South-South Economic Linkages: An Overview

Publication | August 2011
South-South Economic Linkages: An Overview

This paper surveys the way that South–South linkages have been strengthening, especially since the early 1990s, and some of the implications of these developments in the architecture of international economic relations.

This paper surveys the expanding South–South international economic linkages in recent decades and notes the growth in the areas of trade and investment relations; and in various other forms of economic relationships as well such as through labor markets, technology, policy coordination, and regional cooperation. Looking ahead, the prospects are that the changing architecture of international economic relations that South–South cooperation reflects will continue to gain in importance and will contribute to growth across the developing world. Policies that support both pro-market linkages and effective government partnerships will help South–South cooperation to grow further.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction: Changing Balances of Influence
  • The Growth of South-South Ties
  • Markets as Drivers of Change
  • Regional Cooperation as a Tool to Strengthen Economic Links
  • Policy Implications of the Changing Global Architecture: The Role of Governments and Institutions
  • Conclusions
  • References