Trade liberalisation in Swaziland : its impact on the agricultural sector.
Msibi, Mandlondlo Faith.
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In recent years, the world has been experiencing rapid and extensive global shifts that have had a positive and negative impact on different countries around the globe. These global shifts have also influenced the way countries conduct trade with their partners. A lot of countries, as a way of adapting to these changes, have been forced to review their trade policies to be in line with the trade liberalisation process. The expansion of markets has led to trade liberalisation, which promotes export growth in commodities. However in developing countries, they have experienced increases in imports and thus reflecting a certain level of uncompetitiveness of these countries with trade imbalances. This has also resulted in a declining purchasing power for some countries involved, export revenues falling as prices also fall due to intense competition in the world market. Studies have suggested that when countries liberalise they tend to experience some short falls in the first few years then a recovery thereafter. Agriculture is the major factor in the economies of developing countries. At least 80% of African economies are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. In these developing countries, a greater majority of the population lives in the rural areas where agriculture serves as a greater part of their occupation and source of livelihood. Being the engine of most African economies, the majority of the population of these countries are employed in the agricultural sector. Agricultural commodities represent by far the largest proportion of exported goods and the main raw materials for manufactured products. As a key to poverty reduction and food security, agricultural development may be seen as important.