This post draws from a paper to be presented in the ACAES session on Asian Economies in Global Supply Chains at the 2023 Allied Social Science Association Annual Meeting, program here.
International supply chains are dependent on ease of crossing borders and efficient connectivity in terms of price, speed, and reliability. The intensification of international supply chains during the last four decades has been easier in some parts of the world than others and so-called global value chains have been primarily regional value chains (RVCs), centered on East Asia, Europe, and North America. The RVCs were only linked at the final step of sending finished products to markets in high-income countries, typically by ocean shipping. The Eurasian rail Landbridge established the first major overland link between RVCs, and traffic grew rapidly from 2011 to 2021.