International Trade Working Paper

The International Trade Working Paper series promptly documents and disseminates reviews, analytical work and think-pieces to facilitate the exchange of ideas and to stimulate debates and discussions on issues that are of interest to developing countries in general and Commonwealth members in particular. The issues considered in the papers may be evolving in nature, leading to further work and refinement at a later stage.


Harnessing the Commonwealth Advantage in Global Value Chains

This paper examines the participation of 43 Commonwealth countries in global value chains (GVCs). It shows that Commonwealth member countries' participation in GVCs increased between 1995–2015, but that it was primarily with non-Commonwealth countries. It finds that three main regional clusters connect Commonwealth value chains in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe, and deep regional trade agreement membership impacts on GVC participation. It also finds that while open economies, such as Singapore, tend to import value-added inputs from the G20 countries, smaller Commonwealth countries were relatively more reliant on other Commonwealth members for inputs for domestic industries. It recommends that targeted measures and an enabling business environment are required, and that additional support for developing countries will facilitate participation at the lower end of the value chain.


Keywords: regional trade agreements, LDCs, global value chains, value-added, trade
JEL: F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; F44: International Economics / Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance / International Business Cycles; O24: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Development Planning and Policy / Development Planning and Policy: Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
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