reviewed & published
Comparative Advantages of Selected Syrian Agro-Food Commodity Chains: Implications for Policy Formulation
Policy Assistance Support Service, Policy and Programme Development Support Division, FAO

The assessment of the comparative advantages of a given productive system encompasses a broad range of conceptual works emanating from cost-benefit analysis and the theory of international trade. The basic concept is that an economic activity in a given country has a comparative advantage as far as it can compete with alternative source of supply through import without benefiting from any specific support from the rest of the economy under the form of transfer of resources. The comparative advantage of productive systems is measured through the computation of several accounting entities and ratios that have been gradually developed through applied research. In the eighties these different methods have been consolidated into one method named the Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM), three lines by three columns table containing all the different accounting values and derived ratios needed for the analysis of the comparative advantage. This analytical framework has been widely used to assist in decision making to monitor trade liberalization process in European, South-East Asian and Sub-Saharan countries from the eighties onward.

Agroindustry and food chain policies