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Using global production chains to secure investments in sustainability

global supply chain

International production, trade and investments are increasingly organized within “global value chains” (GVCs), in which multinational corporations allocate different stages of the production process to different suppliers in different countries. Today, a finished product could be manufactured and assembled in multiple countries, with each production stage adding value.

Companies used to make things primarily in one country. Now, COVID-19 has highlighted the need to understand many countries’ dependency countries on suppliers across the world.

Deriving social and environmental benefits

Telfer professor Tommaso Ferretti has received a SMRG Research Grant to identify policies and governance mechanisms that use firms’ participation in GVCs to foster access to “impact investments,” investments withTommaso Ferretti social or environmental benefits. He’ll be looking at the Caribbean region in particular.

Current research hasn’t examined the means by which GVC-oriented policies can foster access to impact investing and promote sustainable inter-firm GVC relationships. Ferretti will focus on agro-industrial GVCs in the Caribbean and the policy debates and initiatives concerning local firms’ access to impact investing.
Participation in global value chains can lead to increased job creation and economic growth. Organizations like the World Bank Group and the United Nations International Trade Centre are helping developing countries understand the role that GVCs can play in delivering growth, increasing regional and global integration and managing external shocks.

Policymakers in emerging economies are pursuing policies enabling local firms’ participation in GVCs. However, this isn’t enough to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, due to a lack of private and public investment in sustainability. Impact investments can address the lack of financial resources by funding sustainability in emerging economies.

Research benefits

Ferretti’s work will contribute to the literature on international business and development. It will also provide policymakers and development practitioners with recommendations on reducing the huge disconnect between supply and demand regarding impact financing for the agricultural sector in emerging economies.

The work will also help key actors in the impact investing ecosystem, such as the Council on Smallholders Agricultural Finance (CSAF), adding evidence to consolidate and expand markets for sustainable financing.

Finally, the project will offer training for a graduate student in conducting literature reviews, structuring surveys for qualitative and quantitative data collection, applying qualitative analysis methodologies and facilitating two knowledge dissemination events.

About the Author

Zoï Coucopoulos a occupé le poste de coordonnatrice des initiatives stratégiques, où elle soutenait la croissance de la qualité et de l'intensité de la recherche de l’École de gestion Telfer en aidant les chercheurs et les groupes de recherche à élaborer des programmes de recherche interdisciplinaires et des activités de sensibilisation. De plus, elle travaillait à faciliter le développement de groupes de recherche stratégiques et à aider les membres du corps professoral et les étudiantes et étudiants diplômés à contribuer au développement d'une culture solide basée sur la recherche.</br></br>Zoï Coucopoulos previously held the position of Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives, where she supported the growth of the Telfer School of Management’s research quality and intensity by assisting researchers and research groups in developing interdisciplinary research programs and outreach activities. She also facilitated the development of strategic research groups and helped faculty members and research-based graduate students contribute to the development of a strong research culture.