Trade at a Glance: a comparative analysis of the BRICS Countries’ Manufactures’ Trade in Value Added & Global Value Chains
In today’s globalised world, production processes have been split up and different parts of production relocated around the world. Global value chains (GVCs) are now attributed to more than 60 percent of global trade, employing an estimated 16 million people worldwide, with developing countries’ share in global value added trade having grown to 42 percent from just 22 percent in 1990.
While the emerging relevance and importance of GVCs cannot be overemphasised, the challenge has been the statistical bias created by attributing the full commercial value to the last country of origin which can misrepresent the political debate on the origin of the imbalances and lead to misguided, and hence counter-productive, decisions. According to the World Trade Organisation, the challenge is to find the right statistical bridges between the different statistical frameworks and national accounting systems to ensure that international interactions resulting from globalization are properly reflected and to facilitate cross border dialogue between national decision makers.
This paper looks at the recently released new statistical profiles on GVCs for 61 economies and more specifically looking at the BRICS economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The objective is to use the available data and provide a comparative analysis of the level of participation in GVC trade. It is important to note that the aim of the analysis is to provide a snapshot of the state of trade in value added (TiVA) based on available data. As this is a snapshot analysis, the ultimate goal is to start the discussion on how developing countries, especially in Africa, can get increasingly involved in the GVC trade.
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