The Trade, Investment and Growth (TIG) research area examines regional integration and intra-regional trade in Africa, with emphasis on their effects on inclusive growth and poverty reduction. It also investigates the determinants and impacts of FDI in Africa and tracks the economic competitiveness of countries in the region. The specific thematic issues to be examined are as follows.
Regional Integration and Intra-Regional Trade
Around the world, there has been an increasing proliferation of regional trade agreements (RTAs) in their different forms, ranging from preferential trade agreements (PTAs) to economic and monetary unions (EMUs). Among other things, RTAs have been noted to provide the opportunity for deepened intra-regional trade, enhanced competitiveness, generation of growth spillovers, increased bargaining power on the multilateral front, and conflict prevention and resolution. Thus, the effects of RTAs in Africa are worthy of investigation.
CSEA’s TIG research programme examines regional economic integration agendas within Africa, especially West Africa, focusing on how such integration can deepen intra-regional trade, reduce poverty and result in inclusive growth. Also, the research examines the trend in intra-regional trade, and evaluates trade negotiations and policies that can enhance the effective integration of African countries into the global market.
Profiling Nigeria’s Trade and Investment Flows
The extent to which an economy is integrated with the global world is an important indicator of its performance. Two prominent variables that capture this are its level of trade and investment over time – particularly its export and foreign direct investment inflows. Therefore, in evaluating the performance of the Nigerian economy attention has to be given to this competitiveness measures.
The TIG research programme gathers and analyses data in order to provide insights into the dynamics of Nigeria’s trade and investment flows. It particularly focuses on decomposing total trade and investment based on their directions and patterns and also to provide explanations for observed changes.
Economic Growth and Competitiveness
Trade competitiveness is generally assumed to be a good measure of economic competitiveness. However measuring trade competitiveness is fraught with many challenges in the African continent where most economies depend largely on export of primary products.This research component examines the fundamentals of sustainable economic growth within the framework in which efficiency of resource allocation and production technology yield growth and deliver economic competitiveness simultaneously. It also seeks to develop and test appropriate measures of economic competitiveness.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
The determinants, impacts, and the policy implication of FDI have been extensively studied, but there is dearth of literature on studies based on African countries. The lack of focus on the region may be due to the scarcity of comprehensive data, and the fact that in relation to other regions, flows to Africa are rather small, and thus generate limited interest among scholars. However, access to disaggregated data, as well as survey data from various international organizations provides a unique opportunity for comprehensive studies on African countries.
Thus the key contribution of the TIG programme is that it would employ unique disaggregated data on FDI in Nigeria and Africa (by sector and region) to provide insights into the dynamics of the determinants and consequences of FDI.