Trade, Industrial Policy and Exchange Rates in South Africa
"South Africa’s trade, industrial and exchange rate policies have been the subject of substantial public debate in recent months, not least owing to the impact of the 2008–10 global financial crisis. On the trade and industrial policy fronts a substantial reorientation of policy has been under way for some time – a process accelerated by the financial crisis and associated policy responses in developed countries. Rather, microeconomic reforms to address underlying structural lack of competitiveness and bottlenecks in key network services are central to promoting longer-term international competitiveness, exports and job creation. In this regard, concerns were raised that the reorientation of trade and industrial policies may not promote this microeconomic reform agenda, particularly if a more protectionist policy stance ensues. In this context, acting to undervalue the exchange rate would create more distortions and over time undermine the very competitiveness such policies are intended to promote."