore, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Italy and Brazil. Mineral products (coal, copper and aviation spirit); transportation products (1500 - 3000 cc automobile engines and diesel powered trucks); stone/glass (diamonds, platinum and rhodium) and metals (aluminium, iron/steel structures, nickel) are the product classifications within the top 50 worldwide product–country combinations that hold the largest worldwide export potential for South Africa. In terms of the product–country combinations with the highest export potential for South Africa in the rest of the African continent, there are 18 countries in which the top 50 product–country combinations for South Africa in the rest of the African continent are located. These include Nigeria, Namibia, Ghana, Morocco, Egypt, Zambia, Tunisia, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mauritius, Tanzania, Senegal, Mozambique, Algeria, Malawi and Cote d'Ivoire. The products with the highest potential export values in the top 50 product–country combinations for South Africa in Africa include mineral products (aviation spirit, iron ore, sulphur and coal) and transportation products (1500 - 3000 cc automobile engines and diesel powered trucks weighing less than 5 tons).