This note focuses on the effective participation of developing countries including Least developed Countries (LDCs) in the Global Value Chains (GVCs).

Contemporary debates suggest the need for integrating economies in global value chains (GVCs) as an effective means for harnessing development through trade. However, Africa, more so sub-Saharan African countries remain trapped at the lower end of GVCs contributing raw materials and basic value addition. Then, how to catapult the region into higher end value chains? At this meeting, East African negotiators to the WTO considered this question with the help of feedback provided by their stakeholders on the ground.

The cotton, textile and apparel (CTA) sector has been prioritised in East Africa for its promising development potential. Yet, only 15% of the cotton produced is processed within the region and the rest is exported to other developing and developed countries for processing into textile and apparels. At this meeting, East African negotiators to the WTO reflected on the trade challenges faced by CTA value chains in their region, based on updates from stakeholders on the ground.