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Doing Business in the COMESA Region: The Role of Innovation and Trade Facilitation

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
Authors:
Lokman Zaibet PhD, Department of Natural Resource Economics, Sultan Qaboos University Seeb Oman

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Mazin Al Siyabi Office for Trade and Industry, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion Muscat Oman

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Houcine Boughanmi Department of Natural Resource Economics, Sultan Qaboos University Seeb Oman

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Ibtisam Al Abri Department of Natural Resource Economics, Sultan Qaboos University Seeb Oman

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Shaikha Al Akhzami Department of Natural Resource Economics, Sultan Qaboos University Seeb Oman

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Abstract

Developing oil-dependent countries, like Oman, have growing potentials to broaden their export base aside from the hydrocarbon sector, thus enhancing economic growth. The article aims to identify factors to enhance Oman non-oil exports to the COMESA countries with a focus on innovations and trade facilitation. At the macro level, the article uses country trade data to explore the determinants of trade. At the firm level, the focus is on firm export behavior and innovation. Results show the key role of trade facilitation and firm-level innovations in particular at the commodity level. Innovation is significant and positive for commodities like vegetables, plastic, hides, stone, glass, and machinery. Government’s policies to boost exports and enhance economic growth should be geared to reducing market risks facing exporting firms as well as rewarding innovative companies through better innovation-targeted policies.

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