World development report 2020
trading for development in the age of global value chains
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Trade and the rise of GVCs enabled an unprecedented convergence: poor countries grew faster and began to catch up with richer countries. More than 1 billion people escaped poverty as a result. Since the Great Recession, the growth of trade has been sluggish and the expansion of GVCs has slowed down. At the same time, potentially serious threats have emerged to the model of labor-intensive, trade-led growth. New labor-saving technologies could draw production closer to the consumer and reduce demand for labor. And trade conflict among large countries could lead to a retrenchment of supply chains or a segmentation of GVCs.
The World Development Report (WDR) 2020: Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains examines whether there is still a path to development through GVCs. It concludes that technological change is at this stage more a boon than a curse. GVCs can continue to boost growth, create better jobs, and reduce poverty, provided that developing countries implement deeper reforms and industrial countries pursue open, predictable policies.