Economic diversification and intra-GCC merchandise trade: An empirical analysis during 1995-2015, Dr. Subhadra Ganguli
Dr. Subhadra Ganguli
Department of Accounting and Economics
Ahlia University, Manama
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze merchandise trade patterns among the GCC states with the backdrop of economic diversification within these economies.
Design/methodology/approach: This empirical research quantitatively analyses patterns of merchandise trade among the GCC states during 1995-2015 with specific focus on concentration, diversification and similarity of (export and import) trade indices as well as diversification within GCC economies.
Findings: The paper concludes that while Bahrain merchandise export structure shows dissimilarity when compared with other GCC states during 1995 and 2015, its imports appear to be very similar with those of the rest. The other five GCC states show more similarity among themselves in both merchandise exports and imports than that of Bahrain. Only UAE has shown an increase in both concentration and diversification indices though the increased numbers are still lower than those of the other GCC states and low in absolute terms.
Originality/value: The GCC has embarked on economic diversification; however, there is relatively less trade within the GCC as compared with other regional trading blocks. The paper considers trade within the GCC to explore the degree of similarity, diversification and concentration of traded products of each country. Further study should analyze the impact of diversification on intra-GCC trade. The results of this paper will be of value to GCC policymakers for providing a clear rationale for boosting trade and diversification with the long-term goal of a single currency economic union.
Keywords: Concentration index; GCC; Bahrain; Diversification; International trade; Similarity index.
Citation: Ganguli, S. (2018), "Economic diversification and intra-GCC merchandise trade: An empirical analysis during 1995-2015", World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 25-40. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJEMSD-06-2017-0028