Trade Policies and Sustainable Development in the Context of Global Value Chains

Date period
20 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.” The nexus involves not only the movement of final goods but also that of intermediates, capital, ideas, data, and services. This paper, to which Sherry Stephenson, ICTSD Senior Fellow, made an essential contribution, 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.


The paper complements the conceptual analysis found in Inclusive and Sustainable Growth: The SDG Value Chains Nexus authored by Raphael Kaplinsky.