United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Adnan Serič is research manager at the Department of Policy, Research and Statistics of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) where he leads department’s work on global value chains and foreign direct investments. He is also project manager of UNIDO Industrial Analytics Platform (iap.unido.org), UNIDO focal point for the T20 and the annual Forum on Globalization and Industrialization. He is an External Fellow at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and previously worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the area of trade and investment policy. Adnan holds MSc. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of St Andrews (UK).
Multilateral coordination and exchange for sustainable global value chains
While participation in global value chains (GVCs) is widely associated with benefits for countries’ development and growth, its environmental and social costs become increasingly evident. Representing core buyer and supplier countries in GVCs, the G20 is particularly suited to tackle this global challenge. We recommend the G20 should become a key global forum for exchange and collaboration on this important challenge, setting in place effective processes to ensure multilateral coordination for sustainable GVCs in the G20 and beyond.
Risk, resilience and recalibration in global value chains
Current global value chains are highly efficient, specialized and interconnected, but also highly vulnerable to global risks. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark demonstration of this point, causing supply-side disruptions in the first quarter of 2020, as China and other Asian economies were hit by the outbreak of the virus which eventually spread globally, leading to business closures around the world. The ensuing supply chain breakdown prompted policymakers in many countries to address the need for economic self-sufficiency, along with strategies to better deal with global risks, even at the expense of the efficiency and productivity gains that globalization has brought.
Investors’ characteristics and the business climate as drivers of backward linkages in Vietnam
This paper analyses the factors determining the establishment of backward linkages and their key features once established. To carry out our analysis, we exploit an original survey conducted in 2011 on roughly 1500 investors based in Vietnam. We show that some characteristics of the investor firm, including size, productivity, experience and autonomy in decision-making, affect the capacity of linkages to create a larger network of local suppliers. In addition, we show that it is the provision of a good investment climate, and more importantly of key business support services, that mainly influences the capacity of investors to trigger knowledge and other key resources’ transfer to their local suppliers.
Job Quality, FDI and Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Firm-Level Data
Using a unique sample of foreign-owned and domestic firms in Sub-Saharan Africa, we study the differences in the quality of jobs that they offer, and identify how these differences are associated with country-level institutional factors. We find that foreign-owned firms offer more stable and secure jobs than domestic firms, as evidenced by their higher and lower shares of permanent full-time and temporary employment, respectively. The job stability and security advantage of foreign-owned firms is smaller in countries with higher firing costs and better governance, where domestic firms are likely to offer more stable and secure jobs. In addition, foreign-owned firms are less likely to offer unpaid work and have a lower share of these workers. They also have a higher average training intensity and pay higher wages to different types of workers. The wage premia of foreign-owned firms are lower in countries with higher governance and social policy standards, where domestic firms are likely to pay higher wages. Finally, we show that the job quality advantage of foreign-owned firms depends on the location of their parents, the mode of their establishment, their main business purpose and the most critical investment incentive received from the host country.
Corporate Social Responsibility in Global Supply Chains: Deeds Not Words
The disconnect between the lofty aspirations of firms claiming Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and their shortcomings in practice have caused some observers to question its usefulness. The fallout from events like the Rana Plaza catastrophe has highlighted some of these shortcomings—namely, deficiencies in how multinational enterprises (MNEs) transact with suppliers in developing countries. Specifically, our paper aims to investigate whether or not MNEs behave hypocritically by examining the alignment of CSR to business practices in MNE affiliates in developing countries. To answer this question, we apply standard ordinary least squares (OLS) techniques to data for over 1000 MNEs that claim to have a CSR ethos. We find that CSR-active enterprises report significantly higher worker wages, ceteris paribus. Local African suppliers benefit from CSR through knowledge transfer, but only when MNEs make tangible investments in supplier development.