Strategic lessons to emerge from an analysis of selected flower export nations
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Using Porter's (1990) model of international competitive advantage, the flower export industries in Australia, Colombia, Israel and the Netherlands are examined. The analysis reveals that the basic factors of production area great deal more important in the evolution of flower export industries than the literature would suggest. However, if the natural resource endowments are to be fully exploited, there is a need for a significant investment in infrastructure. The most significant of these investments is the development of a fully integrated supply chain from the producer to the customer. These infrastructure investments are made more easily where the industry is highly concentrated (clustered), strong, cohesive flower export councils have developed and where government has provided appropriate macro level incentives. However, the most significant role of government is its ability to negotiate and maintain preferential market access.While Porter (1990) maintains that a large and highly sophisticated domestic market is an advantage, in the flower export industry, a strong export culture is more important. With the large amounts of foreign investment being made in the emerging flower export countries, there is evidence to suggest that the double-diamond approach advocated by Rugman (1992) may be more appropriate in an examination of the international competitiveness of flower export nations.
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