What happens when the market shifts to China? The Gabon timber and Thai cassava value chains

Kaplinsky, Raphael; Terheggen, Anne and Tijaja, Julia (2010). What happens when the market shifts to China? The Gabon timber and Thai cassava value chains. The World Bank.

Abstract

Rapid economic growth in China has boosted its demand for commodities. At the same time, many commodity sectors have experienced declining demand from high income northern economies. This paper examines two hypotheses of the consequences of this shift in final markets for the organization of global value chains in general, and for the role played in them by southern producers in particular. The first is that there will be a decline in the importance of standards in global value chains. The second is that there will be increasing constraints in the ability of low-income producers to upgrade to higher value niches in their chains. Detailed case studies of the Thai cassava industry and the Gabon timber sector confirm both these hypotheses. It remains to be seen how widespread these trends are across other sectors.

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