Global value chains (GVCs), and more generally globalisation, have been a dominant feature of the global economy in recent decades, emerging as a result of the slicing and dicing by enterprises of previously integrated production processes into a chain of internationally dispersed tasks.
With such increased interconnectedness comes increased complexity. To improve our understanding of the nature of global trade and production, and international economic interdependencies, OECD and WTO have therefore launched the Trade in Value Added (TiVA) initiative to develop that provides the first official data on GVCs, for 61 countries and 34 industries.
However, it is clear that within those industries, firms vary importantly with respect to the degree and way in which they are active in GVCs and in turn contribute to economic growth and employment. For example, SMEs typically face larger barriers to trade than larger firms, and MNEs are known to play important, but yet unquantified, roles in global production.
Statistics on the role of these different types of firms in GVCs are essential to facilitate policy making and to provide insights in the nexus between international trade, international investment, and production. The OECD has therefore started a work-stream that extends the TiVA dataset by breaking down industries into new categories of firms, including SMEs and MNEs.
Global Value Chains play an important role for small open economies like the Nordic Countries. This report, which reflects the work of a close collaboration between the OECD Statistics Directorate and Nordic Statistical Offices, analyses how, in the Nordic countries, different types of firms including SMEs (dependent and independent), large enterprises, foreign and domestically owned enterprises, and trading and non-trading companies, engage in GVCs and help shape Nordic countries’ roles in GVCs.
First results of the OECD’s work to highlight the role played by different types of firms - in particular SMEs - in GVCs were presented in the joint World Bank-OECD report to G20 Trade Ministers in 2015. A key finding of this work was the significant contribution to overall exports made by SMEs through their upstream and indirect participation, which in many countries and sectors outweighed their direct contribution.
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