The World Trade Organization (WTO) published the 2021 edition of World Trade Report, calling for more multilateral and regional trade cooperation after analyzing vulnerabilities and resilience in the global trading system amid the pandemic.
“While the WTO already contributes to economic resilience in important ways, it can and must do more, as we confront a future of increasing natural and man-made risks and disasters,” WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on Tuesday in her foreword to the report titled “Economic resilience and trade.”
“Today’s highly connected global economy is more exposed to risks and vulnerable to shocks, from supply chain cut-offs to infectious disease outbreaks, but that it is also more resilient to shocks when they do strike,” she said, Xinhua news agency reported.
The report emphasized that multilateral and regional trade cooperation is conducive to the global response to future crises.
Noting that the ongoing health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive stress test for the world trading system, the report said the system has proved itself more resilient than many expected at the outset of the crisis, and many economies have gradually begun to recover.
More trade cooperation at the multilateral or regional level, backed by strong international trade rules, can support the various domestic strategies deployed to avoid and mitigate risks and to prepare for, manage and recover from shocks, the report said.
The World Trade Report is an annual publication that aims to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues and the multilateral trading system.