Trade policy reform and the competitive response in Kwazulu Natal Province, South Africa

Kaplinsky, Raphael and Morris, Mike (1999). Trade policy reform and the competitive response in Kwazulu Natal Province, South Africa. World Development, 27(4) pp. 717–737.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0305-750X(99)00024-8

Abstract

Like many other formerly protected economies, the liberalization of the external trade regime has placed new competitive pressures on South African enterprises. Detailed research in over 130 enterprises in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province of South Africa shows the extent to which firms have been able to respond to these new competitive pressures and particularly on their ability to “hear” and to meet more demanding customers' requirements. Inevitably the response has been varied, but there are reasons to be concerned that the pace of adjustment has been suboptimal. This reflects imperfections in information markets, the challenges poses by the need for new social relations in production, and the limited implementation of new “supply-sided” policies designed to compensate firms for the reduction in protective barriers.

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