Intangibles at the heart of global value chains and the COVID-19 recovery

Free Webinar
Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 2:00 pm, Eastern Time

The COVID-19 pandemic is not only upsetting the tangible parts of global trade; but also disrupting its heart—the intangibles. In this 60-minute webinar, Ari Van Assche, professor of international business at HEC Montréal, discusses the rising importance of intangibles in global value chains during the two decades preceding the pandemic, how the COVID-19 lockdown measures have hurt the production of intangibles, and what policies governments should adopt to support their recovery as economies reopen.

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About Ari

Joe BlomeleyAri Van Assche is full professor in international business and co-founder of the International Institute of Economic Diplomacy at HEC Montréal. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and specializes in the organization of global value chains and their implication for trade policy. He is deputy editor of the Journal of International Business Policy.

COVID-19: Get all the insights

Key takeaways:

  • An explosion in the adoption of communications technology has boosted the share of intangibles in global value chain income.
  • Global cities have disproportionately benefited from this new use of technology because they tend to have interconnected local economies and strong international relationships, which are important in the production of intangibles.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt the production of intangibles by stifling both local interactions and global travel.
  • Policy-makers need to consider the ABCs of global value chain–oriented policies to support the recovery of intangibles production:
    • Attractiveness policies that aim to strengthen a location’s appeal for global trade;
    • Buzz policies that intend to strengthen the local production and innovation ecosystem;
    • Connectedness policies that aspire to strengthen the local ecosystem by creating connections to other locations.
The webinar is organized by the Global Commerce Centre.