International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration
Volume 8, Issue 2, January 2022, Pages 33-47
Trade Relations and Trade Openness amongst the ECOWAS Member Nations
1 Kanu Success Ikechi, 2 Akuwudike Hillary Chinedum, 3 Ngozi Amaka Nwokoro1 Department of Banking and Finance,
2 Department of Economics
3 Department of Business Administration
Faculty of Social and Management Sciences,
Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University (KOMU), Ogboko, P.M.B 6, Orlu Imo State. Nigeria
Abstract: This study is necessitated by the belief that, there is an improved trade relation amongst West African countries following the establishment of a Regional Economic Community– the ECOWAS. In this regard, so much has been said about the trade bloc, but we are yet to feel its impact on the regional economy. Thus, this study is set to ascertain the nature of trade relations, impediments to trade and means of improving on trade liberalization within the sub–region .An ex-post facto research study was adopted in the study. It made use of secondary data for the period 2000 to 2019. Descriptive statistics, percentages and granger causality tests were utilized in estimating the time-series statistics. Outcome of the study indicates that there is still a low level of trade amongst the ECOWAS member states. The average total imports and exports from the ECOWAS trading bloc for the period under review stood at 7.1% and 20.10% respectively. This is considered rather poor! Reasons adduced to this effect are that regional trading arrangements still retains the specified patterns which consist of primary products and assume low levels of international sale. The sub-regional sale volume is low as they export raw materials and not processed goods. There is little that they are interested in importing from each other. Again because of the limited diversity of products, the same primary products also tend to dominate her trade with the rest of the world. It was also ascertained that there is a low level of trade liberalization within the ECOWAS sub region. Most of the member states were ranked lowest in terms of trade openness in the continent and the world at large. The study therefore recommends that apart from the new wave of increased interest in regional integration and removal of trade barriers, there is need for a major shift – ECOWAS member nations must play down on the continued dominance of primary production, export and low value addition. Regional trades need to be driven by a diversified production structure essentially driven by growth in manufacturing that would deliver lots of jobs, raise productivity and incomes; else intra regional trade will remain fragile, unadoptable and therefore more susceptible to major disruptions. Poor trade relations are likely to persist in the sub–region without a robust manufacturing sector where innovation and technology would improve value addition and raise productivity.
Keywords: International trade, Export, Import, Trade Openness, Trade liberalization and ECOWAS.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was founded by the Treaty of Lagos in May 1975 with the objective to enhance and improve trade, international cooperation and to increase resilience These countries share common cultural and political orientation. ECOWAS member nations include Benin, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde. Others are Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.. One of the founding members of the Union – Mauritania withdrew her membership in December 2000 to join the Maghreb union consisting of Libya, Morocco and Algeria; but staged a comeback in August 2017 to be an associate-member of the Regional body.(CCC- ECOWAS; 2020).
The major aims and objectives for establishing the ECOWAS includes the Promotion of Cooperation and development amongst the member nations. This has assumed a scope of harmonizing all key aspects – from compliance with Agricultural, Economic, Fiscal and Industrial policies to removing trade barriers and custom duties to common engagement in execution of infrastructural strategies.
According to Ademola (2018), since the inception of ECOWAS, it has made some striking achievements. This includes the construction of roads to facilitate transport between Lagos and Abidjan and Nouakchott-Lagos and networks such as Elubo – Alflao – Lagos. Introduction of the ECOWAS passport eased the mobility while setting up phone lines in member states allowed for greater connectivity between African Union countries thus decreasing trading and travelling barriers which existed among nations, trading parties and impeded the exchange of goods and services. Such maneuvers brought about peace and protection in previously conflicting areas and the maintenance of safety is ensured by the supervision of ECOWAS Monitoring troops.
While we bask in the euphoria of these major achievements within the regional body, it is expedient we state here that, there are some key aspects of the Lagos treaty of 1975 that are yet to be adequately taken care of nor implemented – Improved Intra Regional Trades.
1.1 Statement of Research Problem
It has been observed that trade relations amongst the ECOWAS member nations aren’t blossoming as it should. A review of 2019 trade data indicates that the average total imports from the ECOWAS trading bloc stood at 20.10%. Again, the average total exports from within the trading bloc stood at 7.51%. These figures are considered not good enough..They are far from being pleasant and obviously require an intense assessment of the trade relationships amongst the ECOWAS member countries. It might be recalled that out of the 15 member nations, it was only the trading positions of nine member states that we could lay our hands on. The trading positions of the other 6 member nations were not available for assessment. These states include Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali and Niger. Perhaps, this is a pointer to the fact that ; some of the ECOWAS member nations are yet to pay heed to the idea of trade liberalization and trade enthronement within the sub region. The above scenarios are aptly captured in table 1 below:
Table 1: Trade data on ECOWAS Memberstates as at 2019
|Percent ofTotal Importsfrom Trade BlocMembers||Exports
|Percent ofTotal Exportsfrom Trade BlocMembers|
So many reasons were adduced for the above state of affairs. First, trade relationships are fraught with difficulties within the sub region.This might not be unconnected to the sluggish implementation of regional integration agreements aimed at eliminating tariff and non-tariff boundaries within the sub region.
Second, the convenience of doing business alongside the West African trade course has been bumpy and pretty frustrating. Traders that ply the route aren’t finding it smooth as the adventure is often punctuated by using onerous border checks, harassment and solicitations from officers for kickbacks.”Customs officers and police at road blocks often order the traders to unload and unpack their lug gages. The essence is to extort cash from such traders. Most of such activities are unlawful. This in no small way goes to violate the principle of free movements within the 15-member ECOWAS states.
Third, some ECOWAS member nations are still grappling to undo a legacy of trading with their former colonial masters as against trading with their immediate neighbors .For instance, Senegal’s largest trading partner is France, while Gambia trades substantially with the United Kingdom. Although Senegal surrounds Gambia, trade between the two countries is still very minimal. (Mutune; 2002).
The sub-regions railway systems often lead in the direction of the ports rather than to link up other countries within the regions It is often easier to pass through Europe than to fly from one African country to another,. Again, the relatively lower tariffs on West African goods entering Europe and the US markets also make export to industrial countries more lucrative than to other West African countries.
Mutume (2002) also opined that , the prevailing economic arrangements of the West African sub region “showcase a narrow pattern of trade’’. They rely upon primary merchandise and involve low levels of inter-country trade. Since most f the West African countries produce and export raw materials, and non processed goods, there may be little that they’re eager to import from each other .This is so because of the fact that , nearly every member of the union are predominantly natural-resource dependent. They all tend to produce primary merchandise that only has a ready market in the western world. In return, they import readymade or finished products from the technologically advanced nations. Thus, for the sub region to be able to capture more trade opportunities they need to diversify their products. This to some extent account for the low levels of inter- state trades.
Six, some ECOWAS member nations still practice some obnoxious trade policies. Tariffs on raw materials remain high in some member states. Taxing of key inputs for labor-intensive industries like clothing and textiles, of which West Africa has a comparative advantage to produce and export, is counter-productive.
It is still not yet ‘’hurray’’for local manufacturers within the west African Sub region .The cost of production is unduly high as the manufacturers are expected to provide virtually all the infrastructures that they need to stand and work with . This ranges from good network of roads to public power supply and security.A widespread infrastructural deficit remains a formidable obstacle to the expansion of national output and the generation of surpluses for export within the region. The implication of this trend isthe need for a more active state role so as to support industrialization.
Another challenge that is facing trading relations amongst the West African sub region has to do with the informal sector. The small-scale entrepreneurs are responsible for significant portion of production, trade and services within the sub region. While the informal sector is “the driving force of most economies in Africa, it is largely unregulated, has little access to finance, is often not taxed and its contribution to the economy is largely unrecorded.
Lastly, there has been this disincentive to invest in the West African Sub-region. Respect for the rule of law and clear consistent and predictable macro-economic policies are prerequisites for a suitable business environment and trade have been found wanting in the African continent. Accordingly to Gumisai (2002), it is no secret that the African continent is perceived as one in which there is so much turbulence, war, civil disturbance, civil strife, confusion, political instability and so on,” In many underdeveloped economies, the lack of credible macro-economic policies keeps industries away. Policies change too frequently and so “businessmen do not know, from one day to the other, one week to the other or one month to the other, exactly what is going to happen.” From all indications, there is need to boost trade among West African countries, The ECOWAS, has been created over the last few decades and yet there is still a low level of trade within the sub region.
Against the above backdrop, the challenges of improving low levels of trade amongst the ECOWAS member nations are immense, but policymakers in the sub-region are increasingly focusing on them as a new wave of interest in regional integration gains momentum.The identified problems may not be tackled all in one fell swoop.Thus, the focus of this study is geared towards ascertaining the problems of trade restrictions and the enthronement of trade liberatilization within the sub region. The study intends to review the volume, trend of trade relations and the degree of trade openness amongst the ECOWAS member nations. That is the problem of study!
1.2 Objectives of the Study
Centrally, the study is intended to ascertain the level of trade relationsamongst the ECOWAS member nations.
The specific objectives are to ascertain the:
- a) Level of trade imports andpercentage of total imports from within the ECOWAS member nations.
- b) Level of trade exports and percentage of total exports from within the ECOWAS member nations.
- c) Effect of ‘’ trade Openness ’’ on trade relations amongst the ECOWAS trade Bloc members
- d) Impact of trade imports on trade exports within the ECOWAS trading bloc
1.3 Research Questions
Having stated the above objectives, the following research questions are therefore considered relevant to the study.
1) What is the nature of trading relationship amongst the ECOWAS member nations?
2) What is the level of trade imports amongst the ECOWAS member nations?
3) What is the level of trade exports amongst the ECOWAS member nations?
4) To what extent has trade openness affected trade relations in the ECOWAS trading bloc?
5) What is the nature of relationships between trade imports and exports within the ECOWAS trading bloc?
Succinctly put, has trade liberalization or tradeopenness played a helpful, benign, or malign role on trade relations within the ECOWAS trading bloc.The present study sought to provide answers to the above questions.
1.4 Hypothesis of the Study
The following hypotheses were tested in this study:
Ho1: There is no significant trade relationamongst the ECOWAS member nations
Ho2: The level of trade export is notsignificant amongst the ECOWAS member nations
Ho3: The level of trade import is not significant amongst the ECOWAS member nations
Ho4: There is no low level of trade openness within the ECOWAS trading bloc.
Ho5: There is no causality relationship between trade imports and exports within the ECOWAS trading bloc.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Since the inception of ECOWAS, it has had a trade policy designed to increase intra-regional commerce, raise trade volume and generally galvanize the economic activities within the region in such a way as to positively impact on the economic well being of ECOWAS citizens. In this regard, so much has been said about the trading bloc however we don’t seem to experience its impact on the regional economy. Perhaps there is hype on its achievements or that the seeming effect has been blown out of proportion. Thus, this study is set to ascertain, without any doubt if there exists a trading relationship amongst the ECOWAS member nations. It will also seek to ascertain the problems that may have restricted the free flow of trade and thereafter proffer solutions that would provide a boost to improved trading relationships within the sub region.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research is limited only to the ECOWAS member nations. The period of investigation is delineated, from 2000 to 2019; a period of 20 (Twenty) years
2. Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework of this study was based on the variables under study.
2.1.1 International Trade
In its simplest form, international trade is the exchange of capital labor and products between nations. It is a trade across international barriers or domains. Esezobor, (2009), defined international trade as “exchanging between sovereign states” and the main premise of international trade are exports and imports.
One major capacity of international trade is to see that products created in one nation are delivered to another country for future deal or trade. The sale of merchandise adds to the producing country’s gross result. Exports are the products and services one nation offer to the other nations. In economics, an export is any good or commodity moved from one country to another in a legitimate manner normally for use in trade. Many nations of the world take part in export trade ( Esezobor; 2009).
An import is any good or service brought in from one country to another in a legitimate manner, commonly for use in trade. An import in the receiving nation is an export from the producing country. Imports alongside exports form the premise of international trade. Import of merchandise normally requires the involvement of men of customs and excise in both the country of import and export. This has to do with, import quotas, tariffs and trade agreements.
2.1.4 Foreign Exchange Rates
Whenever individuals travel to foreign nations, they must change their money into foreign monetary forms. In finance, an exchange rate between two monetary standards is the rate at which one money will be exchanged for the other.
Exchange rates are determined in the foreign exchange market which is available to a wide scope of various kinds of purchasers and dealers where cash exchanging is persistent. The spot exchange rate alludes to the current exchange rate. The forward exchange rate alludes to an exchange rate that is cited and traded today yet for conveyance and payment on a particular future date (Esozobor, 2009).
2.1.5 Trade Liberalization or Trade Openness
There is no clear definition of “trade liberalization” or “trade openness”. The two ideas while firmly related are not indistinguishable (Pigka-Balanika, 2013). Trade liberalization incorporates strategy measures to expand trade openness while expanded trade openness is normally considered as an increment in the size of a nation’s traded sectors in connection to add up to yield . Hence, expanded openness can, but requires not the result of exchange liberalization. In later times, the meaning of “openness has gotten to be indistinguishable to the thought of “free trade”. It shows the extent in which (foreign) goods and services are allowed in a particular economy.
The Modern Financial Geography Models defined international trade openness as low international trade costs which is a reflection of transport costs, toll, duties, subsidies and non-tariffs obstructions. Trade openness is one measure of the extent to which a country is engaged in the global trading system. Trade openness is generally measured by the proportion between the sum of exports and imports and total national output (GDP). It shows the degree in which (foreign) labor and products are permitted in a specific economy.
2.1.6 Benefits of Trade Openness
Openness is an essential empowering agent of development, work creation, and desperation reducing. Trade gives new market opportunities to domestic firms, more grounded efficiency, and development through competition. Trade openness raises imports and exports of labor and products and improves domestic innovation. Consequently, creation process is more successful as efficiency rises. Accordingly, economies open to world trade; grow quicker than shut ones and expanding openness is assumed to emphatically affect development. The undeniable benefits of an open economy include:
1. Increased level of Economic Growth:
It is claimed that an open economy, with given useful assets, can have a higher GDP.
2. Lower Costs:
Open economies can encourage less expensive imports and can offer send outs at greater expenses. In other words both merchants and exporters of open countries (and in this way, their purchasers too) gain from cost differentials.
3. Improved Availability of Goods and Services:
International trade empowers every country to focus on the generation of those products in which it has a comparative cost advantage, and leave out those in which it is lagging behind.
4. Global Prosperity and Flow of Productive Resources:
Presently, gigantic volumes of capital reserves are circulating between world economies. In addition universal streams of other inputs (crude materials and middle items, innovation, organizational set ups, work ethos are springing up fast. Some innovative models and guidelines have been set. This has made it possible for nations to progressively learn and gain together.
5. Superiority of Trade over Isolation:
A few nations have been able to achieve a fast export-led financial development
6. Impetus to Innovation:
Open economies provide an inspiration to explore and to access developments However, being an open economy has its setbacks.
2.1.7 Disadvantages of an open economy
1. Risk Exposure:
Open economies are related and this exposes them to specific unavoidable risks. These unsettling influences may even gather strength during the time of dispersal. Expectedly, the damage caused the associated open economies is influenced by the following factors.
2. Size of the Economy:
Succinctly put, it is the extent of involvement of an originating economy in international economic transactions and the nature of the transactions. Here we consider nations which have a huge offer in short-term capital outflows or in energy sources like petroleum products, etc. and countries whose currencies are used as foreign exchange reserves, such as the US and the UK.
3. Intensity of the Initial Disturbance:
Other things being equal an unsettling impact of higher initial intensity is probably going to cause a corresponding damage to the interconnected open economies.
4. Level of Integration:
Economies with restrictions on international economic transactions will experience less suffering when unsettling influences originate from other nations.
5. Footloose Funds:
Currently, there exists a large chunk of short term funds moving around the world in search of places where they can be invested temporarily, that can provide an acceptable level of safety and return. A change in any of the determining factors can lead to a mass movement of such funds.
6. Import Dependence:
Certain varieties of imports can expose a country to undue political, economic and cultural risk.
Large scale increase in international capital flows has resulted in problems like heavy indebtedness of certain countries and their inability to repay such debts.
8. Growth Bringing Poverty:
There are occasions where expansion in international trade brings with it a net decay in financial welfare. This happens when it is of a beneficial capacity to a nation, but its terms of reference had deteriorated so much that there’s a net decay in financial welfare.
9. Constraints on Resource Use:
It is possible that a country is forced to adopt certain production technologies which do not let it make an optimum use of its factor-endowment. Such a state of affairs may be pushed upon a country that has a frail bargaining strength or that is facing balance of payments difficulties. (Gumisai Mutume, 2002).
2.1.8. Expert Services
The term service can be seen as the result of a production activity that changes the conditions of the consuming units or facilitates the exchange of products or financial assets (Ojukwu; 2013), having reviewed some of the basic conceptual frameworks, it behooves of us now to focus our beam light on the other side of the coin – The ECOWAS sub-region , her international trade statistics and degree of trade openness which this study is set to ascertain.
2.1.9. ECOWAS Member States
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is made up of 15 member nations .These countries have both social and geopolitical ties and shared common economic interest. The Atlantic Ocean shapes the western as well as the southern borders of the West African district. The northern border is the Sahara desert. The eastern border lies between the Benue Trough, and a line running from Mount Cameroon to Lake Chad. Colonial boundaries are still reflected inside the progressed boundaries between present day West African states, cutting across ethnic and social lines, often dividing single ethnic groups between two or more states.
126.96.36.199 Trade Relations Amongst the ECOWAS Member States
Undermining the proximity, trade relations amongst the ECOWAS sovereign nations could at best be described as international trade. The global economy is interdependent and highly competitive. Exchange is fundamentally imperative for long-term financial development and advancement in sub-Saharan Africa. The ECOWAS exchange arrangement is implied to cultivate sustainable development and reduction of poverty (Ademola ; 2018).
2.1.10 ECOWAS Member States: Exports, Imports and Trade Partners
1) Benin Republic
Benin’s principal exports are ginned cotton, cotton cake and cotton seeds, cashew, shear butter, cooking oil, and raw copper. Her major trading partner countries for exports are Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, China and Nigeria. Benin’s main imports are: fuel, food and capital equipment. Her main import partners are France, China and Togo. Others are Ghana, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Spain, India, Thailand, and the United States. Benin is sand witched between Nigeria and Togo republics by Land. It is bounded at the south by sea
2) Bukina Faso
The main exports of Bukina Faso are gold, cotton, zinc, phosphate rock and livestock’s .Burkina Faso’s main export partners are: Singapore, Ivory Coast, Switzerland, France, China and Turkey. Burkina Faso top 5 Export and Import partners are highlighted table 2 below.
|Exporter||Trade (US$ Mil)|
Source: (Worldbank.org/indicator/BX .GSR.GNFS.CD; 2019)
Burkina Faso main imports are: fuel (25 percent of total imports), foodstuffs and machinery. Burkina Faso main import partners are: Ivory Coast, United States, Japan, China, France, Belgium and Germany. Burkina Faso borders Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Togo by land.
3) Cape Verde
Cape Verde borders Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal by Sea. The top exports of Cape Verde are processed fish, Non–Fillet frozen fish, Mollusc, Footwear parts and Non–knit Men’s suits. These products are mostly exported to Spain, Portugal, Italy, United States of America and India. The top imports of Cape Verde are refined petroleum, Delivery trucks, Coal Tar oil, Cars and Rice. These products are mostly imported from Portugal, Neither land, Spain, China, and Belgium.
4) Cote D’ivoire
Cote d’voire was the 79 economy in the world in terms of GDP (Current USS), the number 98 in total imports, the number 82 in total exports the number 139 economy in terms of GDP per Capita (Current USS) and the number 118 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index(ECI). Cote d’voire borders Bukina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Mali by land. The top exports of Cote d’ivoire are cocoa, Beans, Gold, Rubber, Refined Petroleum and crude petroleum. These products are mostly exported to Netherlands, United States, France, Spain and Malaysia.
In 2019, Cote d’ivoire was the world’s biggest exporter of Cocoa Beans, Cocoa Paste and Cocoa shells. The top imports of Cote d’ivoire are crude petroleum, Rice, Non-Fillet frozen fish, refined petroleum, Packaged Medicaments. These products are mostly imported from China, Nigeria, France, India, and the United States of America.
5) The Gambia
The Gambia is the 177th greatest exchange economy inside the world. In 2017, the Gambia sent out $174M and imported $1.16B, coming approximately in a negative trade alter of $987M. In 2017 the GDP of the Gambia was $1.49B and its GDP per capita was $1.7k. The leading sends out of the Gambia are Cruel Wood, Coconuts, Brazil Nuts, and Cashews, Non-fillet Set Point, Scrap Press and Tropical Characteristic items. The beat send out objectives of the Gambia are China, India, South Korea, the Joined together Kingdom and Senegal. Its beat imports are Light Perfect Woven Cotton, Unrefined Sugar, Palm Oil, Malt Remove and Rice. The leading imply beginnings are China, Senegal India, Brazil and the Netherlands. The Gambia borders Senegal arrive and Cape Verde by ocean.
In 2019, Ghana was the number 73 economy inside the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 72 in include up to sends out, the number 81 in include up to imports, the number 141 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 133 most complex economy concurring to the Monetary Complexity List (ECI). The best sends out of Ghana are Gold, Unrefined Petroleum, Cocoa Beans, Cocoa Glue and manganese metal. The trade goals of Ghana are highlighted in table 3 below:
|Exporter||Trade (US$ Mil)|
Source: (Worldbank.org/indicator/BX .GSR.GNFS.CD; 2019)
The top imports of Ghana are Flexible Metal Tubing, scrap vessels Special purpose ships, Cars, Refined Petroleum. The top import origins are China , Nigeria, United States and India. Ghana borders Burkina Faso, Cote d’ivoire and Togo by land and Benin and Nigeria by sea.
In 2019, Guinea was the number 138 economy within the world in terms of GDP ( Current US$), the number 108 in add up to sends out , the number 139 in add up to imports , the number 165 economy in terms of GDP per capita ( Current US$) and the number 142 most complex economy concurring to the Financial Complexity File (ECI). The top exports of Guinea are Gold, Aluminum Ore, Aluminum Oxide, Non –Fillet Frozen Fish, Coconuts, Brazil Nuts and Cashews. The export destinations of Guinea are United Arab Emirates, China, India Belgium and Spain. In 2019, Guinea was the world’s biggest exporter of Aluminum Ore.
The top imports of Guinea are Rice, Refined Petroleum, Packaged Medicaments, Delivery Trucks and Cars. The top import origins are from China, India, Netherlands, Belgium and the United Arab Emirate. Guinea borders Cote d’ivore, Guinea -Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal and Sierra Leone by land.
In 2019, Guinea – Bissau was the number 173 economy in the world in terms of GDP (Current US$), the number 178 in total exports, the number 194 in total Imports, the number 175 economy in terms of GDP per Capita (Current US$). The top exports of Guinea –Bissau are Coconuts, Brazil Nuts and Cashew .Others are Gold, Non – Fillet Frozen Fish, Rough wood and Aluminum Ore. The export destinations of Guinea Bissau are India, Belgium, Cote d’ivoire china and Ghana. The imports of Guinea-Bissau are led by Refined Petroleum, Rice, Wheat Flours, Soups and Broths and Malt Extract .The most common import partners for Guinea-Bissau are Portugal, Senegal, China, Netherlands and Pakistan. Guinea –Bissau borders Guinea and Senegal by land.(Worldbank.org/indicator/BX .GSR.GNFS.CD; 2019)
Liberia is wealthy in normal assets. With its generally huge stores of press metal, jewels and gold – and the appropriateness of the country’s soil to the generation of key commercial crops, such as palm oil, cocoa, coffee and elastic- it comes as no astonish that Liberia’s sends out are transcendently natural-resource dependent Liberia is the 145th biggest send out economy within the world and the 97th most complex economy agreeing to the Financial Complexity Record (ECI). The best trades of Liberia are Traveler and Cargo Ships, Gold, Elastic, Press Metal and Unrefined Petroleum. The beat trade goals of Liberia are Germany, Switzerland, the Joined together States Indonesia and Poland. Its beat imports are Traveler and Cargo Ships, Refined Petroleum, Rice, Watercraft Propellers and Press Structures. The beat consequence beginnings are South Korea China, Germany, India and Romania. Liberia borders Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Sierra Leone. (Worldbank.org/indicator/BX .GSR.GNFS.CD; 2019).
In 2019, Mali was the number 117 economy within the world in terms of GDP ( Current US$), the number 116 in add up to sends out, the number 142 in add up to imports , the number 166 economy in terms of GDP per capita ( current US$) and the number 124 most complex economy concurring to the financial complexity file( ECI). The best sends out of Mali are Gold, Crude cotton, Other Sleek seeds, unpleasant woods, other vegetable Buildups. These create are traded for the most part to Joined together Middle easterner emirate, Switzerland, China, India and Mauritania. The beat imports of Mali are refined petroleum, light unadulterated woven cotton, bundled medicaments, cement and broadcasting hardware. Mali imports generally from Senegal, cote d-voire, china, France and Austria. Mali has borders with Algeria, Bukina Faso, Cote divoire , Guinea, Mauritania , Niger and Senegal by Land.
In 2019, Niger was the number 132 economy within the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 180 in add up to trades, the number 160 in add up to trades, the number 167 in add up to imports, the number 179 economy in terms of GDP per Capita (Current US$) and the number 98 most complex economy agreeing to the Financial complexity list. The best sends out of Niger are Gold, other sleek seeds, Radioactive Chemicals, Petroleum Gas and Refined Petroleum. Niger republic sends out generally to Joined together Middle easterner Emirate, China, France and Bukina Faso. The best imports of Niger are Rice, bundled Medicaments, Palm oil, Cars, and Cement. Niger imports generally from China, France and Joined together Middle easterner Emirates, cote d’ Ivoire and India. Niger offers borders with Algeria, Benin, Bukina Faso, Chad,Libya,Mali and Nigeria by Land. (Worldbank.org/indicator/BX .GSR.GNFS.CD; 2019).
In 2019, Nigeria was the number 25 economy within the world in terms of GDP (Current US$), the number 47 in add up to sends out , the number 50 in add up to imports, the number 140 economy in terms of GDP per capita ( current US$) and the number 140 most complex economy agreeing to the Financial Complexity List (ECI). The best sends out of Nigeria are unrefined petroleum, Petroleum Gas, Scrap Vessels, Adaptable Metal Tubing and Cocoa Beans. She trades for the most part to India, Spain, joined together States of America, France and Ghana. In 2019, Nigeria was the world’s greatest exporter of scrap vessels and Adaptable Metal Tubing. The beat imports of Nigeria are refined petroleum, Cars, Wheat, Research facility Crystal and bundled Medicaments, bringing in for the most part from China, Netherlands, India, joined together States and Belgium. Nigeria offers borders with Benin, Cameroun, Chad, and Niger by arrive and Tropical Guinea, Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe by Sea.
In 2019, Senegal was the number 108 economy within the world in terms of GDP (Current US$), the number 121 in add up to sends out , the number 95 in add up to imports , the number 154 economy in terms of GDP per capita ( Current US$) and the number 102 most complex economy agreeing to the Financial complexity List (ECI). The beat sends out of Senegal are Gold, refined, petroleum, Phosphoric Corrosive, Non–Fillet Solidified Angle and groundnuts. Senegal trades for the most part to Mali, Switzerland, India, China, and Spain.
The top imports of Senegal are refined petroleum, Crude petroleum, Rice, Cars, and Malt Extracts. She imports mostly from China, France, Belgium, Russia and Netherlands. In 2019, Senegal was the world’s biggest importer of processed synthetic staple fiber. Senegal shares boundaries with Gambia, Guinea, Guinea –Bissau, Mali and Mauritania by land and Cape Verde by sea.
14) Sierra Leone
In 2019, Sierra Leone was the number 155 economy in the world in terms of GDP (Current US $), the number 162 in total exports , the number 172 in total imports, the number 180 economy in terms of GDP per capita ( Current USS$).The top exports of sierra Leone are Titanium Ore, Rough wood, Diamonds, Aluminum Ore and Cocoa Beans. She exports mostly to Belgium, China, Romania, United Arab Emirate and Germany. The top imports of Sierra Leone are rice, plastic lids, packaged Medicaments, Sauces and Seasoning and cars. She imports mostly from China, India, United States, Ghana and Turkey. Sierra Leone shares borders with Guinea and Liberia by land.
In 2019 Togo was the number 151 economy in the world in terms of GDP (Current US$ ), the number 151 economy in the world in terms of GDP ( current US$), the number 139 in total exports , the number 100 in total imports, the number 176 economy in terms of GDP per capita ( Current US$). The top exports of Togo are refined petroleum, crude petroleum, Electricity, Calcium phosphates, raw cotton. She exports mostly to India, Benin, Bukina Faso, France, and Morocco The top imports of Togo are refined petroleum, Motorcycles, Crude Petroleum, rice, and broadcasting equipment. She imports mostly from China, South Korea, India, Belgium and Netherlands. Togo has borders with Benin, Bukina Faso, and Ghana by land and sea. (Worldbank.org/indicator/BX .GSR.GNFS.CD; 2019)
2.2 Theoretical Framework
Scholarly talk about on exchange openness has been educated by two strands of investigate with restricting viewpoints. A few financial analysts contend that exchange between countries may be a instrument by which the affluent countries abuse the destitute ones through extraction of financial surpluses; others are of the conclusion that in spite of the fact that exchange between nations may not essentially affect a country negatively, its affect is as well frail to supply the basic boosts that would produce development. These bunches of researchers endorse that countries ought to see internal for arrangements to their improvement issues. Their contention is that exchange between countries can be compared to a amusement where the picks up that gather to one country (more often than not the created nations) are as a result of the insufficiency of their exchanging accomplices ordinarily the LOCs. The moment gather of scholar’s favors’ outward-oriented financial techniques or the examples of send out advancement, contending that free exchange among countries of the world would similarly advantage the LDCs by extending their exercises through exchange that would not have been conceivable from their household economies alone. It is additionally seen as a implies of making a difference them through specialization and exchange of innovation; and as result increments their citizens’ welfare through upgrade of their total national wage (Adjasi, 2006; Kuada, 2006). It behooves of us now to review a major theory that readily comes to mind when trade liberalization or trade openness is being discussed.
2.2.1 Hecksher-Ohin Theory on Trade Openness
This hypothesis centers on the contrast in relative calculate gifts and figure costs between countries as the foremost determinant of exchange (on the presumptions of rise to or comparative innovation and tastes). Hecksher Ohlin kept up that the sources of the figure blessings decide a nation’s comparative advantage. This course of action is the premise of the hypothesis to be alluded to as figure blessing hypothesis (or the common harmony hypothesis of universal exchange). The hypothesis analyzed the distinction in figure blessing on universal specialization. The demonstrate was based on two fundamental suggestions:
Firstly, a country with specialization inside the era and send out of a item whose era requires truly utilize of abundant resources. This deduces that stock shift in figure prerequisites. Furthermore, countries shift in figure favoring. A number of nations have much capital per master and some have less. The Hecksher-Ohlin appear recognized contrasts in pre-trade thing costs between nations as the speedy introduce for trade. The fetched depends on era plausibility bend (supply side) and after that taste and slants (ask side) inside the trading nations.
2.3 Empirical Review
Oloyede (2021), analyzed the relationship among trade openness and macroeconomic perspective of Africa’s regional budgetary communities (RECs), centering on the Money related Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Southern African Change Community (SADC). Result of the consider shows up a positive but unimportant nexus between monetary advancement rate and trade openness in both the combined reproduced ECOWAS and SADC and the individual REC. The comes around emphasized that the government and other related accomplices need to ensure approaches are endorsed and maintained to transmit the experienced money related improvement into noteworthy trade picks up. Ijirshar (2019) studied the influence of trade openness on money related advancement among ECOWAS countries utilizing assistant data from 1975 to 2017. The consider utilized non-stationary heterogeneous enthusiastic board models. Comes around show up that trade openness has positive impacts on improvement in ECOWAS countries inside the long-run but mixed impacts inside the short-run.
Iyoha and Okim (2017) analyzed the affect of exchange on financial development both from a hypothetical point of view and utilizing econometric prove from ECOWAS nations. For the period 1990-2013.. This they did utilizing board information relapse examination. All the 4 evaluated relapse conditions had tall coefficients of assurance and F-statistic. In all the conditions, sends out, trade rate and venture were noteworthy determinants of per capita genuine pay development. Trades were reliably emphatically related to development, hence affirming the speculation of exchange having an affect on exchange and financial development.
Onyekwena and Oloko (2016), looks at the potential of regional trade in empowering the achievement of comprehensive change inside the West African district. It utilizes realistic examination to see at the nature, composition and estimation of ECOWAS trade interior the bunch and with the rest of the world, From the preliminary consider, it can be observed that the advancement rate of West African economies is growing, but the rising budgetary improvement does not translate to alter in comprehensive change, as there was no basic decrease in desperation levels inside the region.
Osabuohen (2007) inspected the affect of exchange openness on financial execution of ECOWAS Individuals centering on Ghana and Nigeria (1975-2004). Information sourced from Uncertainties and others were analyzed utilizing ADF/PP stationarity, cointegration and vector blunder redress methods. A special long-run relationship between financial execution, exchange openness, genuine government consumption, labor constrain and genuine capital stock for both Ghana and Nigeria was built up, In expansion, exchange openness and genuine government consumption affect emphatically the economies of Ghana and Nigeria. In any case, the impacts were higher within the previous than the last mentioned.
Finally, Ogunkola ((1998) opined that intra-ECOWAS exchange has remained exceptionally moo in spite of the integration endeavors within the sub-region within the past two decades. Whereas noticing that these endeavors have not advanced as planned, this consider explores what the West African nations stand to pick up by way of increments in intra-regional exchange streams in case all exchange boundaries are expelled. So much has been said on the relationship between exchange openness and financial development. Our show ponder is set to include her voice to the existing writing and to find out the relationship between exchange openness and exchange relations inside the ECOWAS exchanging alliance.
3. Methodology of the Study
3.1 Design of the Study
An ex-post facto research design was adopted in the study. It made use of secondary data covering the period 2000 to 2019. Descriptive statistics as well as granger causality tests were used in examining the nature, composition and dimension of ECOWAS trade within the group and with the rest of the world.
Test of hypotheses
Ho1: There is no significant trade relation amongst the ECOWAS member nations
Ho2: The level of trade export is not significant amongst the ECOWAS member nations
Ho3: The level of trade import is not significant amongst the ECOWAS member nations
To test hypotheses (1 to 3) above, we made use of trade data. Table 4 below represents the import and export volumes from individual countries within the ECOWAS trade bloc as at 2019.
Table 4: Trade Data on ECOWAS Member Nations as at 2019
from Trade Bloc
from Trade Bloc
The above data are aptly captured in the bar chart below for a better understanding.
Source: The above data are aptly captured in the bar chart below for a better understanding. https://globaledge.msu.edu/trade-blocs/ecowas/membership
The trade data /chart of ECOWAS member nations as at 2019 indicate a very poor outing. Trade relationships are not blossoming as it should. It behooves of us now to review the quantum of trade within the trade bloc on a country by country basis:
Benin’s imports from within the trading bloc stood at $501,555,419. This represents about 12% of total imports from trade bloc members. On the other hand, her total exports to other members of the trade bloc stood at $120,549,385. This represents about 7.72% of total exports to other members of the trading bloc.
Bukina Faso’s imports from within the trading bloc stood at $910,053,409. This represents about 14.77% of her total imports from trade bloc members. On the other hand, her total exports to other ECOWAS member nations stood at $364,553,869. This represents about 8.33% of total exports to other members of the trading bloc.
Cape Verde’s total imports from within the trading bloc stood at $7,015,653. This represents about 0.81% of her total imports. On the other hand, her total exports to other ECOWAS member nations stood at $308,898. This represents about 0.49% of total exports to other members of the trading bloc.
Cote d’Ivoire‘s total imports from within the trading bloc stood at $1,793,763,419. This represents about 12.13% of her total imports.. On the other hand, her total exports to other ECOWAS member nations stood at $2,179,176,511. This represents about 12.06% of total exports to other members of the trading bloc. This to some extent represents an average performance on the part of Cote d’Ivoire.
The Gambia’s imports from within the trading bloc stood at $91,097,626. This represents about 12.82% of her total imports from trade bloc members. On the other hand, her total exports to other ECOWAS member nations stood at$17,566,476. This represents about 56.28% of total exports to other members of the trading bloc. This is quite commendable. It simply means that Gambia is exporting more to the ECOWAS member nations than to any other part of the world.
For the period under review, Ghana’s total imports from within the trading bloc stood at $443,498,046. This represents about 2.46 % of her total imports. On the other hand, her total exports to other ECOWAS member nations stood at $940,913,643. This represents about 3.71% of total exports to other members of the trading bloc. This is a lackluster performance for Ghana.
Nigeria’s trade with the other countries that belong to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) remains poor. In 2019, her imports from within the trading bloc stood at. $602,710,965. This represents about 0.78% of her total imports. On the other hand, her total exports to other ECOWAS member nations stood at $6,258,515,067. This represents about 8.32% of total exports to other members of the trading bloc. The prospect for significant trade between Nigeria and other countries in the ECOWAS zone is constrained by non-complementary production structures across member countries.. A widespread infrastructural deficit also remains a formidable obstacle to the expansion of national output and the generation of surpluses for export within the region
Senegal’s imports from within the trading bloc stood at $645,837,204. This represents about 5.91% of her total imports from trade bloc members. On the other hand, her total exports to other ECOWAS member nations stood at $1,580,573,906 .This represents about 31.57 % of total exports to other members of the trading bloc. This to some extent represents an average performance on the part of Senegal. .It means that Senegal is exporting more to the ECOWAS member nations than to any other part of the world.
Togo’s imports from within the trading bloc stood at $170,271,898. This represents about 5.96 % of her total imports from trade bloc members. On the other hand, her total exports to other ECOWAS member nations stood at $605,641,118. This represents about 52.43% of total exports to other members of the trading bloc. This is quite impressive. From the above table, the Gambia, Senegal and Togo are exporting more to the ECOWAS member nations than to any other part of the world. That is quite commendable.
Lastly, it could be said that the average total imports from the ECOWAS trading bloc for the period under review stood at 7.51 percent. This is considered rather poor. Again, the average total exports from the trading bloc stood at 20.10 percent. Again, this figure is not impressive. They are far from being satisfactory. It will be recalled that the trading positions of 7 member nations were not available for review. These states include Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali and Niger. Perhaps, this may be a pointer to the fact; that many of the ECOWAS member nations are yet to take heed to the idea of trade liberalization and trade enthronement within the sub region. Conclusively, it could be said that there is no significant trade (Be it exports or imports) relationships amongst the ECOWAS member nations.
Test of Hypothesis 4
Ho4: There is no low level of trade openness in the ECOWAS trading bloc
To be able to test the above hypothesis, there was a need to compute the degree of trade openness for each of the ECOWAS member nation. This we did using the formula: Total Exports + Total Imports / GDP. On a comparative basis, the average level of trade openness for 2019 based on 170 countries was 93.23 percent. The highest value was in Luxembourg with 381.52 percent and the lowest value was in Sudan with 26.2 percent. The table below depicts the trade openness and ranking as at 2019.
Table 5: Percentage of Trade Openness and Ranking – World, Africa and ECOWAS as at 2019
|S/n||Country||Trade Openness (%)||World
|ECOWAS member nations
|10||Guinea – issau||55.37||132nd||33rd||10th|
|Ranking is for over 170 countries||Ranking is for 49 countries||Ranking is for 15 countries|
Source: The Global economy.com
At the world level, Liberia and Cape Verde were the highest ranking ECOWAS member nations in terms of trade openness in 2019. Out of 170 countries, they scored 127.45% and 115.91% respectively. This earned them the rank of 28th, and 38th most open economies in the world as at 2019. At the continental level, the above score earned them the 7th and 9th most open economies in Africa as at 2019. In the same vein this same score earned them the 1st and, 2nd most open economies in the ECOWAS member nations.
Aside from the above 3 economies, the performance of other ECOWAS members nations cannot be described as impressive. The most disheartening performance came from Nigeria with a score of 34.02 %. This earned her the 162nd, 45th and 15th in the world, Africa and at the ECOWAS trading bloc respectively. Thus, it could be said that there is a low level of trade openness within the ECOWAS trading bloc
Test of Hypothesis 5:
Ho5: There is no causality relationship between trade imports and exports within the ECOWAS trading bloc
To test the above hypothesis, a granger causality test was run on total imports and exports of the ECOWAS member nations for the period 2000 to 2019. Outcome of the tests are presented below:
Table 6: Granger Causality tests on trade imports and exports in ECOWAS member nations.
|Nigeria|| EXPORT does not Granger Cause IMPORT
|Import granger caused exports in Nigeria at 10% Alpha level.|
|IMPORT does not Granger Cause EXPORT||3.32537||0.0682|
| EXPORT does not Granger Cause IMPORT
|Exports granger caused imports in Ghana at 5 % Alpha level|
|IMPORT does not Granger Cause EXPORT||0.13352||0.8762|
|Benin|| EXPORT does not Granger Cause IMPORT
|Imports granger caused exports in Benin, though it was not statistically significant|
|IMPORT does not Granger Cause EXPORT||2.32388||0.1371|
|Togo|| EXPORT does not Granger Cause IMPORTS
|Exports granger caused imports in Togo, though it was not statistically significant.|
|IMPORTS does not Granger Cause EXPORT||0.77379||0.4830|
|Senegal|| EXPORT does not Granger Cause IMPORT
|A bi-directional causality relationship exists between imports and exports in Senegal|
|IMPORT does not Granger Cause EXPORT||3.06005||0.0815|
|Bukina Faso|| EXPORT does not Granger Cause IMPORT
|Neither of the 2 granger causes each other in Bukina Faso|
|IMPORT does not Granger Cause EXPORT||0.97698||0.4025|
| EXPORTS does not Granger Cause IMPORTS
|Imports granger caused exports in the Gambia at 5 % Alpha level.
|IMPORTS does not Granger Cause EXPORTS|| 4.88750
|Cape Verde|| EXPORTS does not Granger Cause IMPORTS
|Neither of the 2 granger causes each other in Cape Verde.|
|IMPORTS does not Granger Cause EXPORTS|| 0.43916
| EXPORTS does not Granger Cause IMPORTS
|Import granger cause exports in Cote d’ivores at 1% Alpha level.|
|IMPORTS does not Granger Cause EXPORTS|| 6.13369
|N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||There was a dearth of necessary data to run the test for Liberia.|
| EXPORTS does not Granger Cause IMPORTS
|Exports granger caused imports in Mali at 1 % Alpha level
|IMPORTS does not Granger Cause EXPORTS|| 0.69997
|Niger|| EXPORT does not Granger Cause IMPORT
|Import granger cause exports in Niger at 1% Alpha level.|
|IMPORT does not Granger Cause EXPORT||7.06480||0.0084|
|Sierra Leone|| EXPORT does not Granger Cause IMPORT
|Import granger cause exports in Sierra Leone at 1% Alpha level|
|IMPORT does not Granger Cause EXPORT||31.9661||1.E-05|
| EXPORT does not Granger Cause IMPORT
|Import granger cause exports in Guinea at 1% Alpha level|
|IMPORT does not Granger Cause EXPORT||14.2855||0.0005|
| EXPORT does not Granger Cause IMPORT
|Exports granger caused imports in Guinea Bissau, though it was not statistically significant|
|IMPORT does not Granger Cause EXPORT||0.77651||0.4802|
Source: Computations were based on data culled up from the IMF portal on Import and export
From the above array of tests, it could be said that apart from Bukina Faso and Cape Verde, there exists some level of causality relationships between trade imports and exports in the ECOWAS member nations.
4. Discussion of Results
Outcome of this study corroborates the earlier works of Ogunkola ((1998) and Gumisai Mutume (2002), where they opined that, there is a low level of trade amongst countries in the sub region .and suggested the need to lower barriers, enhance products diversification and to encourage regional integration. These are bound to give boosts to improving the low levels of trade within Africa.
Result of study also indicate that there is a low level of trade openness within the ECOWAS trading bloc This obviously is affecting the levels of trade within the sub region. Previous works of Dowrick and Golley2004) supported our claims, that while trade openness promotes economic growth; specialization in primary exports is bad for growth.
Since the ECOWAS part countries deliver and send out crude materials and not prepared products, there’s small that they are inquisitive about bringing in from each other. Once more since of the restricted differing qualities of items, the same essential items moreover tend to rule her exchange with the rest of the world.
This consider hence prescribes that separated from the unused wave of expanded intrigued in territorial integration, there’s require for a worldview move. ECOWAS part countries must play down on the proceeded dominance of essential generation and send out and moo esteem addition. Regional exchanges got to be driven by a expanded generation structure basically driven by development in fabricating that would convey parts of occupations, raise efficiency and earnings; else intra territorial exchange will stay trepid, delicate and susceptible to negative stuns. Destitute exchange relations are likely to hold on within the sub–region without a strong fabricating division where advancement and innovation would move forward esteem expansion and raise efficiency.
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