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Regional Sustainability

Abstract

The competitiveness of a country’s agricultural products is not only related to its capacity to export agricultural products, but also to the sustainability of its agricultural sector. How to improve the international competitiveness of a country’s agricultural products while maintaining the sustainability of its agricultural sector is a practical problem of great urgency for a country with a large agricultural sector such as China. With this in mind, this study should have a considerable policy and practical significance. We used two evaluation indices, namely trade competitiveness (TC) index and revealed comparative advantage (RCA) index, to measure and analyze the international competitiveness of six China’s representative agricultural products, i.e., live pigs, live chickens, live cattle, apples, tea, and beer, and to examine the changing trends of these products’ competitiveness during 1994–2013. The results indicate that the export competitiveness of China’s agricultural products is weak and likely to deteriorate further. However, some traditional agricultural products with distinctive regional characteristics, for example, tea and live pigs, are relatively strong internationally. To this end, China should vigorously promote the production and foreign trade in traditional agricultural products with distinctive regional characteristics. At the same time, comprehensive measures should be taken to enhance the international competitiveness of disadvantaged agricultural products.

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