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Factories Europe, Asia, and North America as the main production centres in the 21st century



Objective: The paper aims to present how the relations between countries in global value chains (GVC) changed at the beginning of the 21st century.

Research Design & Methods: For this purpose, we propose two approaches. The first focuses on presenting data in the form of a matrix of trade flows in domestic value added in intermediate products. The second is related to analyzing the GVC indicator (GVC participation).The analysis uses data from the OECD and WTO Trade in Value Added databases.

Findings: The global economy still is not unified. I indicate the existence of 3 major supply chain blocks, which can be called Factories: Factory Europe, Factory Asia, and Factory North America. In the trade of intermediate products, the primary relationships are inter-regional rather than intra-regional. Some countries act as hubs. Germany and the US play the role of regional supply hubs, while China assumes the role of the world supply hub, becoming the largest exporter and importer in GVC activities.

Contribution & Value Added: The use of export data in value-added terms instead of gross export data indicates significant differences in the description of world economy trade relations.


global value chains (GVC), Factories, major supply chain blocks, gross exports, value-added exports, TiVA


Author Biography

Aleksandra Nacewska-Twardowska

Master of Economics (University of Lodz, Poland); PhD student in Economics (University of Lodz, Poland). Her research interests include international trade, global value chains and economic integration.


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