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Wednesday, 31 August 2016 09:56

Media Alert: The G-20 Summit and Global Value Chains: Implications for Africa

Written by SAIIA

Dear Editors and Journalists,

From 4 - 5 September 2016, G20 leaders will meet in Hangzhou, China. International economic developments traditionally dominate the agenda, and this year Brexit is likely to top the list.

But global economic governance forums like the G20 are also increasingly focusing on issues relevant for developing countries. One of the issues the Hangzhou Summit will examine is how Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries can be better incorporated into the global value chains operated by large multinational corporations.

GEG Africa, a South African-based stakeholder policy and engagement programme, has just released a paper and associated policy brief on this issue. The papers lay out the limitations and opportunities for African SMEs to be integrated into global value chains.

Key questions:

  • What are the barriers preventing African SMEs from competitively participating in global and regional value chains? Who has a role in overcoming these constraints?
  • What kind of benefits might South Africa and the rest of Africa reap if SMEs were better integrated into global and regional value chains?

GEG Africa expertise and resources available

Peter Draper, a recognised expert on global value chains, is available for interviews and comment. He is the co-author of two new publications entitled ‘SMEs and GVCs in the G20: Implications for Africa and Developing Countries.’

Read the discussion paper here, or read a shorter policy briefing here.

Queries can be directed to Fortunate Xaba at 081 086 6303/ 011 339 2021 ext 123 or 

About global value chains

International production, trade and investments are increasingly organised into global value chains, whereby individual countries and firms no longer specialise in producing the entire product in question. Instead, production is parcelled out into tasks and allocated to different countries and firms according to their comparative advantage.

Critics regard the global value chains agenda as prescribing trade and investment liberalisation for the benefit of Western multinationals, and advocate instead for protection of domestic and regional companies. In contrast, supporters argue that value chains are the best way to attract investment from multinationals, and will promote domestic productivity and innovation.

About the GEG Africa project

The Global Economic Governance (GEG) Africa programme was created to undertake evidence-based research on how to create an international system of global economic governance which works better for the poor in Africa. The research findings are used to advise policymakers, as well as to stimulate and inform public and media interest on global economic governance.

The first phase of the programme was implemented between 2011 and 2014. The second phase began in March 2016 and will end in March 2019. It is managed by a consortium of three partners, DNA Economics, the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and Tutwa Consulting.

The programme is funded by the UK Department for International Development as part of the UK’s shared priority with South Africa to accelerate the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals through an improved system of global economic governance.

For more information or to arrange for interviews please contact:

Ms Fortunate Xaba,
SAIIA Communications Assistant
Tel: +27 (0)11 339-2021

See more work on Value Chains.
Interview: G-20 Summit and Global Value Chains, Implications for Africa.
Scoping workshop: Global Value Chains and Small, Medium Enterprises: What Role for the G20?
SMEs and GVCs in the G-20:Implications for Africa and developing countries.

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