China's position in global value chains and external imbalances: a study from perspective of value-added trade network

LIAO Zefang1,2 MAO Wei1

(1.College of Economics & Management, Guangdong Ocean University)
(2.ASEAN Institute, Guangdong Ocean University)

【Abstract】Based on the newly released statistical data of Ti VA from WTO-OECD, this article analyzed the imbalance between China's position in Global Value Chains and foreign trade from the perspective of value-added trade. Then a relative comparative advantage in manufacturing export, service export and financial intermediation import was constructed, examining the correlation between China's comparative advantage in international division and external imbalances while the social network method was introduced. The results show that the bilateral value-added trade balance between China and its trade partners are largely decided by their relative comparative advantages. There are notable positive correlations between the value-added trade balance and relative comparative advantages in manufacturing export and service export, while there are obvious negative correlations between the value-added trade balance and relative comparative advantages in financial intermediate import. In order to enhance the status of China in global value chains, China not only needs to adjust its industrial structure continuously, but also persists with the market-oriented reforms and institutional innovations, thus further improving its openness.

【Keywords】 global value chains; comparative advantage; external imbalances; value-added trade;


【Funds】 Supported by Project of Humanity and Social Sciences Research Programmes of the Ministry of Education (14YJA790027), Natural Sciences Programmes of Guangdong Ocean University (No. C14518), Innovative Engineering Programmes of Guangdong Ocean University (GDOU2013050250) and Special Humanity and Social Sciences Programmes of Guangdong Ocean University (C14163).

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(Translated by ZHANG Ning)


    [1]. ① In 2005, 2008 and 2009, there were a total of 36 trading partners: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, the United States and South Africa; in 1995 and 2000, there were a total of 54 trading partners, in addition to the above-mentioned economies, including Argentina, Bulgaria, Brunei, Hong Kong, India, Iceland, Cambodia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Malaysia, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. [^Back]

    [2]. ② Manufacturing industry includes food production, beverage and tobacco (15T16), textiles, leather and footwear (17T19), wood, paper production, printing and publishing industry (20T22), chemicals and non-metallic mineral products (23T26), base metals and artificial metal products (27T28), other machinery and equipment (29), electronic and optical equipment (30T33), transport equipment (34T35), other manufacturing and recycling (36T37). [^Back]

    [3]. ③ Service industry includes construction (45), wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants (50T55), transport and storage, post and telecommunications (60T64), financial intermediation (65T67), business services (70T74) and other services (75T95). [^Back]

    [4]. ④ Rodrik,D.,2008,“The Real Exchange Rate and Economic Growth:Theory and Evidence”,Brookings Papers on Economic Activity-Fall,365–412. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-1692/F

Vol , No. 12, Pages 27-38

December 2015


Article Outline


  • Introduction
  • 1 Re-examination of China's foreign trade imbalances from the perspective of value-added trade
  • 2 Model construction and empirical test
  • 3 Conclusion and suggestions
  • Footnote