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In order to illustrate the extent of so-called south-south trade, or trade between developing countries, we have taken a major developing country supplier of each of the key fruits and vegetables and calculated the percentage of exports destined for other developing countries versus the percentage destined for developed countries. The results are summarized in Figures 2.17 and 2.18.

In the case of fruits it is possible to make the following observations. First, the three major suppliers of mangoes, other fresh fruits and other tropical fruits are all Far East countries: Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia, respectively. Trade in these three fruits is almost exclusively with other developing countries. Outside the Far East, regional trade among developing countries is much less important. Where it does take place, it is confined principally to the counter-seasonal fruits such as pears, apples and grapes, which are not widely grown in other developing countries. In contrast, there is little or no south-south trade in tropical fruits such as pineapples and papayas, which are destined (along with high value strawberries) for export to developed countries.

Figure 2.17: Share of selected fruits exported to developed/developing countries
(average 1997–2001), by selected country of origin

1/ Not specified elsewhere

A similar pattern emerges in the case of trade in vegetables (Figure 2.18). Again, it is the Far East region (and also Jordan in the case of tomatoes) where the greatest degree of trade with other developing countries would appear to be taking place. The two major African suppliers of green beans and green peas, Kenya and Zimbabwe, trade almost exclusively with developed countries. The same is true for trade in high value asparagus, ex-Peru.

Figure 2.18 : Share of selected vegetables exported to developing/developed
countries (average 1997–2001), by selected country of origin

Demand by developing countries for fruits and vegetables grown in other developing countries will be influenced by a number of factors. Price and purchasing power are key determinants, but other factors will also be important such as whether these fruits/vegetables have a traditional place in the diet of neighbouring developing countries, or whether these crops are grown widely among other countries within the region.

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