What Africa can learn from Asian supply chains

Published on Tuesday, 15 December 2015

A woman sells coffee beans in Viet Nam.
A woman sells coffee beans in Viet Nam.

blogs.ADB.org – At this week’s 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, trade ministers are trying to advance 15 years of Doha Development Agenda talks to reduce trade barriers. The real issue, however, is whether African economies can follow East Asia’s success in global supply chains amid “new normal” growth and rising inequality.

Global supply chains refer to the geographical location of stages of production (design, production, marketing, and service activities) in a cost-effective manner and linked by trade in intermediate inputs and final goods. For instance, the Toyota Prius—a hybrid electric mid-size hatchback car—for the US market was designed in Japan and is presently assembled there, but some parts and components are made in Southeast Asia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
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