News Highlights

Seminar by Dr.P.L.Beena

Pattern of International Trade through Kerala under the WTO regime

A seminar on ‘Pattern of International Trade through Kerala under the WTO Regime,’ was presented by Dr PL Beena, Associate Professor, CDS  and Mr George Paily, PhD Scholar, CDS at the Joan Robinson Hall on Friday, 17 August 2018.

Abstract: The pattern of economic development is associated with structural changes in exports and expansion of export diversification worldwide. In a globally competitive scenario, countries completely relying on the export of primary and low technology products will face constraints in development process in period of time, due to the negative trends in secular terms of trade, uncertainty arising from price variability and the fluctuating export earnings (Prebisch, 1964; Singer, 1975). Although Kerala is historically known for trading primary goods, it is argued that the trade in services such as IT, business services and medical tourism has gained momentum only gradually, especially after liberalisation. Though entry into the WTO agreements by India with ASEAN during 2009 and 2010 on Trade in Goods (TIG) and Trade in Services and Investments has received critique, it is expected to have inter-sectoral trade-offs. It is in this context that this paper intends to analyse i) the growth pattern of merchandise exports and imports through Kerala ports; ii) the nature and composition of exports of principal commodities through Kerala ports; iii) the shift in the structure and direction of exports through Kerala Ports and iv) the trade pattern of organized manufacturing units in Kerala. The last section sums up the major findings of the study and highlights the scope for further research while drawing some policy suggestions. The analysis is based on the port-specific data for the period 2001 to 2017 and the organized manufacturing sector has been analysed on the basis of the 5-digit unit level data extracted from ASI. Though some of the products are exported through the ports of neighbouring states, the port-specific trade data from Kerala is expected to reflect the direction of trade and production structure of Kerala.
This is part of the project report submitted to CDS in April 2018 which was funded by Government of Kerala.