International Trade as an Engine of Growth in Developing Countries: a Case Study of Nigeria (1980-2003)

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International Trade As An Engine of Growth In Developing Countries: a Case Study of Nigeria (1980-2003)
SECTION ONE

1.1 INTRODUCTION

A ll economies are increasingly open in today’s economic environment of globalization.

Trade plays a vital role in shaping economic and social performance and prospects of countries around the world, especially those of developing countries. No country has grown without trade. However, the contribution of trade to development depends a great deal on the context in which it works and the objectives it serves. In recent decades, a number of developing countries, most notably the East Asian newly industrializing countries, have been able to purposefully use the elemental force of trade to boost growth and development within a relatively short time span. At the same time many other developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs), have embarked on unilateral trade liberalization in recent years, with very limited results at best in terms of increased growth and development.
To act as an engine of development, trade must lead to steady improvements in human conditions by expanding the range of people’s choice, a notion that the concept of human development 3 tries to capture. From this standpoint, the trade and development performance of a country cannot be seen as the mere sum of its economic growth and export performance. Instead, it is a composite notion, reflecting how trade relates to the range of choices available to people in a country at a particular point in time. The extent of such choice, in turn, depends much on the interplay among factors that determine both trade outcomes and human development outcomes. The trade and development index (TDI) provides a quantitative indication of the trade and development performance of countries by systematically accounting for the interactions among factors…...

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