Trade liberalisation, openness and economic growth in less-developed countries
A number of studies, including those in the World Bank and the IMF, would suggest that trade liberalisation is an integral part of economic reform in developing countries. Although trade liberalisation is a well researched area, there are still some remaining issues that need to be addressed. Most of the earlier studies focus on establishing a link between trade policies and long-term economic performance, measured in terms of productivity or per capita GDP growth. Although theories promoting inward-oriented policies emerged in the fifties and sixties, the unsustainable and often destructive effects of importsubstitution policies have, by and large, been discredited with the realisation that potential benefits of an open trade regime may outweigh its costs. In the early 20th century, openness was not a popular policy while protectionism dominated, and during the fifties a majority of developing countries followed it as a genuine path to industrialisation.