Global value chains under scrutiny at UNCTAD Commodities Forum

25 March 2014

Only 8% of the value created by international supply chains flows to 100-plus developing countries, analysis by UNCTAD suggests, placing the role of "global value chains" in developing countries' strategies among discussions to be held at UNCTAD’s upcoming Global Commodities Forum.

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The Global Commodities Forum (GCF) will be held in the Palais des Nations, Geneva
on 7-8 April 2014.

With its theme "Global value chains, transparency and commodity-based development", the GCF will on its first day hear from keynote speaker Professor Stefano Ponte of the Copenhagen Business School, a leading researcher and writer on Global value chains (GVCs), who will frame the issues related to the governance of GVCs, and to the opportunities they represent for commodity-dependent developing countries.

For its second subtheme, namely the need for greater transparency in the commodities sector, the GCF will hear a keynote address from Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International and the founding Chairperson of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Mr. Eigen is also a member of the Africa Progress Panel, which recommends robust, common, global transparency standards for resource transactions and tax filings as a way for resource-rich but poverty-stricken African countries to beat the “resource curse.”

As host to the world's largest commodity trading sector, which controls dominant shares of the global trade in, for example, crude oil, grains, oil seeds, coffee and sugar, Switzerland’s approach to transparency in this sector will be among the topics under scrutiny at a GCF session on the potential for transparency-themed governance reform in the trading sector.

With transparency initiatives and legislation advancing in the extractive sector, experts at the GCF will debate how to transmit those principles through the trading sector, to the final customer.