Trade
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Côte d'Ivoire is the market that has most rapidly improved its trade growth potential over the past decade, according to new research issued by Standard Chartered.

The Trade20 index, which identifies the 20 rising stars of trade, places African markets Côte d'Ivoire in the top spot, and Kenya at number three.

The Trade20 index determines each market’s trade growth potential by analysing changes within the last decade across a wide range of variables, grouped into three equally-weighted pillars: economic dynamism, trade readiness and export diversity.

The study examines 66 markets around the world. It finds that while existing trade powers like China and India continue to rapidly improve their trade potential, African economies are making particularly strong progress from a relatively low starting point.

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Kenya is consolidating its position as the trading hub of East Africa, while Côte d'Ivoire is cementing its position as a West African trading hub. Ghana also performed well in the index, placing just outside the top 10.

The key findings of the Trade20 index for African markets are:

  • Côte d'Ivoire and Kenya have significantly improved their trade readiness, demonstrating that investments in infrastructure and business environment improvements are paying off.
  • Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana also fare well for economic dynamism, with Côte d'Ivoire enjoying robust GDP and export growth, and Ghana seeing an influx of FDI.

Saif Malik, regional co-head, global banking, AME, Standard Chartered, said: “Home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Africa has the potential to become a much bigger player on the global trade stage. Already connected with the trading powers in Asia, particularly China, through the Belt & Road Initiative, and with the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, we see numerous growth opportunities for trade and investment in the years ahead.

“Additionally, the growing young, digitally-savvy population and an increasing female workforce will aid in the continent’s economic transformation.”

Trade20 examines 12 metrics across 66 global markets – the major global economies plus the major economies in each region – to reveal the 20 economies that are most rapidly improving their potential for trade growth.

Read the Trade20 report here.