Once concentrated among a few large economies, global flows of goods, services, and capital now reach an ever larger number of economies worldwide. Global trade in goods and services increased 10 times between 1980 and 2011, while FDI flows increased almost 30-fold. The sales from foreign-owned firms amount to $26 trillion. As many as 3,000 bilateral investment treaties have been signed to create the framework of deep agreements needed not only to facilitate the global movement of final goods and services but also to internationalize entire processes of production. All these flows have grown over time, creating increasingly dense and complex networks. This note is intended provide an overview of SACU countries’ participation and performance in GVCs, drawing on several data sources and indicators, and most importantly the recently released 189-country Eora multi-region-input-output (MRIO) database (Lenzen et al. 2012, 2013). Following this introduction, the note is structured in five additional sections. Section two discusses in greater detail the scope of the report, including the data sources and methodological approaches, as well as their respective limitations. Section three looks at structural integration in trade, including the degree to which SACU countries import and export intermediates. Section four analyzes trends in value-added exports as a first step in exploring GVC participation. Section five hones in on the core measures of GVC participation and a brief analysis of SACU countries’ position in GVCs. Finally, section six concludes by bringing together the main findings from the analysis.
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