Comparative advantages in Polish export to the European Union — food products vs selected groups of non-food products

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Iwona Szczepaniak


Research background: Globalisation and economic integration are the reasons for which the competitiveness of economic entities is analysed more and more often in the context of their relations with the international market. One of the ways to assess the competitiveness of the Polish food sector is an analysis of comparative (relative) advantages in the export of this sector’s products.

Purpose of the article: The objective of this paper is to assess comparative advantages in Polish export of food products to the European Union against a background of selected groups of non-food products.

Methods: The study used the B. Balassa’s revealed comparative advantage (RCA) index. The study is preceded by a brief review of foreign trade results. The source of data was the WITS-Comtrade commercial database. The analysis was carried out at the level of the HS sections (in commodity terms). The research period covered the years 2003–2015.

Findings & Value added: In the years 2003–2015, export of food increased nearly six times and its import — more than 4.5 times. The major partners of Poland as regards trade in food were the EU countries. The food sector was one of few sectors of the economy with the positive trade balance. Polish export to the EU was characterised by a diversified level of comparative advantages. From among 20 HS sections, in 2015 Poland had comparative advantages in export to the EU countries for products from 10 sections (2 food and 8 non-food). Those products accounted for 11% and 70% of Polish export to the EU, respectively. The development of Polish foreign trade in food products during the Polish membership in the EU as well as fairly high comparative advantages in the export of these products to the EU indicate the competitiveness and significant importance of the Polish food sector for the national economy.

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How to Cite
Szczepaniak, I. (2018). Comparative advantages in Polish export to the European Union — food products vs selected groups of non-food products. Oeconomia Copernicana, 9(2), 287-308.


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