Impacts and strategic implications of environmentally related non-tariff barriers on exporters from developing countries : a case study of the Chinese organic food industry

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Yang, Yan
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MSc in International Business
Dublin Business School
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This thesis researched the influence of ETBs on exporters from developing countries and their corresponding strategies through a case study of the Chinese organic food industry. Initially, a description of international trade and world export was developed, including their roles in the process of globalization. Trade barriers generated in international trade were then explained, with the focus on NTBs, especially ETBs. Lastly, the link between ETBs and market access was described and then the purpose of this study was proposed. Recent literature relating to NTBs were reviewed, including types of NTBs, developing countries’ NTBs concerns, the principles of WTO involved in ETBs, and market entry considerations. To gain more insight into the impact of ETBs on exporters, a case study of the Chinese organic food industry was chosen as the current research strategy to carry out a comprehensive description and qualitative analysis. Background of the organic food industry was firstly introduced, and then national differences in standards, certification and accreditation systems as major ETBs for the export-oriented developing countries were fully described. In order to obtain direct and true data, in-depth interviews with managers in the Chinese organic food industry were performed to measure their perceptions of the influence of organic certification as one ETB on market entry and their corresponding strategies to overcome this ETB. Results showed that organic certification was a primary ETB, and definitely played a main role in making a go/no-go decision and affects export trade. Based on the results, some implications were given at the end, including three aspects: managerial, governmental and WTO’s implications. Finally, conclusions indicated that ETBs had exerted immense influence on exporters from developing countries and therefore managers, governments and WTO should cooperate to overcome and eliminate the impact of ETBs and thus promote free trade.