TRADE is a research focus area in which a number of staff members of the School of Economics do their research. It is under the leadership of research Professor Wilma Viviers.
At the heart of this niche is a Decision Support Model (DSM) that is used to identify export opportunities. It is a system that starts with all possible combinations of products and countries and then a number of filters are used to identify realistic export opportunities. Some of the factors that are included with cut-off points are: commercial and political risks, macro-economic indicators, the size of the market, concentration and competition, as well as barriers to trade. The model has been used to inform export promotion decisions at national and provincial level.
In 2012, this research was published in the book Export Promotion: A Decision Support Model Approach. A review of the book can be found here.
Along with the formal model, there are a number of colleagues working on related aspects of trade and development, such as, barriers to internationalisation, the location of exporters, transport costs and exports of services. There are also links to work on investment, on sectors such as agriculture and on the competitiveness of firms. For more details of the research and degree programmes, see www.nwu.ac.za/trade.