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Global Value Chains and Development: Investment and Value Added Trade in the Global Economy

Report by UNCTAD, 2013

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This study presents the value-added patterns in the global economy and in the developing world. It looks at the global value chains (GVCs) and their increasing complexity, which often results in distorted statistics on global trade due to double counting. The report estimates that the value chains administered in various ways by transnational corporations (TNCs) now account for 80 percent of global trade. Moreover, the data shows that developing countries are participating more and more in GVCs and this can play an important role in economic growth in the future. In addition, the report states that the balance of opportunities and risks associated with GVCs makes it important for governments to carry out well-informed policy debates on GVCs’ development impacts.

U N I T E D N AT I O N S C O N F E R E N C E O N T R A D E A N D D E V E L O P M E N T


INVESTMENT AND VALUE ADDED
TRADE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY


GLOBALVALUE CHAINS
AND Development


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Advance unedited version


A preliminary analysis




Global Value Chains and Developmentii


Editorial Note
The Division on Investment and Enterprise of UNCTAD is a global centre of excellence dealing with issues
related to investment and enterprise development in the United Nations System. It builds on three-and-a-half
decades of experience and international expertise in research and policy analysis, fosters intergovernmental
consensus-building, and provides technical assistance to developing countries.


The terms country/economy as used in this Report also refer, as appropriate, to territories or areas; the
designations employed and the presentation of the material do not imply the expression of any opinion
whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country,
territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. In
addition, the designations of country groups are intended solely for statistical or analytical convenience and
do not necessarily express a judgment about the stage of development reached by a particular country or
area in the development process. The major country groupings used in this Report follow the classification
of the United Nations Statistical Office. These are:


Developed countries: the member countries of the OECD (other than Chile, Mexico, the Republic of Korea
and Turkey), plus the new European Union member countries which are not OECD members (Bulgaria,
Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania), plus Andorra, Bermuda, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San
Marino.


Transition economies: South-East Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.


Developing economies: in general all economies not specified above. For statistical purposes, the data for
China do not include those for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong SAR), Macao Special
Administrative Region (Macao SAR) and Taiwan Province of China.


Reference to companies and their activities should not be construed as an endorsement by UNCTAD of
those companies or their activities.


The boundaries and names shown and designations used on the maps presented in this publication do not
imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.


The following symbols have been used in the tables:


• Two dots (..) indicate that data are not available or are not separately reported. Rows in tables have
been omitted in those cases where no data are available for any of the elements in the row.


• A dash (–) indicates that the item is equal to zero or its value is negligible.


• A blank in a table indicates that the item is not applicable, unless otherwise indicated.


• A slash (/) between dates representing years, e.g., 1994/95, indicates a financial year.


• Use of a dash (–) between dates representing years, e.g. 1994–1995, signifies the full period involved,
including the beginning and end years.


• Reference to “dollars” ($) means United States dollars, unless otherwise indicated.


• Annual rates of growth or change, unless otherwise stated, refer to annual compound rates.


Details and percentages in tables do not necessarily add to totals because of rounding.


The material contained in this study may be freely quoted with appropriate acknowledgement.


UNITED NATIONS PUBLICATION
UNCTAD/DIAE/2013/1


© Copyright United Nations 2013
All rights reserved




iii


UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise
builds on efforts in the international community to
map the distribution of value added in global trade,
launching a GVC dataset that expands coverage
to include almost all countries, including developing
economies, and a broad range of industries and
activities of relevance to them. The UNCTAD-Eora
GVC Database – part of UNCTAD’s FDI-TNCs-GVC
Information System – provides new perspectives on
trade links between economies, on the distribution
of value added, income and employment resulting
from trade, on the investment-trade nexus and on
how transnational corporations (TNCs), through
equity and contractual modes, shape patterns of
value added trade.


Highlights of the findings presented in this report:
• Global investment and trade are inextricably


intertwined through the international
production networks of firms investing in
productive assets worldwide and trading inputs
and outputs in cross-border value chains of
various degrees of complexity. Such value
chains (intra-firm or inter-firm, regional or
global in nature, and commonly referred to as
Global Value Chains or GVCs) shaped by TNCs
account for some 80% of global trade.


• GVCs are responsible for the growing
significance of “double counting” in global
trade figures. The new data shows that some
28% of gross exports consist of value added
that is first imported by countries only to be
incorporated in products or services that are
then exported again. Thus some $5 trillion out
of the $19 trillion in global gross exports (in
2010 figures) is actually double counted.


• GVCs make extensive use of services.
While the share of services in gross exports
worldwide is only around 20%, almost half
(46%) of value added inputs to exports is
contributed by service-sector activities, as
most manufacturing exports require services
for their production. In fact, a significant part of
the international production networks of TNCs
are geared towards providing services inputs,
as indicated by the fact that more than 60% of
global FDI stock is in services activities (26% in


manufacturing and 7% in the primary sector).
This picture is similar in both developed and
developing economies.


• The majority of developing countries, including
the poorest, are increasingly participating in
GVCs. The developing country share in global
value added trade increased from 20% in 1990
to 30% in 2000 to over 40% today. Again, the
role of TNCs is instrumental, as countries with
a higher presence of FDI relative to the size
of their economies tend to have a higher level
of participation in GVCs and a greater relative
share in global value added trade compared to
their share in global exports.


• GVC links in developing countries can play an
important role in economic growth. Domestic
value added created from GVC trade can
be very significant relative to the size of
local economies. In developing countries,
for example, value added trade contributes
some 28% to countries’ GDP on average, as
compared with 18% for developed countries.
Furthermore, there appears to be a positive
correlation between participation in GVCs
and GDP per capita growth rates. Economies
with the fastest growing GVC participation
have GDP per capita growth rates some 2
percentage points above the average.


• There appear to be a number of distinct GVC
development paths for developing countries,
including “engaging” in GVCs, “upgrading”
along GVCs, “leapfrogging” and “competing”
via GVCs. The best development outcome
may result from increasing GVC participation
and upgrading along GVCs at the same
time. Countries that, over the last 20 years,
managed to grow both their participation
in GVCs and their domestic value added
in exports experienced GDP per capita
growth of 3.4% on average, compared to
2.2% for countries that only increased their
participation in GVCs without “upgrading”
their domestic value addition.


These findings will have some important policy
implications. For example, GVCs can be an
important avenue for developing countries to build


Executive Summary




Global Value Chains and Developmentiv


productive capacity, including through technology
dissemination and skill building, opening up
opportunities for longer-term industrial upgrading.
However, such potential benefits of GVCs are
not automatic. Policies matter, including a set
of coherent and mutually reinforcing trade and
investment policies, as well as the right overall
development strategies.


UNCTAD intends to build on the preliminary
analyses of the new data presented in this launch
report in its forthcoming World Investment Report
2013, which will examine the mechanisms through
which GVCs can contribute to development


(e.g. market access, employment generation,
productive capacity building), as well as the risks
involved for developing countries (e.g. social and
environmental sustainability impact, the risk of
remaining locked into low value adding activities,
footlooseness of activities).


The balance of opportunities and risks associated
with GVCs makes a well-informed policy debate
on their development impact of paramount
importance. UNCTAD hopes that its GVC
Database will stimulate and contribute to such
debate by providing new insights into the evolving
nature of globalized production networks.




v


The UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database launch report
was prepared by a team led by James Zhan
and including Richard Bolwijn, Bruno Casella
and Masataka Fujita. Carlo Altomonte served as
principal economic advisor, and Keiichiro Kanemoto
and Daniel Moran as principal data consultants.


At various stages of preparation the team benefited
from comments and inputs received from experts,
including Richard Baldwin, Peter Buckley, Lorraine
Eden, Gary Gereffi, Bart Los, Bo Meng, William


Powers and Pierre Sauvé. Comments were also
received from UNCTAD colleagues, including Marco
Fugazza, Alessandro Nicita, Victor Ognivtsev, Miho
Shirotori and Guillermo Valles.


Research and statistical assistance was provided
by Bradley Boicourt, Lizanne Martinez and Davide
Rigo. The document was typeset by Teresita
Ventura.


UNCTAD wishes to thank the Eora project team
members for their kind collaboration.


Acknowledgements






vii


Table of Contents


Executive Summary ..................................................................................................................... iii


Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................................v


Introduction ............................................................................................................................1


I. Value added trade patterns in the global economy ............................................................4


II. Value added trade patterns in the developing world ........................................................13


III. GVCs: the investment-trade nexus .....................................................................................16


IV. The development impact of GVCs ......................................................................................20


Concluding remarks: a policy analysis agenda .......................................................................24


Boxes


Box 1. International efforts to map GVCs and the UNCTAD-Eora
GVC Database ................................................................................................................. 3
Box 2. Understanding value added trade data and indicators ................................................... 5
Box 3. Estimating trade within the international production
networks of TNCs .......................................................................................................... 17


Figures


Figure 1. Value added trade: how it works ..................................................................................... 1
Figure 2. UNCTAD’s data on FDI, TNCs and GVCs ........................................................................ 2
Figure 3. Global value added in trade, 2010 ................................................................................... 4
Figure 4. Share of foreign value added in exports, by region, 2010 ............................................... 6
Figure 5. Share of foreign value added in exports, selected industries, 2010 ................................ 7
Figure 6. Share of foreign value added in exports, developed and
developing economies, selected industries, 2010........................................................... 8
Figure 7. Relative value added trade shares of the top 25 exporting economies, 2010 ................ 9
Figure 8. Domestic value added in trade as a share of GDP, by region, 2010 ............................. 10
Figure 9. GVC participation, 2010, and GVC participation growth rates,
2005-2010 ...................................................................................................................... 11
Figure 10. GVC participation rate of the top 25 exporting economies, 2010 ................................. 12
Figure 11. Share of developing countries in global value added trade and
in gross exports, 1990-2010 .......................................................................................... 13
Figure 12. Domestic value added trade shares of the top 25 developing
economy exporters, 2010 .............................................................................................. 14
Figure 13. GVC participation rate of the top 25 developing economy
exporters, 2010 .............................................................................................................. 15
Figure 14. Global gross trade (exports of goods and services),
by type of TNC involvement, 2010 ................................................................................ 16
Figure 15. Sector composition of global gross exports, value added inputs
to exports, and FDI stock, 2010 .................................................................................... 18




Global Value Chains and Developmentviii


Figure 16. Correlation between levels of inward FDI stock and
GVC participation .......................................................................................................... 19
Figure 17. Key value added trade indicators, by quartile of inward FDI
stock relative to GDP, 2010 ............................................................................................ 19
Figure 18. Correlation between growth in GVC participation and
GDP per capita .............................................................................................................. 21
Figure 19. GDP per capita growth rates by quartile of growth in GVC
participation, developing economies only, 1990-2010 .................................................. 22
Figure 20. GDP per capita growth rates for developing countries with high/low
growth in GVC participation, and high/low growth in
domestic value added share, 1990-2010 ...................................................................... 22
Figure 21. Possible GVC Development Paths ................................................................................ 23


Annex


Technical note on the UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database ......................................................................... 26




Introduction 1


Introduction


Figure 1. Value added trade: how it works


Source: UNCTAD.


Global trade in goods and services, which today
amounts to more than $20 trillion, includes a
significant amount of double counting. Raw material
extracted in one country may be exported first to a
second country for processing, then exported again
to a manufacturing plant in a third country, which
may then export it to a fourth for final consumption.
The value of the raw material counts only once
as a GDP contribution in the original country, but
is counted several times in world exports. Value
added trade statistics aim to identify the double
counting in gross trade figures and show where
value is created in global production chains (see
figure 1 for a simplified example). Such cross-
border production chains, which may comprise
only two countries, a region or a global network, are
commonly referred to as global value chains (GVCs).
A typical GVC producing any end-product for final
consumption will involve activities across multiple


sectors and industries, from extractive industries
or primary sector activities, to manufacturing, to
services value added incorporated along the chain.


Value added trade statistics can lead to important
policy insights in the area of trade, investment
and development. UNCTAD, in line with its role
as a research, policy analysis and consensus
building institution working for development
(and in response to the mandate received at its
latest UNCTAD XIII ministerial meeting, as well
as requests made by the G20) aims to provide
insights into the relevance, impact and patterns
of value added trade and GVCs across the global
economy, and in particular in developing countries.
In a collaborative effort with the Eora project,1 its
Division on Investment and Enterprise has built a
value added trade dataset that covers developed
and developing countries and a broad range of






Domestic Value
Added in exports


Foreign Value Added
incorporated


Participating
countries Gross


exports
Domestic


Value Added
Double-
counting


Value chain


Country A


Country B


Country C


Country D


Raw material
extraction


Final
demand


Processing Manufacturing


2


2 + 24 = 26


2 + 24 + 46 = 72


2


26


72


100


2


24


46


72


0


2


26


28∑




Global Value Chains and Development2


Figure 2. UNCTAD’s data on FDI, TNCs and GVCs


Source: UNCTAD.


industries relevant to them: the UNCTAD-Eora GVC
Database (box 1). With this database UNCTAD has
added an important element to its FDI and TNCs
Information System (figure 2). The new database
will be used as a basis for the World Investment
Report 2013 (WIR13), which will assess the
patterns, drivers and determinants, development
impact and policy implications of value added trade
and investment.


As a preview to the theme part of WIR13, and
to accompany the launch of the UNCTAD-Eora
GVC Database, this short report presents a few
preliminary findings based on the new data. It
essentially aims to answer a number of basic
questions that are top of mind for policymakers and
the development community:


• How much value added does trade actually
generate?


• Which countries incorporate the most foreign
value added in their exports?


• Which industries have the most segmented
value chains?


• How much value added do countries get out of
their exports?


• How significant is value added trade to
countries’ GDP?


• Which countries participate most in GVCs?
• How much value are developing countries


capturing from trade?


• To what extent are developing country exports
integrated in GVCs?


• What is the role of TNCs in global trade?
• How do international production networks of


TNCs shape value added trade?


• How does the presence of TNCs affect
countries’ GVC participation?


• What is the impact of value added trade and
GVCs on economic growth?


• Is there a trade-off between GVC participation
and domestic value added?


• Are there different GVC development paths?


UNCTAD intends to deepen the analysis on these
and other questions, to look at how TNCs shape
global and regional value chains and patterns
of value added trade, to identify the drivers and
determinants of investment in GVCs, and to assess
the impact of GVCs, including by analyzing where
and how employment and income is generated
throughout GVCs. WIR13 will also examine the
mechanisms through which GVCs can contribute
to development (e.g. market access, employment
generation, productive capacity building), as well
as the risks involved for developing countries (e.g.
social and environmental sustainability impact,
the risk of remaining locked into low value adding
activities, footlooseness of activities or vulnerability
of production due to cyclical factors). And it will
assess the implications for national and international
trade and investment policies.


FDI
Database


TNCs
Database


UNCTAD-
Eora GVC
Database


Distinguishing features


▪ Coverage of 187
economies


▪ 25-500 industries
depending on the
country


▪ Continuous timeseries
from 1990 to 2010


UNCTAD FDI-TNCs-GVC Information System




Introduction 3


Box 1. International efforts to map GVCs and the UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database


The growing importance of GVCs has led to the realization that the way international trade has traditionally been
accounted for may no longer be sufficient. A growing body of work exists aimed at netting out the “double-counting”
effect of GVCs on global trade, determining value added in trade, and mapping how value added moves between
countries along GVCs before final consumption of end-products. Value added in trade can be estimated based
on international input-output (I-O) tables which illustrate the economic interactions between countries (see the
Technical Annex). To date, and using different methodologies, several initiatives have sought to compile inter-country
I-O tables. A selection of the main initiatives is listed in the table below.


Project Institution Data sources Countries Industries Years Comments


UNCTAD-Eora
GVC Database UNCTAD/Eora


National
supply-use
and I-O tables,
and I-O tables
from Eurostat,
IDE-JETRO and
OECD


187


25-500
depending


on the
country


1990-2010


“Meta” database drawing
together many data sources
and interpolating missing
points to provide broad and
consistent coverage, even of
data-poor countries


Inter-Country-
Input-Output
model (ICIO)


OECD/WTO National I-O tables 40 18
2005,


2008, 2009


Based on national input-output
tables harmonised by the
OECD


Asian International
I-O tables


Institute of
Developing
Economies
(IDE-JETRO)


National
accounts and
firm surveys


10 76


1975,1980,
1985,1990,
1995,2000,


2005


US-Asian tables.
Also bilateral tables, including
China-Japan.


Global Trade
Analysis Project
(GTAP)


Purdue
University


Contributions
from individual
researchers and
organisations.


129 57 2004, 2007


Non-official dataset.
Includes data on areas such as
energy volumes, land use, CO2
emissions and international
migration.


World Input-
Output Database
(WIOD)


Consortium of
11 institutions.
EU funded.


National supply-
use tables 40 35 1995-2009


Based on official national
accounts statistics.
Uses end-use classification to
allocate flows across partner
countries


The UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database uses input-output tables to estimate the import-content ratio in exportable
products and value added trade. Its value added trade data are derived from the Eora global multi-region input-
output (MRIO) table. The Eora MRIO brings together a variety of primary data sources including national input-
output tables and main aggregates data from national statistical offices; input-output compendia from Eurostat,
IDE (Institute of Developing Economies)–JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) and OECD; national account
data (the UN National Accounts Main Aggregates Database; and the UN National Accounts Official Data); and trade
data (the UN Comtrade international trade database and the UN ServiceTrade international trade database). Eora
combines these primary data sources into a balanced global MRIO, using interpolation and estimation in some
places to provide a contiguous, continuous dataset for the period 1990-2010. The Eora MRIO thus builds on
some of the other efforts in the international community. Accompanying every data point in the results provided on
the Eora website (www.worldmrio.com) is an estimate of that data point’s standard deviation, reflecting the extent
to which it was contested, interpolated, or estimated, during the process of assembling the global MRIO from
constituent primary data sources. Further details on the EORA database can be found in the Annex: “Technical note
on the UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database”.


The joint OECD-WTO project (see table), which recently published its first results, is recognized as a comprehensive
effort to set a common standard for data on value added in trade. Placing significant emphasis on methodology
it necessarily sacrifices some coverage (of countries, industries and time series) for statistical rigor. In contrast,
the primary objective of the UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database is extended coverage to provide a developing country
perspective. This explains the choice of the MRIO approach, the key innovation of which is the use of algorithms
that put together unrelated data and minimize accounting discrepancies irrespective of the type of underlying data,
allowing the inclusion of data-poor countries.


Source: UNCTAD.




Global Value Chains and Development4


I. Value added trade patterns in the global economy


Figure 3. Global value added in trade, 2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database, UNCTAD estimates.


How much value added does
trade generate?
At the global level, the average foreign value added
in exports is approximately 28% (figure 3). That
means, roughly, that around $5 trillion of the $19
trillion in 2010 world exports of goods and services
has been contributed by foreign countries for
further exports and is thus “double counted” in
global trade figures.2 The remaining $14 trillion is
the actual value added contribution of trade to the
global economy (or around one-fifth of global GDP).


These figures differ significantly by country and by
industry, with important policy implications:


• At the country level, foreign value added
in exports indicates what part of country’s
gross exports consist of inuts that have been
produced by other countries, or the extent to
which a country’s exports are dependent on
imported content. It is also an indication of the
level of vertical specialization of economies:


the extent to which economic activities in a
country focus on particular tasks and activities
in global value chains.


• At the industry level, the average foreign
value added is a proxy for the extent to which
industry value chains are segmented or
“fine-sliced” into distinct tasks and activities
that generate trade, compounding the
double counting effect. This is important for
policymakers designing, for example, industrial
development, trade and investment promotion
policies.


Which countries incorporate
the most foreign value added in
their exports?
Developed countries, as a whole, at 31% have
a higher share of foreign value added in exports
than the global average (figure 4), i.e. their import
dependence of exports appears higher. However,
this picture is distorted by the weight in global
figures of internal trade within the highly integrated
EU economy, which accounts for some 70%


$ Trillions ESTIMATES


“Double counting”
(foreign value


added in exports)


Global gross exports Value added in trade


~19 ~5


~14
28%




I. Value added trade patterns in the global economy 5


Box 2. Understanding value added trade data and indicators


A country’s exports can be divided into domestically produced value added and imported (foreign) value added that
is incorporated into exported goods and services. Furthermore, exports can either go to a foreign market for final
consumption or as intermediate inputs to be exported again to third countries (or back to the original country). The
analysis of GVCs takes into account both foreign value added in exports (the upstream perspective) and exported
value added incorporated in third-country exports (the downstream perspective). The most common indicators,
which will also be used in this report, are as follows:


1. Foreign value added (foreign value added as a share of exports) indicates what part of a country’s gross
exports consists of inputs that have been produced in other countries. It is the share of the country’s exports
that is not adding to its GDP.3


2. Domestic value added is the part of exports created in-country. It is the share of the country’s exports
that contributes to GDP (domestic value added trade share). The sum of foreign and domestic value added
equates to gross exports. As a share of GDP, domestic value added measures the extent to which trade con-
tributes to the GDP of a country.


3. GVC participation4 indicates the portion of a country’s exports that is part of a multi-stage trade process,
by adding to the foreign value added used in a country’s own exports also the value added supplied to other
countries’ exports. Although the degree to which exports are used by other countries for further export gener-
ation may appear less relevant for policymakers as it does not change the domestic value added contribution
of trade, the participation rate is a useful indicator for the extent to which a country’s exports are integrated in
international production networks and it is thus helpful in exploring the trade-investment nexus.This variable
corrects the limitation of the previous indicators in which countries at the beginning of the value chain (e.g.
exporters of raw materials) have a low foreign value added content of exports by definition. It gives a more
complete picture of the involvement of countries in GVCs, both upstream and downstream.


A country’s GVC participation, measured as a share of exports, effectively assesses the reliance of exports
on GVCs. In this sense, it is also an indicator of how much hypothetical “damage” to GVCs (and global GDP)
would occur if a country’s exports were blocked; alternatively, it represents the vulnerability of the GVC to
shocks in the respective country.


GVC indicators can also be used to assess the extent to which industries rely on internationally integrated
production networks. For example, a number of complex methods have been devised in the literature to measure
GVC length.5 This report will use a simplification device by looking at the degree of double counting in industries
which, conceptually, can serve as a rough proxy for the length of GVCs.


Data on value added trade by industry can provide useful indications on comparative advantages and competitiveness
of countries, and hence form a basis for development strategies and policies. However, this short launch report will
focus primarily on country-level indicators; WIR13 will explore industry value added trade data and its development
implications in greater detail.


Source: UNCTAD; additional references listed in the endnotes.


of EU originated exports. Japan and the United
States show significantly lower shares of “double
counting”.


Thus, while developing countries have a lower
share of foreign value added (25%) than the world
average (28%) their foreign value added share is
significantly higher than in the United States and
Japan – or than in the EU, if only external trade is
taken into account. Among developing economies,
the highest shares of foreign value added in


trade are found in East and South-East Asia and
in Central America (including Mexico) where
processing industries account for a significant part
of exports. Foreign value added in exports is much
lower in Africa, West Asia, South America and in
the transition economies, where natural resources
and commodities exports with little foreign inputs
tend to play an important role. The lowest share
of foreign value added in exports is found in South
Asia, mainly due to the weight of services exports,
which also use relatively less foreign inputs.




Global Value Chains and Development6


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database.


Figure 4. Share of foreign value added in exports, by region, 2010


Which industries have the most
segmented value chains?
The average foreign value added share of exports
and the degree of double counting in global exports
of an industry provides a rough indication of the
extent to which industries rely on internationally
integrated production networks, as it proxies the
extent to which intermediate goods and services
cross borders until final consumption of the
industry’s output.


Traditionally a select number of manufacturing
industries have been at the forefront of value chain
segmentation (“fine-slicing” of value chains) and
of associated trends such as outsourcing and off-
shoring. The electronics and automotive industries,
where products can be broken down into discrete
components that can be separately produced, easily


transported, and assembled in low-cost locations,
have led the way in shaping GVCs and consequently
rank highest by share of foreign value added in trade
(figure 5). A number of industries that incorporate
and process outputs from extractive industries
and traded commodities (e.g. petroleum products,
plastics, basic chemicals) follow closely behind.
The extractive industries themselves naturally rank
much lower as they require little imported content
of exports apart from some services. Foreign value
added in exports is thus not a fully-fledged indicator
of the GVC complexity of industries; extractive
industries are clearly a fundamental “starting point”
of many GVCs, not because of their use of foreign
value added, but because they constitute value
added inputs in many other industries’ exports.
Similarly, telecommunications, services industries,
e.g. business services, finance, utilities, also rank


25%


21%


21%


16%


31%


11%


30%


27%


14%


18%


11%


39%


31%


28%


14%


13%


14%


Developing country average


Central America


Latin America and Caribbean


West Asia


South Asia


East and South-East Asia


Asia


Africa


Developing Economies


Japan


United States


European Union


Developed Economies


Global


Least Developed Countries


Transition Economies


South America


Memorandum item:


Caribbean




I. Value added trade patterns in the global economy 7


Figure 5. Share of foreign value added in exports, selected industries, 2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database.


Note: illustrative list of industries selected based on significance in GVCs, at various levels of industry classification.


10 20 30 40 50%


1 Manufacture of ofce, accounting and computing machinery


2 Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers


3 Manufacture of radio, television and communication equipment


4 Coke, petroleum products and nuclear fuel


5 Manufacture of man-made bres plastics and synthetic rubber


6 Manufacture of electrical machinery and apparatus n.e.c.


7 Manufacture of other transport equipment


8 Rubber and plastic products


9 Manufacture of basic chemicals


10 Metal and metal products


11 Manufacture of textiles


12 Manufacture of paints, varnishes and similar coatings, etc


13 Other chemical products


14 Machinery and equipment


15 Other manufacturing


16 Manufacture of wearing apparel; dressing and dyeing of fur


17 Wood and wood products


18 Precision instruments


19 Tanning of leather; manufacture of luggage, handbags, saddlery


20 Transport and storage


21 Manufactures of fertilizers, pesticides, other agro-chemical products


22 Manufacture of detergents, cleaning preparations, toiletries


23 Food, beverages and tobacco


24 Publishing, printing and reproduction of recorded media


25 Non-metallic mineral products


26 Manufacture of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemicals


27 Construction


28 Research and deelopment


29 Recycling


30 Electricity, gas and water


31 Post and telecommunications


32 Hotels and restaurants


33 Computer and related activities


34 Mining and quarryiing


35 Other business activities


36 Retail trade, repair of personal and household goods


37 Agriculture and related service activities


38 Finance


39 Wholesale trade and commission trade


40 Rental activities


41 Real estate activities


42 Petroleum


Memorandum item:


Primary sector


Sectondary sector


Tertiary sector


29.4%


14.2%


9.6%


0




Global Value Chains and Development8


Figure 6. Share of foreign value added in exports,
developed and developing economies,


selected industries, 2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database.


low in terms of imported content of exports as they
use fewer intermediate inputs and their involvement
in GVCs typically occurs through value added
incorporated in exported manufactured goods.


Clearly, GVCs analysis can provide insights on
cross-industry production of goods and services.
A value chain for a given product may span many
different industries and incorporate value added
from raw materials to component manufacturing to
services. The global average foreign value added
shares by industry ignore the fact that each industry
may consist of and be part of many different value
chains.


Global industry averages also disguise significant
differences by country or region (figure 6). Foreign
value added shares in the textile industry are much
higher in developed than in developing countries,
confirming that the latter provide much of the
semi-finished inputs used by developed country
exporters. Electronics is another industry in which
developed countries import a greater share of
the value added in their exports. In contrast, in
machinery, chemicals and the automotive industry
developing countries tend to use more foreign
inputs for the production of their exports.


Data on value added trade by industry can
shed light on comparative advantages and the
competitiveness of countries and regions, and
hence can provide a useful metric for formulating
development strategies and policies.


How much value do countries
get out of their exports?
Because not all exports constitute domestically
value added, the share of value added trade
captured by a country can be quite different from
its share in global exports.


The top 25 global exporters by gross export values
show a range of value added trade shares from
around 90% for the United States, the Russian
Federation, India, Australia and Brazil — countries
with relatively high shares of domestic value added
— to values well below 60% for the United Kingdom,
the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore
and Malaysia — countries with relatively low shares
of domestic value added in their exports.


Factors that influence the share of domestic value
added in exports include:


• Size of the economy. Large economies, such
as the United States or Japan, tend to have
significant internal value chains and to rely
less on foreign inputs. There are important
exceptions, including China, Germany and the
United Kingdom.


• Composition of exports and position in GVCs.
Countries with significant shares of natural
resources, oil or other commodities in their
exports, such as Russian Federation and
Saudi Arabia, tend to have higher relative value
added trade shares, as such exports are at the
“beginning” of GVCs and require little foreign
inputs. Similarly, countries with significant
services exports such as India tend to capture
relatively more value. In contrast, countries
with significant shares of exports in highly
segmented industries (see figure 5) may need
to import more to generate exports.


• Economic structure and export model.
Countries with significant shares of entrepôt
trade, such as Hong Kong (China), Singapore
or the Netherlands, will have higher shares
of foreign value added and lower shares of
domestic value added in trade. Similarly,
countries with important processing trade
sectors will capture less domestic value added.


The combination of these three factors explains
most countries' domestic value added shares (net
of policy factors which will be explored at a later


Textiles


Electronics


Machinery


Chemicals


Automotive


0 10 20 30 40 50 60%


Developed
economies
Developing
economies




I. Value added trade patterns in the global economy 9


Figure 7. Domestic value added trade shares of the top 25 exporting economies, 2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database.


stage). For example, China, on the one hand, is
a large economy with an increasingly important
internal supply chain. On the other hand, it has
a significant share of processing trade and is an
important exporter of electronics, the industry with
the most complex GVC linkages. Consequently,
China’s domestic value added trade share (70%)
is aligned with the median (71%) domestic value
added trade share of the top 25 global exporters
(figure 7).


A significant number of countries with relatively low
domestic value added shares have high absolute
contributions to their GDP from domestic value
added in exports. For example, in figure 7, in the
group of countries with domestic value added trade
shares of less than 75%, the absolute contribution


of trade to GDP is about 25%. In the group of
countries with more than a 75% share of domestic
value added in gross exports it is only around
15%. Thus, while the domestic value added trade
shares in small open economies may appear low,
the absolute contribution to their GDP can be
significant in relation to the size of their economy.
This aspect is explored further in the next section.


How significant is value added
trade to countries’ GDP?
Domestic value added created from trade – the
actual contribution of trade to GDP after discounting
imported inputs – can be significant relative to the
size of local economies. While the contribution of
trade to global GDP is over one-fifth, this share


DVA component


FVA component


United States


China


Germany


Japan


France


United Kingdom


Netherlands


Korea, Republic of


Italy


Hong Kong, China


Singapore


Canada


Russian Federation


Spain


Belgium


India


Switzerland


Taiwan Province of China


Mexico


Saudi Arabia


Australia


Brazil


Malaysia


Thailand


Sweden


Top 25 global
exporters


Breakdown of gross exports in domestic
and foreign value added ($ Billions)


Domestic value added
trade share


89%


70%


63%


82%


69%


58%


47%


56%


73%


46%


36%


70%


91%


72%


42%


90%


71%


71%


68%


86%


87%


87%


58%


70%


60%
0 200 400 600 800 1 000 1 200 1 400 1 600 1 800 2 000




Global Value Chains and Development10


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database.


Figure 8. Domestic value added in trade as a share of GDP, by region, 2010


is higher in developing and transition economies
(figure 8). It is particularly high in Africa, West Asia
and the transition economies due to the relative
importance of exports of natural resources there
and, in part, due to the relatively small size of the
local “non-tradables” economy. The contribution
of trade to GDP is high also in East and South
East Asia which, on this measure, almost rivals the
highly integrated European market. This not only
reflects the export competitiveness of these Asian
economies but also their higher share of domestic
value added in trade compared to Europe.


Which countries participate
most in GVCs?
The value and share of developing country
exports that depend on GVCs, either because of


upstream links (foreign value added in exports) or
downstream links (exports that are incorporated in
other products and re-exported) is quite significant
(figure 9). East and South-East Asia remains the
region with the highest level of GVC participation,
reflecting its primacy as the most important region
for export-oriented manufacturing and processing
activities. Central America (including Mexico)
also has a high participation rate in the upstream
component, where it ranks equal with South-
East Asia. However, it has a lower downstream
participation rate, reflecting the fact that it exports
relatively more to the United States domestic
market rather than for onward exports.


A significantly higher GVC participation rate
in commodity exporting regions due to high
downstream links (despite relatively low upstream


26%


30%


14%


27%


22%


16%


37%


18%


24%


25%


30%


28%


13%


12%


26%


18%


22%


Memorandum item:


-East Asia


European Union


Least Developed Countries


Transition Economies


South America


Caribbean


Central America


Latin America and Caribbean


West Asia


South Asia


East and South


Asia


Africa


Developing Economies


Japan


United States


Developed Economies


Global


Developing country average




I. Value added trade patterns in the global economy 11


Figure 9. GVC participation, 2010, and GVC participation growth rates, 2005-2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database.
Note: GVC participation indicates the share of a country’ exports that is part of a multi-stage trade process; it is the foreign value
added used in a country’s exports (upstream perspective) plus the value added supplied to other countries’ exports (downstream
perspective), divided by total exports. GVC participation growth here is the annual growth of the sum of the upstream and downstream
component values (CAGR).


links) indicates that much of their exports are
processed and incorporated in third-country
exports – i.e. they operate at the starting point of
GVCs. South Asia remains the lowest ranked region
in terms of GVC participation. Much of the services
exports from the region satisfies domestic demand
in importing countries and is not used to produce
further exports.


However, South Asia is the region with the highest
GVC participation growth rate, albeit from a low
base. Transition economies also show faster than
average growth. Nearly all developing regions
outpace the developed world in GVC growth.


Remarkable is the rapid growth rate of GVCs in the
least developed countries partly because of a low
base in terms of absolute values.


As noted above, GVC participation – or the role that
individual countries play in international production
networks – is driven by many different factors,
including size of the economy, industrial structure
and level of industrialization, composition of exports
and positioning in value chains, policy factors, and
others. As a result, countries with very different
characteristics may be very similar in the ranking of
GVC participation (figure 10).


Least Developed Countries
Memorandum item:


Transition Economies


South America


Caribbean


Central America


Latin America and Caribbean


West Asia


South Asia


East and South-East Asia


Asia


Africa


Developing Economies


Japan


United States


European Union


Developed Economies


Global


Growth of GVC
participationGVC participation rates


45%


52%


38%


45%


43%


40%


48%


37%


56%


54%


54%


52%


51%


45%


66%


59%


57% 4.5%


3.7%


3.9%


4.0%


1.9%


6.1%


4.8%


5.5%


5.1%


9.5%


6.4%


4.9%


4.1%


5.5%


8.0%


9.6%


5.7%


Upstream component


Downstream component




Global Value Chains and Development12


Figure 10. GVC participation rate of the top 25
exporting economies, 2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database.
Note: The GVC participation rate indicates the share of a
country’s exports that is part of a multi-stage trade process; it is
the foreign value added used in a country’s exports (upstream
perspective) plus the value added supplied to other countries’
exports (downstream perspective), divided by total exports.


Singapore


Belgium


Netherlands


United Kingdom


Hong Kong, China


Sweden


Malaysia


Germany


Korea, Republic of


France


China


Switzerland


Russian Federation


Saudi Arabia


Italy


Thailand


Japan


Taiwan, Province of China


Spain


Canada


United States


Mexico


Australia


Brazil


India


82%


79%


76%


76%


72%


69%


68%


64%


63%


63%


59%


59%


56%


56%


53%


52%


51%


50%


48%


48%


45%


44%


42%


37%


36%


Upstream component


Downstream component


For example, the United States and Mexico have
near identical GVC participation rates, but Mexican
exports include a significant amount of processing
trade, with high foreign value added inputs, whereas
United States exports are used more downstream
in value chains, as intermediate inputs in the exports
of other countries.


Again, GVC participation is a relative concept.
United States firms may dominate many value
chains in terms of absolute size, but in relative
terms the participation in GVCs of many smaller
economies is higher. In other words, United States
firms also export many final products that are not
used downstream to generate further exports.


The GVC participation rate is a useful metric for
examining the trade-investment nexus because it
indicates the extent to which countries’ exports are
integrated into international production networks.
The metric can also effectively assess the extent
to which a country’s exports depend on GVCs.
Conversely, the GVC participation rate indicates
how much hypothetical “damage” to GVCs would
occur if a country’s exports were blocked as well
as the vulnerability of the GVC to shocks in an
individual economy along the value chain.




II. Value added trade patterns in the developing world 13


II. Value added trade patterns in the developing world


How much value are developing
countries capturing from trade?
The share of global value added trade captured by
developing economies is increasing rapidly. It grew
from around 20% in 1990, to 30% in 2000, to over
40% in 2010. As a group, developing economies
are capturing an increasing share of the global value
added trade pie (figure 11). As global trade grows,
developed economies appear to rely increasingly
on imported content for their exports, allowing
developing countries to add disproportionately
to their domestic value added in exports. This
underscores the importance for both developed
and developing countries to keep import barriers
(tariff and non-tariff) in check in order to maintain
export competitiveness.


Looking at the value added trade share for the
top 25 developing economy exporters (excluding
predominantly oil-exporting countries; figure 12)
shows that exporters of natural resources and raw
materials that use little foreign value added in exports
(such as Chile or Indonesia) obtain a relatively high
share of global value added trade, as do services
exporters such as India. Relatively open developing
economies with strong export performances and
highly integrated in GVCs (such as the Republic of


Korea, Hong Kong (China), Singapore, Malaysia)
get a lower value added contribution from trade.
However, the absolute contribution of value added
trade to GDP in these countries is high because of
the higher relative importance of trade.


Furthermore, comparing the domestic value added
contribution to GDP of exports in East and South-
East Asian countries with their share in global
GDP – another relative measure of value added
trade performance – yields positive results; in
other words, despite the lower share of domestic
value added in exports of these countries, the
absolute contribution of value added trade to their
economies is very significant.


To what extent are developing
country exports integrated in
GVCs?
Among the top 25 developing economy exporters
there are significant differences in the degree to
which their exports are integrated in – or depend on
– GVCs (figure 13). The main East and South-East
Asian exporters rank highest in GVC participation
as they both import a substantial part of their
exports (foreign value added) and a significant part
of their exports are intermediate goods that are
used in third countries’ exports. These countries’
exports are thus integrated in GVCs both upstream
and downstream; in other words, they operate in
“the middle” of GVCs. The commodity exporting
group of countries also rates relatively high in
GVC participation, but largely because of outsized
downstream usage of their export products in third
countries’ exports.


Some of the larger emerging markets such as
India, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey, have relatively
low GVC participation rates. These countries have
lower upstream participation levels, both because
of the nature of their exports (natural resources
and services exports tend to have less need for
imported content or foreign value added) and
because larger economies display a greater degree
of self-sufficiency in production for exports. They
also have lower downstream participation levels


Figure 11. Share of developing countries in global
value added trade and in gross exports, 1990-2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database.


1990 2000 2010


Value added in trade share
Export share


30% 30%


42%


39%


22% 23%




Global Value Chains and Development14


because of a focus on exports of so-called final-
demand goods and services, i.e. those not used as
intermediates in third-country exports.


Again, countries may have very similar GVC
participation rates for very different reasons. Taiwan


Province of China and Egypt have the same overall
participation rate (50%), but where the former uses
a significant amount of foreign components in its
export products, the latter (Egypt) exports more for
intermediate use in third-country exports.


Figure 12. Domestic value added trade shares of the top 25 developing economy exporters, 2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database.
Note: Excludes predominantly oil-exporting countries.


Top 25 developing
economy exporters


Domestic value added
trade share


70%


56%


46%


36%


90%


71%


68%


87%


58%


70%


91%


80%


82%


78%


84%


72%


72%


85%


91%


93%


89%


87%


87%


73%


91%


China


Korea, Republic of


Hong Kong, China


Singapore


India


Taiwan Province of China


Mexico


Brazil


Malaysia


Thailand


Indonesia


Turkey


South Africa


Chile


Argentina


Viet Nam


Philippines


Egypt


Colombia


Peru


Morocco


Macao, China


Pakistan


Tunisia


Bangladesh


0 100 200 300 400 500 600 1 500 1 600 1 700


Breakdown of gross exports in domestic
and foreign value added ($ Billions)


DVA component


FVA component




II. Value added trade patterns in the developing world 15


Figure 13. GVC participation rate of the top 25
developing economy exporters, 2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database.
Note: Excludes predominantly oil-exporting countries.


Singapore


Hong Kong, China


Malaysia


Korea, Republic of


South Africa


China


Tunisia


Philippines


Thailand


Taiwan Province of China


Egypt


Morocco


Chile


Viet Nam


Indonesia


Mexico


Peru


Turkey


Pakistan


Argentina


Macao, China


Brazil


India


Bangladesh


Colombia


82%


72%


68%


63%


59%


59%


59%


56%


52%


50%


50%


48%


48%


48%


44%


44%


42%


41%


40%


39%


38%


37%


36%


36%


26%


Upstream component


Downstream component




Global Value Chains and Development16


III. GVCs: the investment-trade nexus


Figure 14. Global trade (exports of goods and services), by type of TNC involvement, 2010


Source: UNCTAD estimates, based on World Investment Report 2012 (table I.8) and various sources; see also box 3.


What is the role of TNCs in global
trade?
Investment and trade are inextricably intertwined.
Much of trade in natural resources is driven by large
cross-border investments in extractive industries
by globally operating TNCs. Market-seeking foreign
direct investment (FDI) by TNCs also generates trade,
often shifting arm’s length trade to intra-firm trade.
Efficiency-seeking FDI, through which firms seek to
locate discrete parts of their production process in
low-cost locations, is particularly associated with
GVCs; it increases the amount of trade taking place
within the international production networks of
TNCs and contributes to the “double counting” in
global trade flows discussed in this report.


The ratio between global FDI stock and trade has
almost doubled over the last decade, increasing
from around 50% in the mid-1990s to more than
100% in 2010, with growth rates in the FDI to
services trade ratio even higher. FDI is an increasingly
important driver of trade flows worldwide. UNCTAD


estimates that around 80% of global trade (in
terms of gross exports) is linked to the international
production networks of TNCs, either as intra-firm
trade, through non-equity modes of international
production (or NEMs, which include, among others,
contract manufacturing, licensing, and franchising),
or through arm’s length transactions involving at
least one TNC (figure 14 and box 3).


How do international production
networks of TNCs shape value
added trade?
The international production networks of TNCs,
within which most trade takes place, are heavily
geared towards providing those value added inputs
required to generate trade. GVCs make extensive
use of services. While the share of services in gross
exports worldwide is only around 20%, almost
half (46%) of value added inputs to exports is
contributed by service-sector activities, as most
manufacturing exports require services for their


Global trade in
goods and services


Non-TNC
trade


Intra-rm
trade


NEM-generated
trade


TNC arm´
length trade


All TNC-
related trade


Total trade within the international
production networks of TNCs:


~80%


ESTIMATES$ Trillions


~19 ~4


~15 ~6.3


~2.4


~6.3




III. GVCs: the investment-trade nexus 17


Box 3. Estimating trade within the international production networks of TNCs


The estimates for trade taking place with the international production networks of TNCs in figure 15 are based on
evidence on investment-trade links of individual countries and regions:6


• In the United States, in 2010, affiliates of foreign TNCs accounted for 20% of exports and 28% of imports of
goods, while TNCs based in the United States accounted for 45% of exports and 39% of imports. Thus some
two-thirds of both exports and imports of goods can be considered as within the international production net-
works of TNCs.


• In Europe, in 2009, French TNCs accounted for some 31% of goods exports and 24% of imports, while foreign
affiliates in France accounted for 34% and 38%, respectively. Thus some 64% of total French exports and 62%
of total French imports of goods in 2009 can be considered as within the international production networks of
TNCs. Similar scattered evidence exists for other EU countries.


• In Japan, TNCs based there accounted for 85% of exports of goods and services, while foreign affiliates con-
tributed a further 8%. Thus 93% of total Japanese exports of goods and services are linked to TNCs.


• In China, foreign affiliates accounted for some 50% of exports and 48% of imports in 2012. Adding the trade
activities of Chinese TNCs, although perhaps not as large as the share of their French or United States coun-
terparts given the lower (but growing) share of Chinese outward FDI, would lead to estimates of trade within
international, production networks in excess of the United States share.


• In developing countries as a group it is likely that the share of trade within the production networks of TNCs is
higher, for two reasons: (a) the productivity curve of firms is steeper than in developed countries, meaning that
trade is likely to be even more concentrated in a small number of large exporters and importers with above-
average productivity, i.e. predominantly TNCs and their affiliates; (b) the share of extractive industries in their
exports (at around 25%) is significantly higher than the world average (around 17%) and the extraction and
trade of natural resources generally involves TNCs.


A significant share of this trade is intra-firm trade, the international flows of goods and services between parent
companies and their affiliates or among these affiliates, as opposed to arm’s length trade between unrelated parties
(inter-firm trade). For example, the share of exports by United States affiliates abroad directed to other affiliated
firms, including parent firms, remained high at about 60% over the past decade. Similarly, nearly half of the exports
of goods by foreign affiliates located in the United States are shipped to the foreign parent group and as much as
70% of their imports arrive from the foreign parent group. Japanese TNCs export 40% of their goods and services
to their own affiliates abroad. Although further evidence on intra-firm trade is patchy, the general consensus is that
intra-firm trade accounts on average for around 30% of a country’s export, with large variations across countries.


The above explanations for the most part focus on merchandise trade. There is evidence that TNC involvement in
services trade, with a growing share of intra-firm trade in services (e.g. corporate functions, financial services, etc.),
is even higher. Where not in the form of intra-firm trade, services trade often takes place in NEM relationships (IT/
BPO, call centers, etc.). NEMs as a whole (including contract manufacturing activities) are estimated to be worth
over $2 trillion (see World Investment Report 2011).


Arm’s length trade by TNCs (exports to and imports from unrelated parties) is estimated to be worth around $6 trillion,
the residual. Non-TNC-related trade includes all transactions between firms that have only domestic operations,
anonymous transactions on commodity exchanges, etc.


Source: UNCTAD.




Global Value Chains and Development18


Figure 15. Sector composition of global gross exports, value added inputs to exports, and FDI stock, 2010


production. The parallel with FDI is clear: more than
60% of global FDI stock is allocated to services
activities, a significant part of which is linked to
GVCs (figure 15). The share of services FDI is still
more than 35% if only non-financial sector FDI is
considered (although financial sector FDI is not
only a value chain in its own right but also provides
crucial services to other GVCs).


This picture is almost the same in both developed
and developing countries. Developing country gross
exports of primary sector output (commodities) and
primary sector value added in trade are only around
4 percentage points higher than the average for all
countries, driven by slightly higher primary sector
inward FDI stock (8% compared to the 7% average).


How does the presence of
TNCs affect countries’ GVC
participation?
The involvement of TNCs in generating value added
trade is confirmed by the statistical relationship


between FDI stock in countries and their GVC
participation rates (figure 16). The correlation is
strongly positive, and increasingly so over time,
especially in the poorest countries, indicating that
FDI may be an important avenue for developing
countries to gain access to GVCs and grow their
participation.


Ranking countries by the ratio of FDI stock over
GDP and grouping them in quartiles (figure 17)
shows that the group of countries with most FDI
relative to the size of their economies tend to have:


• higher foreign value added in their exports
(foreign affiliates of TNCs producing for exports
tend to use value added produced by other
parts of the TNC production network);


• higher GVC participation (foreign affiliates
of TNCs not only use foreign inputs in their
production, but also supply to other parts of
the TNC network for further exports); and


• a higher contribution of value added trade to
their GDP.


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database, UNCTAD FDI Database, UNCTAD FDI Database.
Note: The sectoral breakdown of gross exports is based on ISIC, rather than SITC (normally used for merchandise trade), for
consistency with the classification employed for value added trade and FDI. Thus, refined oil/petroleum products and food and
beverages are classified under manufacturing.


7% 11% 7%


71%


43%


26%


22%


46%


67%


Gross exports Value added
inputs to exports


Inward FDI
stock


Services


Manufacturing


Primary sector




III. GVCs: the investment-trade nexus 19


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database, UNCTAD FDI Database, UNCTAD analysis.


Note: data for 187 countries over 20 years. The regression between the annual GVC Participation growth and annual FDI Inward
(stock) growth, in logs, shows a positive and significant correlation, at the 5% level. This relation also holds, at the 5% level, dividing
the sample in developed and developing countries, and in two time periods (1990-2000 and 2001-2010). All regressions use lagged
(one year) inward FDI stock growth rates.


Figure 17. Key value added trade indicators, by quartile of inward FDI stock relative to GDP, 2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database, UNCTAD FDI Database, UNCTAD analysis.
Note: data for 180 countries, ranked by inward FDI stock relative to GDP and grouped in quartiles (of 45 each); data reported are
median values for each quartile.


Figure 16. Correlation between levels of inward FDI stock and GVC participation
9


13
17


21


0 5 10 15
FDI Stock


9
13


17
21


0 5 10 15
FDI Stock


1990−2010 Fitted values


GVC Participation vs FDI Inward Stock
Developed Countries - logs


GVC Participation vs FDI Inward Stock
Developing Countries - logs


G
VC


p
ar


tic
ip


at
io


n


G
VC


p
ar


tic
ip


at
io


n








1st quartile
(Countries with high FDI
stock relative to GDP)


2nd quartile


3rd quartile


4th quartile
(Countries with low FDI
stock relative to GDP)


34%


24%


17%


18%


Foreign value added
in export


Foreign value added
GVC participation


Contribution of value added
trade to GDP


58%


54%


48%


46%


37%


30%


24%


21%




Global Value Chains and Development20


IV. The development impact of GVCs


What is the impact of value
added trade and GVCs on
development?
Participation in GVCs is seen by many developing
country policymakers as an important element
of their economic development strategy. They
recognize that GVCs act as a route to market for
export products and services. Production for exports
directly generates value added and contributes to
GDP, job creation, income generation, tax income
and so forth. And, longer term, GVCs can provide
opportunities for industrial upgrading along the
value chain.


On the other hand, policymakers and the
development community recognize that GVCs
also entail risks. Not all the potential benefits of
GVCs materialize automatically (as shown in this
report, local value added contributions and hence
employment and income generation may well be
limited through the use of foreign value added in
exports), and taking advantage of GVC participation
(and upgrading opportunities) is dependent on the
development of productive capacities, technology
and skills. (There are many other potential pitfalls
for countries in GVC participation, which will be
explored in the policy analysis for World Investment
Report 2013).


The experience over the last 20 years shows that,
as countries increase their participation in GVCs,
their GDP growth rates tend to increase as well. A
statistical analysis correlating GVC participation and
per capita GDP growth rates shows a significant
and positive relationship, both for developed and
developing economies (figure 18).


However, these results only demonstrate a
correlation between the two variables and do not
necessarily show causality. In order to establish
causality, more research will be required, including
the examination of case studies.


Preliminary evidence from the data appears to
indicate that increased GVC participation tends to
go hand in hand with faster GDP per capita growth


(figure 19). The 30 developing economies with the
highest GVC participation growth rates in the 20-
year period from 1990 to 2010 (first quartile) show a
median rate of GDP per capita growth in the same
period of 3.3%, compared to 2.1% for the next 30
countries, and 0.7% for the bottom 30 countries.


GDP per capita growth is only a rough and
exogenous measure of the effect of GVCs on
development. The value added trade data in the
UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database provides a detailed
breakdown of the components of value added –
labour, capital, tax, profits – allowing a more fine-
grained assessment of the economic impact of
GVC participation, which will be included in WIR13.


Is there a trade-off between
GVC participation and
domestic value added?
GVC participation depends on both upstream and
downstream links in the value chain. Countries
increase their GVC participation both by increasing
imported content of exports (foreign value added
in exports) and by generating more value added
through goods and services for intermediate use
in the exports of third countries. Naturally, the
latter mechanism yields the positive results for the
domestic economy, as it implies growing domestic
value added in exports.


In fact, both the right hand quadrants in figure 20
– countries that reduce their reliance on foreign
value added in exports – indicate higher GDP per
capita growth results than the left hand quadrants.
Examples include China, Chile, the Philippines,
Thailand and Morocco.


Interestingly, both the top quadrants in the matrix
– countries with faster GVC growth rates – have
significantly higher growth rates than the bottom
quadrants. This suggests that even those countries
that rely more on foreign value added in exports, on
average, may be better off if it results in higher GVC
participation. Countries with high GVC participation
growth rates include Indonesia, Malaysia, VietNam,
Bangladesh, Mexico and Turkey.




IV. The development impact of GVCs 21


Figure 18. Correlation between growth in GVC participation and GDP per capita


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database, UNCTAD analysis.
Note: the regression between the annual GDP per capita (in PPS) growth and annual GVC participation index growth, in logs, shows
a positive and significant correlation, at the 5% level. This relation also holds, at the 5% level, dividing the sample in developed and
developing countries, and in two time periods (1990-2000 and 2001-2010). To avoid picking-up a compositional effect resulting from
the correlation between a country’ s total value added (used as a component to calculate the GVC participation index) and its per
capita GDP, all regressions use lagged (one year) GVC growth rates.


Clearly the optimal policy outcome is depicted in the
top right hand quadrant, where countries increase
GVC participation through growth in the domestic
value added in exports. Examples of countries in
the top right quadrant include China, Indonesia,
Thailand and Peru. While increasing foreign value
added content in exports may be a short-term
trade-off for policymakers, longer term the creation
of domestic productive capacity yields the better
results.


Are there different GVC
development paths?
The different outcomes in each of the combinations
of GVC integration and domestic value added
suggest that there may be a set of distinct “GVC
development paths” or evolutionary lines in
countries’ patterns of participation in GVCs.


Although the matrix is a simplification of reality that
cannot capture all the dynamics of development,
broadly, a number of GVC development paths can
be hypothesized (figure 21), each with a set of
prevalent trade and investment patterns:


• Engaging in GVCs. Developing countries
may see imports of intermediate goods,
components and services increase, as well
as the importance of processing exports.
This pattern often coincides with an influx of
processing FDI and the establishment of NEM-
relationships (e.g. contract manufacturing) with
TNCs.


• Preparing for GVCs. Some developing
countries may see exports remain
predominantly within sectors and industries
with domestic productive capacity (with limited
need for imported content). FDI inflows help
produce intermediate goods and services for


G
V


C
g


ro
w


th


1


.5
0


.5
1


−.2 −.1 0 .1 .2
GDPpc growth



1



.5


0
.5


1
G


V
C


g
ro


w
th


−.2 −.1 0 .1 .2
GDPpc growth


2001−20101990−2000


GVC growth vs GDP per Capita growth
Developed Countries


GVC growth vs GDP per Capita growth
Developing Countries




Global Value Chains and Development22


Figure 19. GDP per capita growth rates by quartile of growth in GVC participation,
developing economies only, 1990-2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database, UNCTAD analysis.
Note: data for 120 countries, ranked by GVC participation growth and grouped in quartiles (of 30 each); growth rates reported are
median values for each quartile.


Figure 20. GDP per capita growth rates for developing countries with high/low growth in GVC participation,
and high/low growth in domestic value added share, 1990-2010


Source: UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database, UNCTAD analysis.
Note: data for 123 developing countries, ranked by growth in GVC participation and domestic value added share; high includes the
top two quartiles of both rankings, low includes the bottom two; GDP per capita growth rates reported are median compound annual
growth rates for countries in each quadrant.


Median of GDP per capita growth 1990-2010


1st quartile
(Countires with rapidly
growing GVC participation)


4th quartile
(Countires not increasing
their GVC participation)


2nd quartile


3rd quartile


3.3%


2.1%


1.2%


0.7%


GVC participation
growth rate


Growth of the domestic value added
share of exports


Low


Low


High


High


+ 2.2% + 3.4%


+ 0.7% + 1.2%


“Integrating in GVCs”


+ n.n% median GDP per
capita growth rates=


“Increasing domestic value added”




IV. The development impact of GVCs 23


Figure 21. Possible GVC Development Paths


Source: UNCTAD.


export products, substituting imports. These
patterns of trade and FDI preserve domestic
value added in trade, at times at the cost of
more rapid integration in GVCs.


• Upgrading in GVCs. Some developing
countries with an already significant level
of integration in GVCs have succeeded in
increasing exports of higher value added
products and services or in capturing a
greater share of value chains (covering more
segments). Such export upgrading patterns
often combine with an influx of FDI in adjacent
value chain segments and higher technology
segments.


• Competing in GVCs. Some developing
countries manage to compete successfully
at high value added levels through domestic
productive capacity for exports. They may see
patterns of FDI aimed at integrating domestic
operators in international production networks,
often through M&As.


• Converting GVCs. Some developing countries
have seen the composition of their exports


shift towards processing industries requiring
higher imported content, or have even seen
productive capacity for exports convert to
engage in tasks and activities that are part
of GVCs. This process can coincide with
increased FDI in processing industries,
including through M&As, and the establishment
of NEM-relationships with TNCs.


• Leapfrogging in GVCs. A few countries
have experienced very rapid development
of domestic productive capacity for exports
competing successfully at high value added
levels. In these cases, FDI has often acted as
a catalyst for trade integration and domestic
productive capacity building.


Further research on the effects of integration in
GVCs, increased domestic value added trade,
and associated patterns of trade and investment,
will be needed to explore the policy relevance
and implications of different GVC development
paths. Nevertheless, the preliminary findings
presented in this report provide ample material for a
comprehensive policy analysis agenda.


+ 2.2% + 3.4%


+ 0.7% + 1.2%


“Integrating
in GVCs”


“Upgrading”


CONCEPTUAL


“Converting” “Leapfrogging”


“Engaging” “Competing”


“Preparing”


“Increasing domestic value added”




Global Value Chains and Development24


Concluding remarks: a policy analysis agenda


With this report UNCTAD’s Division on Investment
and Enterprise launches the UNCTAD-Eora GVC
Database of value added trade and investment.


The preliminary analysis of the data presented in
this report shows how global investment and trade
are inextricably intertwined through GVCs. The
international production networks of TNCs that
shape GVCs through their investments in productive
assets worldwide account for some 80% of global
trade.


UNCTAD’s data show that almost all developing
countries, including the poorest, are increasingly
participating in GVCs. Evidence on GVC links
in developing countries – based on the data
presented here and on UNCTAD’s wider research
on GVCs – suggests that they can have important
development benefits:


• GVCs can facilitate access to global markets
and integration in the global economy for
developing countries, which no longer have to
develop an entire industry to generate exports,
but can focus on fewer tasks within industry
value chains.


• Participation in GVCs generates employment
and may result in faster GDP and income
growth.


• Moreover, GVCs can be an important avenue
for developing countries to build productive
capacity, including through technology
dissemination and skill building, opening
up opportunities for longer-term industrial
upgrading.


However, GVCs can also entail risks for developing
countries:


• Many of the potential development benefits
of GVCs — in particular technology
dissemination, skill building and upgrading —
are not automatic. Developing countries can
remain locked into relatively low value added
activities.


• The location of tasks and activities within GVCs
is determined by dynamic factors — including
relative labour productivity and cost — and


as such can shift around the international
production networks of multinational firms (they
can be footloose).


• The sustainability impact of GVCs can be
significant, starting from the environmental
impact of moving goods along internationally
dispersed value chain segments, to the
risk of firms moving activities with greater
environmental impact to less regulated
locations. Similarly, the social and labour
impact of GVCs must be taken into account.


This balance of opportunities and risks makes a
well-informed policy debate on the development
impact of GVCs of paramount importance. The
raison d’être for the UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database
on value added trade and investment is to stimulate
and contribute to such debate.


UNCTAD will, in the coming months, deepen the
analysis of the data, focusing in particular on the
development impact and policy implications for
developing countries. Questions that UNCTAD will
aim to answer include:


• What are the implications of new insights on
GVCs for investment and trade theory?


• What are the prospects for further evolution of
GVCs and their role in global investment and
trade dynamics?


• What are the drivers and determinants of
the location or re-location of cross-border
productive activity via (equity and non-equity)
investment in GVCs?


• Should developing countries adopt specific
policies in their development strategy to
increase GVC participation? If so, under what
circumstances, based on what criteria?


• How can developing country policymakers
promote upgrading over time? Is the middle-
income trap a real challenge for policymakers?


• Can we measure the “footloose” nature of
some of the links in the chain? What kind of
shocks and vulnerabilities might threaten the
gains from GVC participation? Is trade more
volatile within GVCs?




Concluding remarks: a policy analysis agenda 25


• What policies can maximize the benefits
and minimize the negative effects of GVC
participation in economic, social and
environmental terms?


• What are the implications of the spread of
GVCs for transfer pricing?


The data and policy analysis work that UNCTAD
will carry out — with the involvement of experts in


the field — will contribute to and benefit from on-
going debates in UNCTAD’s discussion forums
and expert meetings, and will culminate in the
forthcoming World Investment Report 2013 on
GVCs and Development. Upon publication of
WIR13 the UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database will be
made available to the public.




Global Value Chains and Development26


ANNEX. Technical note on the UNCTAD-Eora GVC Database


Calculating value added trade
from the Eora data
The Eora dataset provides a multi-region input-
output (MRIO) table at the world level used to
estimate value added in trade. In particular, the
innovation with respect to national input-output
tables is that the MRIO tables break down the use of
products according to their origin: first, splitting the
flows of products between domestically produced
or imported; second, distinguishing intermediate
and final use; third, indicating the origin of every
imported product. Therefore, using a MRIO table
can allow us to see the relationship between all
producers and consumers in all regions covered.


The construction of the Eora MRIO table follows
several steps:7


1. The starting points are the national
supply and use tables (SUTs). National SUTs are
considered better than input-output tables because
they provide information on both products and
industries. A supply table provides information on
products produced by each domestic industry and
a use table indicates the use of each product by
an industry or final user. However, these tables are
only available for a limited number of countries;
the remaining countries are hence represented by
traditional input-output (I–O) tables, which can be
sourced from available data or compiled according
to a range of technology assumptions. In order to
avoid departures from the original raw data, Eora
decided to keep the technology assumption at the
industry and product-level made by the respective
data provider.


2. National SUTs and I–O tables are linked
through international trade statistics using import
tables, to obtain a multi-region input-output table.


3. After obtaining a first estimate of a MRIO
table, the resulting trade data have been balanced
through an industry-level balancing condition: the
total output produced by each industry must equal
the sum of the inputs used by that industry. This has
been achieved via ‘constraints data’, which are: i)


Input-output tables and main aggregates data from
national statistical offices; ii) Input-output compendia
from Eurostat, IDE-JETRO and OECD; iii) The UN
national accounts main aggregates database and
official data; iv) The UN Comtrade and UN Service
Trade international trade databases. The balancing
of the MRIO table is conducted after the initial table
is constructed. Disturbances are also allowed in
the balancing exercise to allow for unaligned and
conflicting information. In general, the reliability
of a balanced table increases with the quality
and amount of superior data used for balancing,
and hence it can be expected that countries with
better / more numerous statistical sources will be
represented with more confidence in the final MRIO
(see the next section for a validation of these data).


4. The time series is constructed iteratively,
by starting with an initial year estimate (year 2000),
balancing it with all the starting year constraints,
and taking the solution as the initial estimate for the
following year, and so on. In each year, all available
data for that year (GDP totals, trade data, new I–O
tables, interpolated I–O table estimates, and so on)
are overlaid onto the initial estimate of that year, and
the table is re-balanced.


5. Every single data point in the Eora MRIO
is accompanied by an estimate of its standard
deviation, reflecting the extent to which it was
contested, interpolated, estimated, or adjusted
away from its original value in order to assemble a
balanced global I–O table.


References for further detail about the Eora
database can be found in the end notes.


Figure A.1 below shows a simplified MRIO table,
considering only one industry for two countries. The
industry (e.g. chemicals) in a country A produces
a good x (e.g. plastic) which can be used as an
intermediate input in the production of another
good or to serve final demand in the same industry.
Input-output analysis assumes that the inputs
used when producing a product are related to the
industry output by a linear and fixed coefficient of
production function (at least in the short run). At the




Annex 27


Figure A.1. Structure of a MRIO Table





X A


X B


V A V B


X A X B


+


+ +


+


= =


Exports from A to B of
intermediates


Exports from A to B of
nal products


Intermediate use Final demand


Value added


Gross input


Gross
output


Country A Country B Country BCountry A


Country B


Country A


Industry Industry Industry Industry


Industry


Industry


Intermediate
use of domestic


output


Intermediate
use by B of


exports from A


Intermediate
use by A of


exports from B


Intermediate
use of domestic


output


Final use
of domestic


output


Final use
of domestic


output


Final use by A
of exports


from B


Final use by B
of exports


from A


same time, the output can be used domestically by
country A or exported to another country B, where
it can also enter as an intermediate or final demand.
Analogously, the same good can be imported from
country B, and used in A for the production of
intermediates or to serve final demand.


The rows in a MRIO table thus indicate the use of
gross output from a particular industry in a country.
The gross output X produced in country A (first row)
can be used by country A itself as intermediate or as
final consumption, or by the other country B, again
as an intermediate input or final product. From here,
we can retrieve a measure of gross exports from
A to B, summing the intermediate and final output
produced in country A and used in country B (the
grey blocks in the example above).


The columns of a MRIO table provide instead
information on the technology of production, as
they indicate the amounts of intermediates needed
for the production of the gross output whose use
is then decomposed along the row. Hence, each
column provides the domestic and foreign share of
intermediate in the production of one unit of output.
The first column thus shows how much domestic
inputs contribute to the production of the gross


output of country A (first cell, ‘Intermediate use of
domestic output’), and how much instead inputs
are sourced from abroad through imports (second
cell, ‘Intermediate use by A of exports from B’). The
difference between the gross output produced in
each country and the sum of the (domestic and
foreign) inputs necessary for its production yields
the value added generated in each country (V).


Thanks to this information, we can translate the
MRIO table for multiple countries and industries into
a standard I–O matrix form:8


x = T + y
x = Ax + y
(I – A)x = y
x = (I – A)-1y = Ly (1)


where x is gross output, T is the intermediate
demand, y is final demand, I is the identity matrix,
A is the technological coefficient matrix, and L is
the Leontief inverse.9 From this general equation,
we can represent a MRIO table for a n-countries
model, still assuming that each country has one
representative industry producing a single product.


= (2)




Global Value Chains and Development28


= (3)


This n-countries’ framework has been extended in
the UNCTAD Eora GVC Database to compute the
“value added trade” measure, that is the value
added embodied in gross trade flows. To calculate
the latter, we start from a row vector v with each
element representing the share of value added
per unit of output by country (that is v1 = V1/X1),
combined with the Leontief inverse and a vector
e summarizing aggregate exports by country as
retrieved by the sum of the intermediate inputs
exported abroad and exports of final goods10


The first matrix T is the key matrix of our analysis,
and for ease of readability it is replicated in the next
Figure A.2. The matrix essentially describes how
the value added contained in the exports of each
country (and industry) is generated (by column)
and distributed (by row) across countries. The first
column of the matrix describes the value added
contained in the export of country 1.11 This is
composed of two parts:


• the term Tv11 (in the matrix multiplication we
have that Tv11 = v1L11e1) denotes the Domestic
Value Added (DVA) content of exports of
country 1;


• the generic term Tv
k1 (in matrix notation Tvk1 =


vkLk1e1) denotes the Foreign Value Added (FVA)
content of exports of country 1 generated
by country k (with k ≠ 1). Recall that the
production of output by country 1 (part of
which is exported) requires inputs from other
countries. In producing these inputs, the other
countries also generate value added. Hence,
this term represents the share of value added
that has been generated in country k (vk) and
that has been imported by country 1 (Lk1) in
order to produce its exports (e1).


The (column) sum of Domestic and Foreign Value
Added, by construction, will yield the total exports
of country 1.


The other columns of the T matrix replicate the
exercise for the other countries. So in column 2 of
the matrix we will find the term Tv22, which denotes
the DVA content of exports of country 2, as well


second column) for its exports. More specifically,
in matrix expression we have Tv12 = v1L12e2: hence
this term represents the share of exports of country
2 (e2) that depends on the value added sourced
by country 1 (v1L12). The same would be true for
a country 3, in which the term Tv13 in the third
column indicates how much country 3 is sourcing
in terms of value added from country 1. Hence,
by reading the matrix along the row, rather than
along the column (and excluding the diagonal term
Tvkk), we would have an indication of how much of
each country’s domestic value added enters as an
intermediate input in the value added exported by
other countries. The latter terms is what Koopman
et al. (2011) call “indirect value added exports”
(DVX). Clearly, by construction what each country
contributes to all the others in terms of indirect
value added exports has to be equal at the world
level to what each country sources from all the
others in terms of foreign value added, that is at
the world level FVA = DVX. The latter gives a rough,
though not perfect, proxy of the double counting
embedded in the gross (official) trade figures.


More precisely, part of the DVA exported and
incorporated in third countries’ export can itself
return home and thus generate some further
double counting, as the original DVA measure
would include a share of domestic value added that
is returned home after being processed abroad.12


However, given the complexity of computing all
these terms for a MRIO with 187 countries, and
since a perfect decomposition of gross exports in


as the generic term Tvk2, which denotes the FVA
content of exports of country 2 generated by
country k, and so on. Hence, the DVA can be read
on the diagonal of the matrix as the generic term
Tvkk for any country k in the dataset.


Now, consider country 1 and country 2. As we have
seen, country 1 is sourcing some value added from
country 2 for its exports (the term Tv21 which we have
already considered as a component of FVA in the
first column), but also country 2 is sourcing some
value added from country 1 (the term Tv12 in the




Annex 29


Figure A.2. The matrix of the value added content of trade




Country 1 Country 2 Country 3 Country k Country N


Country 1


Country 2


Country 3




Country k




Country N


DVX


FVA


DVA


… …


T v
11 12 T … …


T v
21 22 T … …


32 T v
33


… T v
3k


… T v
3N


… … … … … …


k2 T v
k3


… T v
kk


… T v
kN


… … … … … … …


Tv
N1 N2 T v


N3
… T v


Nk
… T v


NN


v
13 1k 1N


23 2k 2N


v
31




k1


all its components is still under discussion in the
literature, we have not carried out this exercise in
the UNCTAD Eora GVC data (in short Eora data),
limiting ourselves to identify the three terms of DVA,
FVA and DVX previously discussed.13


In any case, attempts by the literature to calculate
such a measure of ‘re-imported DVA’ show that the
latter is relatively small at the world level (though
it might be slightly more significant for some
countries or industries). In particular, Koopman et
al. (2011) estimate that the domestic content of
foreign exports that finally return home is 4% of
gross exports in 2004. The results computed by
Stehrer (2012) using the WIOD database indicate
at the world level a range from a minimum share of
2.6% in 1995 to a maximum of 3.3% in 2008, with
the figure for 2009 being at 2.9%. The OECD–WTO
initiative, in turn, estimates that the re-imported
DVA equals to just 0.6% of world gross exports in
2009.


In light of this evidence, the foreign value added
component (FVA) reported in the Eora data can
thus be considered as a lower bound of the
actual “double counting” taking place in world
trade, remembering in any case that a small (and
unaccounted) fraction of double counting remains
in our DVA measure.


Validating the UNCTAD Eora
GVC data
As recalled in Box 1, a number of world I–O tables
nowadays exist providing a measurement of value
added trade and thus allowing, in principle, a
benchmarking exercise, at least for the common
countries and indicators that can be identified
within each dataset.


The most simple indicator that can be commonly
computed across datasets is the foreign value
added content of exports (FVA). Koopman et al.
(2012), working with the GTAP database, estimate
that the foreign content of exports at the world level
is 21.5% in 2004 (Eora data in 2004 is 28.7%).14


Stehrer (2012) estimates that the world foreign
value added of exports (using WIOD) is 23.7% in
2009,15 while from the OECD–WTO data one can
estimate the same figure at roughly 21% of gross
exports in 2009. The same figure for the Eora data
is at 27.6%.


It seems therefore that the UNCTAD Eora GVC data
on FVA have a slight upper bias (between 4 and 7%)
at the world level with respect to other comparable
dataset. This can be expected, considering that
the dataset is the only one covering all individual
countries in the world. As such it does not include,
as others dataset do, an artificial ‘Rest of the




Global Value Chains and Development30


Figure A.3. FVA share in exports, comparison between Eora and WIOD


Source: UNCTAD/Eora, WIOD.


World’ country whose I–O matrix has been derived
through a proportionality assumption based on an
‘average’ world technology. The latter could yield
a downward bias in the computed world FVA, as
the world average I–O includes by definition large,
relatively close, countries, while most excluded
countries in the ‘Rest of the World’ aggregate tend
to be small, relatively more open, economies.


To get a sense of this difference, Figure A3 below
reports the extent of the difference in world FVA
share between Eora and the WIOD data for various
years.16 As it can be seen, within a common time
trend of increasing foreign value added over time


(in line with evidence of a deepening globalization
process across the world), level differences in the
two datasets are not large, and are getting smaller
over time.


Figure A4 compares instead the FVA share of all the
39 countries included in WIOD (vertical axis) with
the same measure retrieved from the Eora data
(horizontal axis) for the year 2009 (last available year
in WIOD data). As it can be seen, both variables for
each country tend to be scattered around the 45°
degree line, thus indicating no particular bias in one
dataset or the other. Correlation is around .9.17


15%


20%


25%


30%


Eora


WIOD


1990 1995 2000 2005 2010


Figure A.4. FVA share in exports by country, WIOD vs. Eora, 2009


Source: UNCTAD/Eora GVC Database; WIOD.


W
IO


D
.1


.2
.3


.4
.5


.6


.1 .2 .3 .4 .5 .6
Eora




31


Notes and References


1 The Eora Project, originally funded by the Australian
Research Council, based at the University of Sydney
and comprising an international team of researchers,
developed the so-called “world multi-region input-
output database” that is the basis for the generation
of the value added trade estimates in the GVC
Database discussed in this paper. For further details,
see http://www.worldmrio.com/.


2 Equating foreign value added with the double
counting in global trade figures is a simplification.
Some further double counting takes place within
foreign value added as exported value added can
re-enter countries to be incorporated in further
exports, and so forth. Such circular double counting
can be significant in some countries and some
industries, but is marginal in most.


3 This variable is related to an active literature on
measuring vertical specialization, with the first
indicator calculated being the value of imported
inputs in the overall (gross) exports of a country. The
refinement to this indicator of vertical specialization
corrects for the fact that the value of (gross)
imports used by country A to produce exports
(as retrieved from ‘standard’ I–O tables) in reality
might incorporate the domestic value-added of
the same country A that has been used as an
input by a foreign country B, from which the same
country A then sources. Allowing instead only for
the foreign value-added of country B to enter in the
calculation of country A’s inputs nets out this effect.
See: Hummels, D., J. Ishii and K.-M. Yi (2001) “The
nature and growth of vertical specialization in world
trade”, Journal of International Economics 54(1),
75-96; and Johnson, R.C. and G. Noguera (2012)
“Accounting for intermediates: Production sharing
and trade in value-added”, Journal of International
Economics 86(2), 224-236.


4 This indicator was first introduced in Koopman, R.,
W. Powers, Z. Wang and S.-J. Wei (2011) “Give
credit to where credit is due: tracing value added in
global production chains”, NBER Working Papers
Series 16426, September 2010, revised September
2011.


5 See Fally, T. (2011). “On the Fragmentation of
Production in the US”, University of Colorado-
Boulder, July.


6 Estimates are based on data from the United
States Bureau of Economic Analysis (“U.S. Affiliates
of Foreign Companies and U.S. (Ministry of
Commerce) Multinational Companies”, 2012); China
MOFCOM; OECD; IDE-JETRO. Data for Europe
from Altomonte, C., F. Di Mauro, G. Ottaviano, A.
Rungi and V. Vicard. 2012. “Global Value Chains


during the Great Trade Collapse: A Bullwhip Effect?”
ECB Working Paper Series No. 1412.


7 Detailed technical information on the construction
of Eora can be found in M. Lenzen, K. Kanemoto,
A. Geschke, D. Moran (2012) “Mapping the
Structure of the World Economy.” Environmental
Science & Technology 46 (15): 8374–8381.Two
more approachable summaries are also due to
be published soon: “Tracing Embodied CO2
in Trade Using High-Resolution Input-Output
Tables”, chapter in Computationally Intelligent Data
Analysis for Sustainable Development. ed. T. Yu.
and The Eora MRIO, chapter in The Sustainability
Practitioner’s Guide to MRIO. ed. J. Murray and M.
Lenzen.


8 United Nations (1999). “Handbook of input–output
table compilation and analysis”. Studies in Methods
Series F, No 74. Handbook of National Accounting.
New York.


9 See Leontief, W. (1970). “Environmental
Repercussions and the Economic Structure: An
Input-Output Approach”. The Review of Economics
and Statistics, 52(3), 262–271.


10 Starting with the seminal work of Hummels, Ishii
& Yi (ibid.), variations of this methodology have
recently been used in a number of recent papers.
Johnson & Noguera (ibid.), Timmer, M., B. Los, R.
Stehrer, and G. de Vries (2012) “Fragmentation,
Incomes and Jobs. An analysis of European
competitiveness”, WIOD Working Paper 9,
Groningen; and Stehrer, R., N. Foster and G. de
Vries (2012) “Value Added and Factors in Trade: A
Comprehensive Approach”, WIIW Working paper
80, Vienna ultimately reapportion worldwide final
demand across countries, rather than exports,
allowing them to disentangle the value added
created in one country due to consumption in
other countries (‘trade in value added’). The OECD-
WTO exercise instead follows an approach entirely
similar to the one presented here and originally
proposed by Koopman et al. (ibid.): this approach
disentangles the domestic and foreign value added
embodied in a country’s gross exports (referred to
in this report as ‘value added (in) trade’). Details on
the OECD-WTO dataset and method can be found
in OECD - WTO (2012), “Trade in Value-Added:
Concepts, Methodologies and Challenges”, www.
oecd.org; and in De Backer and Miroudout (2012).
“Mapping Global Value Chains”, Paper prepared for
the WIOD Conference: Causes and Consequences
of Globalization, Groningen, The Netherlands, 24-26
April 2012.


11 As in Stehrer et al. (ibid.).




Global Value Chains and Development32


12 For a precise decomposition, see Koopman et al.
(ibid.).


13 To get an idea of the complexity of the exercise,
each yearly MRIO contains tens of millions of
observations, that is around 4GB of data, but
together with the superior variables needed to
balance the MRIO table at the world level, each
dataset to be used by the optimization algorithm
grows to 70 GB, and thus requires 2 to 10x as
much in RAM capability to run. The Australian NCI
supercomputing facilities have been used by the
Eora team to retrieve value added trade data.


14 The GTAP dataset employs a different balancing
algorithm with respect to other existing world I–O
tables (including Eora), as the balancing algorithm
prioritize the correspondance between gross vs.
SUT-derived trade flows rather than domestic value
added. See Koopman et al. (ibid.).


15 See Stehrer et al. (ibid.).
16 The Eora data have been validated against the


WIOD data as the latter dataset gives direct access
to the original national Supply-use tables. As
such, it allows to exactly replicate the underlying
methodology in the construction of the indicators to
be compared across datasets.


17 Two outliers have been excluded from the
comparison, that is Bulgaria and Luxembourg. In
both cases FVA shares in WIOD were some 20%
larger than the measure retrieved in Eora. The
average (absolute) difference across the remaining
countries is instead around 6 percentage points.




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