Global value chains, development and emerging economies

Gary Gereffi

#2015-047

In recent decades, profound changes in the structure of the global economy have reshaped global production and trade and have altered the organisation of industries and national economies into global value chains (GVCs). As GVCs became global in scope, more intermediate goods were traded across borders, and more imported parts and components were integrated into exports. In 2009, world exports of intermediate goods exceeded the combined export values of final and capital goods for the first time. New governance structures reinforce the organisational consolidation occurring within GVCs and the geographic concentration associated with the growing prominence of emerging economies as key economic and political actors. Emerging economies are playing significant and diverse roles in GVCs. During the 2000s, they were simultaneously major exporters of intermediate and final manufactured goods (China, South Korea, and Mexico) and primary products (Brazil, Russia, and South Africa). However, market growth in emerging economies has also led to shifting end markets in GVCs, as more trade has occurred between developing economies (often referred to as South-South trade in the literature), especially since the 2008-09 economic recession. China has been the focal point of both trends: it is the world's leading exporter of manufactured goods and the world's largest importer of many raw materials, thereby contributing to the primary product export boom.

JEL Classification: F16, F23, L25

Key words: Global Value Chains, Governance Structures, Economic Upgrading, Social Upgrading, Emerging Economies, Industrial Policy, China

  


UNU-MERIT