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166 Working Paper

Foreign Trade Specialization and International Competitiveness Of Greece, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the EU 12

2008 – Bahri Yilmaz


The main purpose of this paper is to examine the foreign trade patterns and/or specialization in foreign trade of three EU member countries - namely, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and candidate country Turkey - and to compare the foreign trade patterns with the EU/12 in the period 1995- 2005. The paper is divided into seven main sections. The first section summarizes the export and import developments of the countries in question between the years 1995 and 2005. The second section describes the methodology and data sets. Empirical analysis is found in the third section, where in five subsections we investigate international competitiveness and trade specialization using different indices. In the fourth part of the research we compare the dynamic products in world exports with dynamic products in the exports of the four countries. The final section gives brief conclusions drawn from the results and considers the future position of Turkey within the enlarged EU. In this research we do not intend to explain why the foreign trade patterns are different in the considered countries. We simply try to show whether and where there are any differences in foreign trade specialisation among the four countries and EU/12.