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By Andreas Freytag – Professor and Chair of Economic Policy, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena.
The ongoing covid-19 crisis has brought to the fore the vulnerability of societies relying on highly efficient global value chains (GVC) and single suppliers for specific goods. During the crisis, which first severely hit China as the central link in many GVCs, most countries have suffered a shortage of both simple and technologically complex medical devices (e.g. face masks and ventilators respectively). Fierce competition for these devices has emerged, leading to global tensions and trade restrictions, but also to a discussion about the organization of supply-chains and the need for national emergency stockpiling of medical devices.
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