The purpose of this essay is to re-assess the case of outward- oriented trade regimes in the process of economic development. The nature of outward-orientation is briefly explained in the next section. As developing countries usually start their industrialization through import substitution strategies, the shift from an inward- to an outward-oriented trade regime raises questions concerning the set of economic policies to be reshaped, the timing of the policy reform, and the feasibility of such changes, which all are discussed in the third section. The fourth section provides evidence on successful as well as on unsuccessful liberalization attempts undertaken in the seventies and traces the causes for success or failure by relating the country experiences to the policy framework for export liberalization outlined in the previous section. In the fifth section, the revival of export pessimism is evaluated.