Linking up to global value chains to improve national competitiveness and make production more sustainable


With a package full of newly gained knowledge 12 participants, coming from 8 different countries, returned home after a successful 5-day executive program on Value Chain Analysis. This short program, which has run from 9 -13 December 2019, is designed for senior executives, policy makers, lecturers and NGO consultants, and focuses on how emerging economies can benefit from global and regional value chains.

Global value chains (GVC) have emerged over the past decades when the world’s major brands started outsourcing many of their operations to low-income countries. These global and regional chains offer national economies the opportunity to specialize in individual stages of production and enhance their economic, social and environmental sustainability.

During the program, Jeroen van Wijk, Associate Professor Global Value Chains and Partnerships at MSM, discussed the main concepts of value chain analysis and focused on opportunities and challenges for emerging countries to link up to these chains. The participants learned about policies to upgrade industry sectors, the role of industrial clusters, foreign direct investment, and of special economic zones. Special attention was paid to the rise of China as superpower, and the pros and cons of Chinese investments in individual emerging economies that want to connect to global chains. Throughout the week, the participants worked on various cases to put theory into practice with a final presentation assignment on the last day of the program. In small teams, they analyzed an economic subsector of a selected country in its global value chain. The goal was to consider the opportunities and challenges for the subsector to improve its competitiveness in the global value chain, while contributing to national economic and social development in a sustainable manner. “Competitiveness and sustainability requires multi-stakeholder collaboration, both nationally and along the entire global value chain. Which is not easy”. said Jeroen van Wijk.

The program was highly valued by all of the participants: Kosala Jayasundara from Sri Lanka mentioned, “This course really met my expectations. I was not involved and fully aware of the non-traditional chain members such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and did not know much about the regulation part within a value chain. The knowledge I gained from the course will be beneficial for both my professional career in manufacturing field and my government consultancy work in value chain management”

Guest lecture - Why a gender approach is good for workers, business and the sector
On Wednesday, Jochem Schneemann, consultant at the social enterprise Fair & Sustainable Consulting, shared his experiences about a key aspect of social upgrading in value chains: enhancing gender diversity in business. His message was that investing in the female workforce and inclusion of women in (top) management positions is good for business. Interventions that were discussed include: a positive & respectful workplace atmosphere, a recognizable Gender Committee, and some flexibility in working hours for women that are pregnant or have young children.   

Interested to join the next Value Chain Analysis program?
MSM will run the next Value Chain Analysis program from 14 -18 December 2020. In case you would like to join, make sure you reserve your seat on time. In case of any questions, please feel free to contact Manon Souren-Huppertz.

About MSM’s executive education programs
In today’s rapidly changing world, it is important for leaders and professionals to keep their knowledge and skills up to date and relevant. Investing in executive education is investing in your future. At MSM, we embrace this lifelong learning approach! MSM’s hands-on executive programs, led by thought leaders and business experts, provide a practical and action-oriented learning experience and are designed to have an immediate impact on performance.

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