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Paulo Roberto de Almeida
New OECD-WTO analysis highlights changing face of global trade
16/01/2013 - Business competitiveness and export performance are
increasingly tied to countries’ integration into global production
chains and a willingness to open markets to wider imports, according to
preliminary international trade data released today by the OECD and the
The joint OECD – WTO Trade in Value-Added Initiative breaks with conventional measurements of trade, which record gross flows of goods and services each time they cross borders. It seeks instead to analyse the value added by a country in the production of any good or service that is then exported, and offers a fuller picture of commercial relations between nations.
“Countries’ capacity to sell to the world depends on their ability and readiness to buy from the rest of the world,” OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria said during the launch of the new database in Paris with WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht and New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser. Read the full speech.
The first release from the OECD-WTO database offers new insights on how global value chains impact trade relationships and business activity. Among the key findings are:
- China’s bilateral trade surplus with the United States shrinks by 25% on a value-added basis, reflecting the high level of foreign-sourced content in Chinese exports.
- One-third of the total value of motor vehicles exported from Germany actually comes from other countries, while nearly 40% of the total value of China’s electronics exports come from foreign sources.
- While conventional trade data suggests that services represent less than one-quarter of total trade, on a value-added basis services trade reaches an average 50% of OECD countries’ exports, and well above that in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy – in large part because services add significant value to manufacturing output.
- Bilateral trade surpluses of major commodity exporters like Australia, Brazil and Canada with their key trading partners shrink on a value-added basis, as their raw materials are further processed by trading partners and then re-exported – highlighting where these countries might “move up” the value chain.
For more information on the methodology behind the TIVA database, indicators and future plans, as well as country notes see: www.oecd.org/trade/valueadded.
For queries on the database, please contact: TIVA.firstname.lastname@example.org or the OECD Media Office (Tel:+33-1 4524-9700, email@example.com)
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