Upgrading in Global, Regional and National Value Chains: Policy Lessons from the Tanzanian Textiles and Apparel Sector

With heightened uncertainties in markets worldwide, attention is shifting from global value chains (GVCs) to regional value chains (RVCs) and national value chains (NVCs) as pathways to industrialisation. Focusing on the Tanzanian textiles and apparel (T&A) sector, our study found that while GVCs made the greatest contribution to recent employment and export growth, firms engaged in intra-African RVCs and NVCs carried out relatively higher value activities, and RVCs and NVCs can be learning grounds for productive upgrading and strategic GVC integration. To maximize the contribution of RVCs and NVCs to industrialisation, African regional trade agreements should adopt relaxed ‘single transformation’ Rules of Origin allowing T&A products made from imported inputs to be sold duty free in Africa.