Governance, Entry Barriers, Upgrading: A Re-Interpretation of Some GVC Concepts from the Experience of African Clothing Exports

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Volume: 
12
Number: 
1
Page Numbers: 
29-48
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Published On: 
2008

On the basis of a discussion of African production of clothing for the EU and US markets over the last decade, this paper examines the influences of culturally-specific conventions of industrial organization and quality on GVC governance, entry barriers and suppliers’ upgrading possibilities. The paper argues that, while US and EU conventions and governance forms are becoming more similar, neither financialization nor MFA phase-out have led to an eradication of differences in the shape of clothing production and trade into these markets. The trend is rather for existing differences to be reproduced in new forms, rather than being eradicated.