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publication April 15, 2019

Global Value Chain Development Report 2019: Technological Innovation, Supply Chain Trade and Workers in a Globalized World



  • More than two-thirds of world trade now occurs through global value chains (GVCs).
  • Over the last two decades, GVCs have reduced trade barriers, lowered the costs of transportation, created jobs for workers and driven significant economic growth in developing countries.
  • Technological advancements pose both opportunities and risks for countries participating in GVCs. To prepare their countries for a digital future, governments need to promote policies that are conducive to investment, that build the skills of local manufacturers and that nurture relationships between technology providers and local producers.

Washington, April 15, 2019 – Companies used to make things primarily in one country. That has all changed. Thanks to global value chains (GVCs), a single finished product often results from manufacturing and assembly in multiple countries, with each step in the process adding value to the finished product. More than two-thirds of global trade is now powered by GVCs.

GVCs have been critical for development and jobs in many countries, but technological advances are further transforming the way trade works. The report Technological Innovation, Supply Chain Trade and Workers in a Globalized World takes stock of current trends in GVCs and examines how recent developments such as robotics, big data and the internet of things may impact workers around the world.

The report is co-published by The World Bank Group, The World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO) and the Research Center of Global Value Chains of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE). It is the second in the series Global Value Chain Development Report, the first published in 2017.