Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Gerard Brady, Eleanor Doyle and Lisa Noonan
15th TCI Annual Global Conference: Constructing Place-based Competitiveness in Times of Global Change
Trade Sophistication Indicators of Development Paths
Basque Country, Spain
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields

Motivated by the important role of trade in driving and reflecting economic transformation, we focus on the export structure of two economies, Ireland and one of its trading partners, from the perspective of the sophistication of both economies’ exports i.e. the extent to which high-value products characterise each country’s export profile.  The Product Space method is used as the basis of our comparison of the economies of Ireland and Switzerland in terms of their sectors, activities and structural transformation of the economies.  The method focuses attention on the estimated density of the Product Space as evident in patterns of revealed comparative advantage in goods exports.  Heterogeneity evident in Product Space maps points to the potential for upgrading the economies’ productive capacity and productive structures through increasing the sophistication of their exports.  The route towards transformation of productive capacity depends on available pathways in specific Product Spaces to nearby goods of higher value. The paper, therefore, reports on export performance, trade policy and geographical concentration of exports. The Chemicals and related goods sector, as a significant export sector for both economies, is examined in more detail to investigate its further export potential.  The Product Space approach is shown to allow both business practitioners and policy makers a context within which to envisage possible development pathways.