How to represent visually Global Value Chains, a concept developed to understand global trade’s increasing complexity? This infographic explains the origin, present and future of world trade.

Although the concept of Global Value Chains (GVCs) was familiar to me, it was only a purely statistical tool, quite complex and abstract. Nevertheless, the superb report “Global Value Chain Development Report 2017“, co-published by the World Bank, the WTO and others, fell into my hands a few months ago. As I read it I began to understand and locate the GVCs in their historical and economic context. They were no more abstract things. They have an origin, a present and a future that allows us to understand why nothing will be the same after the Global financial crisis.

I began to look for more information on the subject while in my head the dots were joining. I could “see” the GVCs. That is how I decided to combine, unite and order all the relevant information I found, bringing the GVCs to life through the infographic you can see in this post. Although the result is little longer than recommended, I had to discard (to my great regret) very interesting data I would also have liked to include.

Psst! At the end of the page you can find the links to the sources and some bonus images. Enjoy.

(If you have problems to visualize it, open a lighter version here)


Main source:

WORLD BANK, WTO, IDE-JETRO, RCGVC (2017). Global Value Chain Development Report 2017. Measuring and Analyzing the Impact of GVCs on Economic Development. The World Bank.

If you want to know more about GVCs:

MAHONEY, T., HELPER, S. (2017). Ensuring American manufacturing leadership through next-generation supply chains. MForesight.

PRADES, E., VILLANUEVA, P. (2017). España en las cadenas globales de valor. Banco de España, Boletín Económico 3/2017.

WANG, Z., WEI, S., ZHU, K. (2014). Gross trade accounting: A transparent method to discover global value chain-related information behind official trade data. VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal.