Sustainable value chains – Volume 4, Issue 6 (December 2015/January 2016)


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    Dr. San Bilal - Head of Economic Transformation Programme, ECDPM
    With the Nairobi Ministerial Conference (MC10) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) coming in December for the first time on African soil, the intricate nexus between trade and development is attracting special attention for good reason. With the globalisation of production processes, economies and their trade are increasingly interconnected: 70% of global trade is in intermediate goods and services. Global and regional value chains (GVCs) have taken centre stage.


    "Upgrading Africa's participation in global value chains requires international rules to evolve" ECDPM's Isabelle Ramdoo talks to H.E. Mrs. Fatima Haram Acyl, AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry

    Implementing sustainable business through EU aid and trade policies
    Marten van den Berg, Director General Foreign Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands
    During its EU Presidency over the first half of 2016, The Netherlands will seek to enhance the coherence of EU trade and development policies and their contribution to sustainable development, in particular by enhancing the sustainability of global value chains.

    Global value chains
    Sustainability in global value chains: Closing the gap between ambition and action
    Michael D'heur, Founder and Managing Director of shared.value.chain

    How to close the gap between the ambitions for more sustainable global value chains and the current adaptation of businesses? While there are many opportunities for private and public sector to collaborate, misunderstandings and lack of collaborative actions that are properly financed prevent tangible results.

    Who captures the value in global value chains? A perspective from developing countries
    Peter Draper, Managing Director of Tutwa Consulting, and Andreas Freytag, Professor of Economics, Friedrich-Schiller-University
    Perspectives on the developmental impacts of global value chains vary substantially, and so do policy recommendations and strategic choice the developing countries face over their stance towards MNCs and GVCs. In defining elements of their industrial strategy, governments should minimize political barriers to trade and consider the importance of the institutional quality and governance structure in their country.

    GVC trade and the case for domestic economic policies
    Erik van der Marel, Senior Economist, European Centre for International Political Economy

    Today’s trading patterns are marked by global supply or value chains (GVCs) which forces policy makers to focus more and more on domestic economic policies that lie outside the traditional scope of trade barriers.

    Tracing sustainability in global food chains
    Arthur Mol, Rector Magnificus and Vice-Chairman, Wageningen University and Research Centre, and Peter Oosterveer, Assistant Professor, Environmental Policy Group Department, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    This article briefly discusses the different systems for tracing sustainability in global food chains and pays particular attention to the marketisation of sustainability through certificates.

    Global value chains and natural resources
    Extractives and global value chains: Where does Africa stand?
    Isabelle Ramdoo, Deputy Head, Economic Transformation and Trade, ECDPM

    Extractive resources accounted for 70% of Africa’s intermediate input exports in 2013. Yet, the continent’s value added participation in GVCs remains very low. Upgrading is therefore a necessary consideration to capture a bigger share of global markets.

    Global value chains and resource corridors: The nexus is regional integration
    Perrine Toledano, Head of Extractive Industries, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

    To be more involved in the global value chains, sub-Saharan African countries should intensify their regional integration efforts. A first step in this direction can be implementing cross-border resource-based development corridors.

    The GVCs global value chain train should not crush poor economies under its wheels
    Africa Kiiza, Pan African University

    In order to upgrade on global value chains (GVCs) in the extractives sector, Africa should ensure that the WTO ceases to be a war machine.

    Trade and development
    Aid for Trade works
    Frans Lammersen, Principal Administrator, and Erik Solheim, Chairman, DAC, OECD

    The Tenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) offers an opportune moment to take stock of the substantial achievements of the Aid for Trade Initiative, which has been largely successful, and reflect on how to continue its relevance in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Has Aid for Trade helped African economies achieve structural transformation?
    Xavier Cirera, Economist, World Bank, and L. Alan Winters, Professor of Economics, University of Sussex

    While some changes have occurred in patterns of exports from Africa, it cannot credibly be attributed to Aid for Trade, nor are there signs that AfT has helped switch employment from agriculture to industry.

    Trade liberalisation and poverty: Did we learn anything in the last ten years?
    L. Alan Winters, Professor of Economics, University of Sussex

    Recent research reinforces the evidence that trade liberalisation boosts growth but potentially hits people in import-competing sectors. Labour mobility is key to sharing the gains from liberalisation equitably. Women seem to gain more than men from trade liberalisation.

    Mapping the potential of cross-border cooperation in West Africa
    Olivier Walther, Consultant, SWAC/OECD, and Sebastian Vollmer, Statistician, University of Southern Denmark
    Mapping the socio-economic potential of border regions can provide great insights as to where cross-border co-operation could be intensified in West Africa.

    European policies
    Combining forces for more sustainable global value chains: A European perspective
    San Bilal and Jeske van Seters, ECDPM
    The EU should take a lead role in enhancing the sustainability of global value chains. It has some of the leverage and many of the instruments to do so. It should strengthen and scale up its efforts, ensure stronger synergy and coherence between its instruments, and encourage multi-stakeholder engagement for more responsible business.

    Business and human rights: Towards a German action plan and EU trade and investment agreements
    Evita Schmieg, Associate Researcher, German Institute for International and Security Affairs
    Evita Schmieg gives a personal view on the German discussion on human rights and EU trade and investment agreements in the process of putting up a national action plan.

    Special article (in French and available online only)

    Le ROAC s'engage pour le développement des marchés céréaliers et pour la souveraineté alimentaire en Afrique de l'Ouest
    Fabien Tondel de l'ECDPM interviewe Charles Nouatin, Secrétaire Exécutif du Réseau Ouest-Africain des Céréaliers


    Talking Points Blog highlights 

    In addition to structural support by ECDPM‘s institutional partners  The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and Austria, this particular issue also benefits from funding from the Department of International Development (DFID), United Kingdom. 

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