Extracted 18JUL2011 from http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/trade/intra-firm-trade_5kg9p39lrwnn-en (full report available at this site)
The emergence of global value chains and the expansion of activities of multinational enterprises have increased the value of intra-firm trade flows. Despite growing attention from policymakers, few data are collected on trade transactions between related parties. Available evidence suggests that intra-firm trade represents a significant share of world trade but differs widely across countries and industries. Trade statistics and firm-level data point out that intra-firm trade and vertical integration occur predominantly among OECD countries and that firm behaviour and relationships between buyers and suppliers explain the patterns of intra-firm trade.
The report analyses the implications of intra-firm trade for trade liberalisation, transfer pricing and the transmission of macroeconomic shocks. It finds that for trade policymakers, the rise of intra-firm trade underscores the benefits of trade liberalisation when domestic firms have affiliates abroad and foreign firms are established in the domestic economy.