Publications and resources

20 December 2016

Trade Facilitation and Global Value Chains: Opportunities for Sustainable Development – ICTSD – November 2016

There is considerable interest in the development community as to the complex relationship between GVCs and sustainable development outcomes in low-income countries. This paper analyses that relationship from the specific perspective of trade facilitation. If policies are appropriately designed and implemented, there is much that trade facilitation can do to increase GVC involvement, which in turn can have positive implications for sustainable development prospects.

Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes: Options for a Permanent Solution – ICTSD – November 2016

WTO members have agreed to seek a “permanent solution” to the problems that some developing countries say they face in addressing food security objectives under the trade body’s existing farm subsidy rules. Negotiators now need to construct an equitable and sustainable solution. This paper seeks to contribute to this process by surveying the extent to which this evidence is available, analysing the data which does exist, and drawing some initial conclusions about options that negotiators might fruitfully be able to explore.

Global Value Chains, Industrial Policy, and Sustainable Development – Ethiopia’s Apparel Export Sector – ICTSD – November 2016

Ethiopia is an exporting latecomer compared to other sub-Saharan African apparel exporters. But recent export growth has been impressive with Ethiopia being hyped as a “rising star” for apparel sourcing. This country case study, based on a methodology developed by ICTSD, assesses the achievements and challenges manifested in growing the Ethiopian apparel sector, the government’s active industrial policy strategy to develop the sector, and its implications for industrial and sustainable development.

Global Value Chains, Sustainable Development, and the Apparel Industry in Lesotho – ICTSD – November 2016

The apparel industry has been central to Lesotho’s economy, accounting for one third of the country’s gross domestic product. This country case study examines the interplay between two different sets of foreign direct investment (FDI) driving two very different value chains: the one global, with FDI from Asia and production based on preferential access to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); the other regionally based, with FDI from South African firms relocating production in Lesotho.

Comparing Safeguard Measures in Recent Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements – ICTSD – November 2016

As negotiators pursue talks on a workable agricultural safeguard mechanism at the World Trade Organization, it is critical that they have access to up-to-date and reliable information. This paper, which builds on a previous ICTSD study, provides policy-makers and others with an evidence-based analysis of the implications of recent bilateral and regional trade negotiations for developing countries’ ability to use safeguard measures to protect domestic producers from sudden surges in the volume of imports or price depressions.

Trade Measures to Combat IUU Fishing: Comparative Analysis of Unilateral and Multilateral Approaches – ICTSD – October 2016

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a persistent and global problem. This research paper describes and compares the apparent impact of multilateral and unilateral trade-related measures taken to address IUU fishing, including trade and catch documentation schemes and trade-restrictive measures that identify and sanction countries for perceived weaknesses in addressing IUU fishing. The research is presented in two formats: an issue paper and a summary for policymakers.

Trade, Food Security, and the 2030 Agenda – ICTSD – October 2016

The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets a ground-breaking new commitment for all countries: to end hunger and “all forms of malnutrition” by 2030, including undernourishment, micronutrient deficiencies, and overnutrition. This paper examines how policies affecting trade and markets are relevant to those new commitments on hunger and malnutrition, looks at past progress and projected trends, and examines options for government action in the years ahead.

Trade and Water: How Might Trade Policy Contribute to Sustainable Water Management? – ICTSD – October 2016

This paper identifies some of the key intersections between trade policy and water management, in areas such as agriculture, hydropower generation, water services and wastewater management. While the local nature of water systems and the diversity of water management objectives is not conducive to the application of trade instruments to enforce a prescriptive, one-size-fits-all, approach to water management, the paper identifies a range of areas in which trade policy could support the sustainable management of water.

Priority Trade Policy Actions to Achieve the 2030 Agenda and Transform African Livelihoods – ICTSD – September 2016

This think piece, one of a series that analyse the contribution trade and trade policy could make in implementing the 2030 Agenda, explains that the poverty challenge is particularly steep for Africa. The continent’s commodity-led growth over the last few years has not, by and large, generated widespread economic opportunities. Against this backdrop, this paper focuses on how trade-related policy, including regional economic integration, could contribute to transforming livelihoods across the continent.

Trade Policies and Sustainable Development in the Context of Global Value Chains – ICTSD – September 2016

Global value chains (GVCs) have become a major feature of the 21st century economy. This paper argues that the expansion and increased sophistication of GVCs has created a new “trade-investment-services-technology nexus.” This paper surveys the types of trade and trade-related policies that are the most relevant to support the development of country participation and upgrading in GVCs. It also explores the implications these policies may have for GVCs to contribute to sustainable development.

Services and Sustainable Development: A Conceptual Approach – ICTSD – September 2016

This paper, the first in a series of services and SDG-related publications, aims to provide the basis for further work in this area and support positive service sector policy change in the world’s poorest countries. It offers a conceptual framework which identifies the primary channels through which services effect the SDGs, as well as a set of criteria designed to guide policymakers in prioritising competitiveness-enhancing policy change in particular service sectors.


This article is published under
12 December 2016
The process to bring the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) into force is entering the home stretch, with the Geneva-based organisation reporting that only eight more ratifications are needed...
20 December 2016
Fishing plays a crucial economic role in many human communities around the globe. How can trade-related policies contribute to the sustainable management of halieutic resources? The ocean is a vital...