The shaping of a center-periphery system depends on several various economic and geographical factors that interact on a given space. Besides, the degree of openness of a country’s economy conditions the productive character of its regions. This essay explores the differential effects of either liberal or protectionist trade economic policies on a center-periphery system. Generally, the center tends to be industrial although, depending on the productive structure, it can be either importer or exporter, which has opposing effects on employment and revenues. Our model shows that a center can be industrial and importer if it has an exporter periphery. It specifies that, if the periphery’s exports are natural resource intensive, income tends to favor the center. On the contrary, if the periphery exports laborintensive goods, the contrary should be the case. Thus, technology and quality of exports are the main determinants of a center-periphery system.