News
August 06, 2013

WTO releases report on future world trade policy challenges

 

Extracted from the WTO 2013 Press Releases, 18 July, 2013: http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres13_e/pr692_e.htm

The future of world trade, and the global trading system, will be shaped by a range of economic, political and social factors, including technological innovation, shifts in production and consumption patterns, and demographic change, according to the 2013 World Trade Report published by the WTO on 18 July 2013.  Director-General Pascal Lamy said: "One element clearly stands out in the Report, and that is the importance of trade for development".

Trends in international trade:

  • Dramatic decreases in transport and communication costs have been the driving forces behind today's global trading system.  Geopolitics has also played a decisive role in advancing and reinforcing these structural trends.
  • in the last 30 years, trade in merchandise and commercial services have increased by about 7 per cent per year on average, reaching a peak of $18 trillion and $4 trillion respectively in 2011.  when trade is measured in value-added terms, services play a larger role.
  • Between 1980 and 2011, developing economies raised their share in world exports from 34 per cent to 47 per cent and their share in world imports from 29 per cent to 42 per cent.  Asia is playing an increasing role in world trade.
  • For a number of decades, world trade has grown on average nearly twice as fast as world production.  This relfects the increasing prominence of international supply chains and hence the importance of measuring trade in value-added terms.
  • Simulations show that in a dynamic economic and open trade environment, developing countries are liekly to outpace developed countries in terms of both export and GDP growth by a factor of two to three in future decades.  By contrast, their GDP would grow by less than half this rate in a pessimistic economic and protectionist scenario, and export growth would be lower than in developed countries.

For more information or to read the full report click here.

 

 
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