World trade to grow by 8% in 2021: WTO

The World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Wednesday that global trade is primed for a strong but uneven recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic shock, forecasting an increase in the volume of world merchandise trade of 8 per cent this year.

The global trade body said prospects for a quick recovery in world trade have improved as merchandise trade expanded more rapidly than expected in the second half of last year.

“World merchandise trade volume is expected to increase by 8 per cent in 2021 after falling 5.3 per cent in 2020, a smaller decline than previously estimated,” the WTO said in a press release, Xinhua reported.

The WTO figures showed that China was the world’s top exporter last year, accounting for 14.7 per cent of world merchandise trade, and the second-largest importer behind the US with a share of 11.5 per cent.

“Trade growth should then slow to 4 per cent in 2022, and the effects of pandemic will continue to be felt as this pace of expansion would still leave trade below its pre-pandemic trend,” it noted.