Research Handbook on Economic Diplomacy
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Research Handbook on Economic Diplomacy

Bilateral Relations in a Context of Geopolitical Change

Edited by Peter A.G. van Bergeijk and Selwyn J.V. Moons

This Handbook positions economic diplomacy as a multidisciplinary field and presents state of the art research relevant to policy makers and academia around the globe focusing on four themes: the role of economic diplomats, the impact and evaluation of economic diplomacy, politics and trade and emerging markets. It offers academic, business and policy perspectives taking stock of knowledge produced with qualitative and quantitative research on Northern America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
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Chapter 20: Economic diplomacy in Africa: the impact of regional integration versusbilateral diplomacy on bilateral trade

Sylvanus Kwaku Afesorgbor

Abstract

The author focuses on the impact of economic diplomacy on exports among African states. He tests whether there is evidence of a trade-off or complementary interaction between regional integration and commercial diplomacy in trade facilitation. He compares the effects of these two instruments of economic diplomacy on bilateral trade by employing a gravity model for 45 African states over the period 1980–2005. The results show that bilateral diplomatic exchange is a relatively more significant determinant of bilateral exports among African states compared to regional integration. He also finds a nuanced interaction between these two instruments of economic diplomacy: the trade-stimulating effect of diplomatic exchange is less pronounced among African countries that are already shared membership of a regional bloc. Generally, this could mean that there exists a trade-off between regional integration and commercial diplomacy in facilitating exports or a lack of complementarity between these two instruments of economic diplomacy.

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