Effective Supply Chains and Integrated Regional Value Chains in the Arab World

This study is drafted based on a mapping of available relevant data on trade within the SDGs framework and value chain widening and supply chain strengthening as compiled in the Outline Structure Report within the Chapter “Review of existing literature on trade within the SDGs framework and identification of key data”.

The paper is organized around the following sections. Section 1 presents the conceptual framework defining the value chain and supply chain concepts, highlighting the link between trade and sustainable development and examining the role of the agri-food value chain in enhancing sustainable development, supporting local development, and alleviating poverty. Section 2 offers a set of supply chain case studies and general analysis and assessment for the Arab region. Section 3 looks into the value chain in relation to developing regional integration and section 4 concludes and offers a set of recommendations.

I. Conceptual Framework

Trade promotes technology transfer, enhanced competition, and the exploitation of economies of scale. As a matter of fact, trade openness leads to increased competition allowing an optimal allocation of resources and stimulating production efficiency via the growth of specialization and income levels. This supports sustainability and efforts to eradicate poverty. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve “sustainable development by 2030 worldwide, ensuring that no one is left behind”.

Among the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, we will focus on those related to:

• Developing trade, particularly:

- Goal 2. b “correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets including their elimination of all forms of export subsidies (DOHA Declaration on Trade);

- Goal 17.11 - Significantly increase the exports of developing countries; and

- Goal 17.12 - Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access, including transparent, simple and market-facilitating preferential rules of origin applied to imports from LDCs”.

• Enhancing high value-added and labour-intensive sectors and inclosing of MSMEs in High-Value Agrochains through improving their access to markets, training and financing (Goal 8) and developing and operationalize by 2020 a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labor Organization (Goal 8 b); and

• Widening value chain through developing vertical integration and forward linkages with Services: - “Build resilient infrastructure including regional and Transborder, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” (Goal 9) ;

- “Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of well-managed migration policies” (Goal 10.7);

- “Enhance scientific research upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors, in particular, developing countries, including, by 2030, increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million” (Goal 9.5);