AbstractThis paper explores the natural synergies between industrial cluster formation and the identification of realistic export opportunities (REOs), using the TRADE‐DSM for a resource‐dependent region, the North West Province of South Africa. The structural path analysis and power of pull methods were applied to a provincial social accounting matrix to identify the top industrial clusters. Ten industrial clusters were identified and matched to the results of the TRADE‐DSM. Six of the industrial clusters analysed had REOs. These results provide a basis for focused export market development and for the formalisation of the cluster initiative as a strategy for sustained economic and export growth.

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