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This paper aims to provide a comparison of the changing pattern of export competitiveness among China and the four ASEAN countries comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand (hereafter ASEAN-4) as exporters of primary commodities, labour-intensive goods as well as technology-intensive manufactures in the US market. Competitiveness is defined as country A’s ability to gain market share on a common export destination (such as the US import market). There are many popssible factors contributing to the changing level of competitiveness of a trading country. In this paper, we confine our analyss to evaluating how important relative changes in real exchange rate, product composition, industry structure and growth rates are in influencing export competitiveness of China and ASEAN-4 in the US import market. The degree of export rivalry among China and ASEAN-4 is examined by using a shift-share model (see for example, Herschede 1991). In particular, the model assesses the effects of different industry structures and growth rates on the export performances of China and each of the four ASEAN countries in the US market.

This paper is organized as follows. In the next section, the changing patterns of China’s and ASEAN-4’s primary and manufactured exports to the US are analysed. The shift-share methodology is presented in the following section for assessing and comparing the differences in competitiveness among China and the ASEAN countries in the US market. The empirical resuts and implications of the analysis are then presented.


CAPS Working Paper Series No.35 (7/96)

Recommended Citation

Voon, T. J. (1996). Export competitiveness of China and ASEAN in the US market (CAPS Working Paper Series No.35). Retrieved from Lingnan University website: