2019 Forum on Globalization and Industrialization

The Future of Global Value Chains:

How the Fourth Industrial Revolution Is Changing Global Production Networks

November 19, 2019

Vienna, Austria

The expansion of global value chains (GVCs) in the past several decades has transformed the world economy. For many countries, especially in the developing world, integration into GVCs drove economic growth and job creation. Such potential is being challenged by technological transformations happening at the frontier, although it is early to claim that we are in a new revolution. Oft-cited arguments include the notion that robots will replace workers in the factories so that manufacturing may not any longer be the job creation engine it used to be. At the same time, skills and capabilities needed in newly emerging jobs connected to these productivity-enhancing new technologies are expected to be considerably more complex and scarce, particularly so in developing countries. Yet, the new technological advancements in the production do not necessarily spell doom for the developing countries which until now largely depended on the outsourcing of labour by multinational companies from advanced economies. In fact, in the age of smart factories, new technology-enabled business models are emerging that may present developing countries with opportunities for learning and leapfrogging. These issues are the core of future policymaking on GVCs and their contribution towards achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

The 2019 Forum on Globalization and Industrialization (FGI) aims to bring together policymakers, representatives from international organizations, academia and business to discuss the challenges and opportunities of technological shifts for GVCs to drive inclusive and sustainable development. It aims to support evidence-based policymaking at the international level and is expected to enrich discussions and exchange of ideas, leading to better policies, development practices and research in the subject area.

The 2019 FGI mainly consists of the following four plenary/discussion sessions:

  • The Future of GVCs: The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Its Implications for the International Division of Labour
  • Should We Talk About a Revolution? Insights from Frontier Industries
  • Is There a Need for an Industrial Policy 4.0? Examining the Future of Policymaking
  • Infrastructure Development for GVC Integration: Looking Across and Looking Ahead


Prof. Gabriel Felbermayr, Ph.D. (IfW President and KCG Senior Fellow) will join the first session on the future of GVCs as a panellist and Prof. Holger Görg, Ph.D. (KCG Managing Director) will moderate the fourth session on the role of infrastructure development for GVC integration.
The 2019 FGI will take place on Nov. 19, 2019 at the Vienna International Centre, Austria.

The official website with the registration information is now available.

Source: UNIDO