Production Networks and Trade Patterns:East Asia in a Global Context
This paper examines the implications of global production sharing for regional and global trade patterns in East Asia using a new data set culled from the UN trade database. It is found that, while ‘network trade’ has generally grown faster than total world trade in manufacturing, the degree of dependence of East Asia on this new form of international specialisation is proportionately larger than elsewhere in the world. Trade within production networks has certainly strengthened economic interdependence among countries in the region, with China playing a pivotal role as the premier centre of final assembly. However, this, contrary to the popular belief, has not lessened the dependence of export dynamism of these countries on the global economy. The rise of global production sharing has strengthened the case for a global, rather than a regional, approach to trade and investment policymaking.
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