The competitiveness matrix and the role of emerging markets in Argentine and Brazilian exports

Abstract The general objective of this study is to analyze the evolution of Argentina and Brazil’s export structures between 1985 and 2010, through the competitiveness matrix developed by Fajnzylber and Mandeng. The specific objective is to identify links between the form that the competitiveness matrix takes over time and the evolution of the markets analyzed (OECD, Mercosur, Asia Developing and WORLD). The results confirm that the markets of emerging countries favor the most dynamic and competitive exports from Argentina and Brazil. However, while the Argentine and Brazilian exports to Mercosur are composed of more sophisticated manufactures, exports to developing countries in Asia are almost entirely natural resources and commodities.