Economic and social upgrading in global value chains: emerging trends and pressures

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The global value chain (GVC) terrain is shifting, with the expansion of regional and domestic chains in Africa, Asia and Latin America. However, expansion is in highvolume, low-price markets, where competition must be balanced against rising costs and higher quality demands. Many sectors face shortages of the skills needed to sustain economic upgrading. Meanwhile, social upgrading does not necessarily follow economic upgrading, with irregular workers (often women) and small-scale producers often experiencing poor remuneration and conditions. Joint action among companies, civil society, governments and donors is needed to link economic and social upgrading and promote more inclusive development within GVCs.