THE DYNAMICS OF REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION: A SYSTEM DYNAMICS ANALYSIS OF PATHWAYS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF VALUE CHAINS IN THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN CUSTOMS UNION
Keywords:Regional economic integration, value chain analysis, Systems Thinking, Trade and Transport Facilitation Assessment (TTFA), Southern African Customs Union (SACU), System Dynamics
Despite progress towards improved cooperation within the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), it can be argued that real economic integration is still lacking. Cross-border value chain (VC) development has been proposed as a potential enabler of regional economic integration. This article draws on a systems thinking process to explore the dynamic process of regional economic integration and value chain development. Through an inductive approach, we consider pathways for value chain development using the agro-processing and automotive sectors within SACU as case studies. The outcome of the dynamic hypothesis is to inform a framework for strategic decision-making to support policy action towards developing cross-border value chains in SACU.
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