in 2020, world trade could drop by almost a third, according to the WTO

Published on : 04/08/2020 – 20:27

According to the World Trade Organization (WHO), trade is expected to drop to “double digits” in “almost all regions” of the world following the confinement of several countries to eradicate the coronavirus pandemic.

Global trade is at risk of a dramatic drop this year, worse than that recorded during the 2008-2009 financial crisis due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Trade could collapse from 13% to 32% this year in the worst-case scenario, after increasing 2.9% in 2018 and falling 0.1% in 2019, according to economists’ calculations. the World Trade Organization (WTO), headquartered in Geneva.

The most serious economic setback of our existence

At a virtual press conference, Roberto Azevedo, Director General of the WTO, said that ” millions of people around the world have already lost their jobs and incomes ” The pandemic could cause ” the worst recession or the most serious economic setback in our existence “, According to his words. The commercial exchanges are expected to decrease to ” two digits ” in ” almost all regions Of the planet, indicates the organization in its annual forecasts published this Wednesday, April 8.

The correction threatens to be particularly severe for North America and Asia, whose exports could collapse by more than 40% and 36% respectively, using the most pessimistic assumption. Europe and South America would also see declines above 30%.

Governments around the world can and must lay the foundation for strong and inclusive recovery (…) If countries work together, we will see faster and stronger recovery than if each country acts alone “Warned Roberto Azevedo. In most of the countries affected by the coronavirus crisis, entire sectors of the national economies have been closed.

1.25 billion workers may be affected by the crisis

China, the cradle of the pandemic, and the United States, its new epicenter, are injecting and will inject hundreds, even thousands, of billions of dollars and yuan into their economies to limit the magnitude of the depression.

In Europe, France is expected to experience an unprecedented recession after the fall in GDP of around 6% in the first quarter, its worst quarterly performance since the end of the Second World War. In Germany, the economy could contract by almost 10% in the second quarter, unheard of in recent history.

No less than 1.25 billion workers are at risk of being directly affected by the crisis while more than 4 billion people, or more than half of humanity, are forced or encouraged to stay at home, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The various WTO scenarios anticipate a rebound in the volume of world trade from more than 21% in 2021 to 24%, and up to 36% in Asia. These estimates are surrounded by a large degree of uncertainty, recognizes the WTO, depending on the duration of the pandemic and the measures put in place to combat it.


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