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Werner Raza

Austrian Foundation for Development Research

Werner Raza is Director of ÖFSE – The Austrian Foundation for Development Research. An economist focusing his research on International Trade and Development, he has lectured at several universities and colleges in Austria and abroad. In addition, Mr. Raza has been a member of various advisory committees in the fields of foreign trade promotion, development finance and development policy. His research focuses on development economics and policy, international trade, GVC analysis and industrial upgrading, with a regional focus on Latin America, as well as Northern and Eastern Africa.
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publication
Resilience in Sustainable Global Supply Chains: Evidence and Policy Recommendations

The COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns and export restrictions highlighted the vulnerability of global trade and global value chains (GVCs). What is more, many commentators argue that the likelihood of exogenous shocks that threaten international trade and GVCs, such as natural disasters, pandemics, or political conflicts will increase in the future. In light of the new global context and due to the experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is increasingly acknowledged in the scientific community and among policy-makers that the resilience of critical and vulnerable GVCs needs to be strengthened in order to guarantee security of supply. However, a major shortcoming of the current debate on how to improve GVC resilience is that it is not linked to the issue of environmental sustainability. This report aims at addressing this link between GVC resilience and sustainability, both at the conceptual and the policy level. To this end, the report (a) provides a systematic over-view of the literature, highlighting the trade-offs and compatibilities between GVC resilience, sustainability and efficiency; (b) assesses selected policy initiatives on GVC resilience and sustainability, including the US Executive Order 14017 on America’s Supply Chains; (c) presents a case study on the medical products sector in order to provide a better understanding of the strategic aspects of resilience and sustainability in supply chain management in the context of the recently witnessed GVC disruptions; and (d) develops policy recommendations. This report argues that since the emergence of GVCs, firms have primarily focused on GVC efficiency and largely disregarded GVC resilience and sustainability. In general, GVC efficiency, resilience and sustainability have important trade-offs as well as compatibilities that policy-makers need to take into consideration. In many GVCs, increasing GVC resilience and sustainability requires policy interventions since the desired societal level of GVC efficiency, sustainability, and resilience differs from firms’ perspectives, particularly because increasing GVC resilience and sustainability can be very costly and challenging for firms.

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How can international trade contribute to sustainable forestry and the preservation of the world’s forests through the Green Deal?

High deforestation rates, particularly in tropical areas, remain a pressing concern for the international community, given their impacts on the global climate and the loss of biodiversity. The EU has committed to promoting sustainable forest management both domestically and internationally. However, efforts so far have concentrated on promoting the legality of trade in timber and timber products, via policy instruments such as FLEGT and the EU Timber Regulation. EU trade policy could be employed more systematically to promote sustainable forestry and deforestation-free value chains. The report proposes eleven measures to this end, both at the unilateral, bilateral and multilateral level, that inter alia combine market access incentives on the part of consumer markets such as the EU with obligations to promote principles of sustainable production on the part of producer countries.

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Strategies for sustainable upgrading in global value chains: the Egyptian textile and apparel sector

The promotion of sustainable value chains is on the rise in the EU, with important implications for textile and apparel (T&A) products. EU T&A supplier countries and firms will increasingly have to adapt to the new EU value chain and market dynamics. Based on a case study of the Egyptian T&A sector, this policy note argues that the required transformation of the industry will be highly demanding. EU development policy should increase support in order to promote sustainable value chains in the T&A sector in Egypt, but also in other MENA countries with export-oriented T&A sectors.

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publication
Delivering on Promises? The Expected Impacts and Implementation Challenges of the Economic Partnership Agreements between the European Union and Africa

Economic partnership agreements (EPAs) mark a new era in economic relations between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries that will lead to reciprocal tariff liberalization. Model‐based impact assessments have become a powerful tool in trade negotiations and mixed results are reported for ACP countries. Given their set‐up within a neoclassical framework, these models neglect important issues such as impacts on employment, macroeconomic balances and adjustment costs. The structuralist computable general equilibrium model applied in this article for three African EPA regions addresses these shortcomings and shows negative macroeconomic and distributional effects and important adjustment costs associated with employment and public revenue losses. These results highlight the importance of policy responses to deliver on promises associated with EPAs, namely sustainable economic development. More generally, they show the importance of alternative models to understand implementation challenges and facilitate broader debates about bilateral trade agreements.

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