A Comparative Study for Competitiveness of Dates from the GCC countries in the World Market
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In the GCC countries, date-palm sector is strategically important for the economic, social and environmental development. Therefore, markets globalization has had a huge impact on the comparative advantages of date exports from the GCC countries, highlighting a new range of necessary determinants for competitiveness of these countries on the international market of date. It aims to provide updated estimates of competitiveness indicators of the GCC countries on the international market of dates. After summary description concerning date’s production and consumption trends and patterns of the different GCC countries, this paper present the date trade matrix (destinations of exports and imports) of the considered countries. In a second part of this section, a set of competitiveness indicators were calculated to better reflect on the date trade balances performances of each of the GCC countries. The measures of competitiveness conducted in this paper include: i) the Market Share (MS); ii) the Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA); and iii) the Trade Balance Index (TBI). The MS indicator was used to identify size advantages and the degree of specialization of a given country on the international market of a given commodity. The RCA has been defined as a measure of performance of international trade competitiveness of a given country for a given commodity. And finally, the TBI is used to analyze whether a country has specialization in export (as net-exporter) or in import (as netimporter) for a specific group of products. The sum of market shares of the 6 GCC countries is about 30% (2015). GCC countries market are progressing quite positively with increasing shares from one year to another. The highest RCA value was recorded for Saudi Arabia (about 43.5 in 2013). TBI results show the existence of structural differences between Saudi Arabia and UAE in terms of dates export and import patterns. These two countries are both the main players in date export in the GCC area. TBI of UAE is much lower than of Saudi Arabia, showing that UAE is also importing a higher proportion of its exported dates compared to Saudi Arabia. The date trade patterns among the GCC countries shows that there is a wide scope of coordination between the different trade strategies of these countries, through specialization and division of tasks. This can generate important opportunities for gaining more weight on the world market of dates.