Services and global value chains for sustainable development
Via delle Fontanelle
18, 50014 Fiesole FI
Scientific Coordinator: Giorgia Giovannetti | European University Institute & University of Florence
Services play a critical role for firms’ competitiveness, including as inputs into value chains. While in the past their impact on growth, employment, production and value added seemed to be confined to developed countries, the increasing fragmentation of production and the participation of developing countries to global value chains suggests that their recent development is key also for developing and emerging countries.
Many firms in manufacturing sectors increasingly engage in the so-called servicification: a shift into or an increase in the production and sale of services. Upgrading along a value chain often requires servicification, in the sense that activities that generate a higher share of the total value of a product tend to be services, ranging from R&D and design to retail distribution and brand management.
Different services can have different impact on sustainable development (and on productivity). An efficient, competitive financial sector is critical in ensuring that capital is deployed where it has the highest returns. Transport services contribute to the efficient distribution of goods and are the means through which services providers move to the location of clients (and vice versa). Telecommunications are key intermediate inputs and a “transport” mechanism for information services and other products that can be digitized. Business services, such as accounting and legal services, reduce transaction costs associated with the operation of financial markets and the enforcement of contracts. Retail and wholesale distribution services are a vital link between producers and consumers, with the margins that apply in the provision of such services influencing the competitiveness of firms on both the local and international market.
The importance of services has also been recognized for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Some of the SDGs map directly to the performance of specific services sectors (e.g., health services in SDG 3, education in SDG 4, etc.). For other SDGs there exists a direct relationship between economic growth and the achievement of the goal. In such cases what matters is the effect of services on growth. The growth channel is relevant for many SDGs and this raises the question of how services and services trade can contribute to higher growth. In short, there exist both direct and indirect mechanisms that connect the performance of service activities to the SDGs.
These themes were addressed in the executive seminar, with a direct involvement of participants and the use of recently developed databases (WIOD, TIVA, EORA etc).
Davide Castellani | University of Reading
Giorgia Giovannetti | European University Institute & University of Florence
Marion Jensen | International Trade Centre
Iza Lejarraga | OECD
Hernan Manson | International Trade Centre
Christine Oughton | SOAS London
Adnan Šerić | UNIDO