“The WTO now forecasts a growth in the volume of world merchandise trade of 10.8% in 2021 – against 8.0% forecast in March – followed by an increase of 4.7% in 2022”, against 4% previously , said the World Trade Organization.
The strong annual growth rate of merchandise trade in 2021 is mainly due to the collapse of 2020, when trade bottomed out in the second quarter.
The growth rate is expected to moderate as merchandise trade returns to the long-term trend it was on before the Covid-19 crisis.
Supply side issues such as semiconductor scarcity and port delays can strain supply chains, but are unlikely to have a big impact on global aggregates, WTO experts said.
They said the biggest downside risks came from the pandemic itself.
“Trade has been a vital tool in the fight against the pandemic, and this strong growth underscores how important trade will be in supporting the global economic recovery,” said WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
“But inequitable access to vaccines exacerbates economic differences between regions. The longer vaccine inequality persists, the more likely it is that even more dangerous variants of Covid-19 will emerge, delaying health and economic progress than we do. have achieved so far. ”
While regions with access to Covid-19 jabs and sufficient fiscal space recovered strongly, poorer regions with mostly unvaccinated populations are lagging behind, she said.
The 12th WTO Ministerial Conference will be held in Geneva from November 30 to December 3.
Okonjo-Iweala said one of his main goals is to cross the finish line to long-stalled trade talks on fisheries subsidies.
The former Nigerian Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs began her four-year tenure at the helm of the WTO in March. She called “false news” reports that she threatened to resign if no progress was made on major bottlenecks in the world trade body.