On May 29, 2013 a Stocktaking Seminar devoted to the Russian G20 Presidency trade agenda with particular focus on global value chains organized jointly with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was held in Paris (France). The Seminar provided an opportunity to take stock of progress on measuring trade in value-added terms, and the corresponding trade policy implications emerging from this exercise.
Ministers responsible for trade, sherpas, experts and representatives of the business community from the G20 and the OECD countries, as well as heads of the key IO's involved in the corresponding activities, including Secretary General of the OECD Angel Gurria, Director General of the WTO Pascal Lamy and Director of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Entrepreneurship James Zhan, contributed as lead speakers of the seminar.
Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Andrey Belousov in his opening remarks admitted that the Russian G20 Presidency attaches great significance to the issue of global value chains development. Such an approach will help provide an adequate response to one of the key challenges of the moment, namely, making a choice of the development model, between open global economy that promotes development of trade and investment, and protectionism.
"Global value chains open up a new dimension of the global economy. They are a kind of a facade showcasing the interrelation of economic mechanisms behind it, which determines global economic development trends. We need to know these mechanisms, to understand and manage them," the Russian Minister said.
The seminar covered a range of issues, including the input from the OECD-WTO Trade in Value-Added database (TiVA) to global trade and investment policy; implications for the Global Value Chains (GVCs) development linked with cross-border barriers and trade in off-the-shelf items; ensuring the developing countries' access to the GVCs and related income and employment opportunities, as well as complementary policies necessary to ensure that developing countries can access and move up the value chain.
Chief of the Presidential Experts' Directorate and the Russian G20 Sherpa Ksenia Yudaeva noted that since taking over the G20 Presidency, Russia focused on the role of trade policy in promoting growth and jobs, and defined priorities in this area under three main headings: (1) curbing protectionism; (2) strengthening and developing the multilateral trading system; and, (3) global value chains.
"The ‘value added' approach reveals more clearly than was possible before how policies that restrict access to foreign intermediate goods and services also have a negative impact on a country's position in regional and global supply chains," the Russian Sherpa said.
"We have scheduled a series of the G20 events, including today's Stocktaking Seminar, with a major checkpoint in July when we plan to examine the 9th OECD-WTO-UNCTAD report on the G20 trade and investment measures, as well as their report on trade and investment policy implications of global value chains. And I am very happy to see the progress achieved so far by the three IOs in not only developing the Trade in Value-Added database, which is itself a major achievement, but also in identifying trade policy implications of the new data," Ksenia Yudaeva concluded.