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.


Identifying Intra-Commonwealth Value Chains

Understanding the global/regional value chain interface remains an important research endeavour including within the Commonwealth. This paper uses mixed research methods and presents some preliminary results on the nature of intra-commonwealth value chains. Trade intensity measures are analysed across specific product lines, followed by the identification of trade shifts for intermediate goods sourcing on an intra-Commonwealth basis. Finally, firm-level GVC indicators linked to specific product lines traded on an intra- and extra-Commonwealth basis are explored. Overall, the results presented in this paper suggest that Commonwealth members tend to trade more intensely on an intra-regional basis within more additive types of value chains (e.g. natural resource based, agro-processing). There have been some shifts in intermediate goods sourcing, with increased intra-Commonwealth sourcing of industrial goods. Small Island Developing States are more likely than other groups of member countries to export on an intra-Commonwealth basis. These preliminary results call for more nuanced approaches regarding entering and upgrading within GVCs, particularly for Commonwealth small states.


Keywords: intermediate goods, Commonwealth, global value chains
JEL: F14: International Economics / Trade / Empirical Studies of Trade; F23: International Economics / International Factor Movements and International Business / Multinational Firms; International Business
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