WTO releases World Trade Report
6 November, 2014
The recently released World Trade Report traces the growth of world trade through the world war eras and varying perceptions to protectionism and identifies four main trends which are of current importance -the rise of new economic powers, the spread of global value chains, the growing importance of commodities trade, and the deepening integration and volatility of the world economy. Unsurprisingly, the emerging economies and distribution of benefits of growth to all figure in the report. The United States (14.3% of the world total), the United Kingdom, Germany, France and China were five top exporters of commercial services in 2013. China (11.7% of world exports) was the top exporter of merchandise followed by the United States, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands. As a single entity EU accounted for 13.3% of world exports. Another interesting statistic is the bilateral trade growth of select G-20 countries wherein growth rate of Brazil, China, India and Indonesia was higher than that of developed countries.
Overall the tone of the report is positive in stating that protectionism has become muted and countries are leaning towards free trade and rule based environment as envisaged by WTO. It is candid as the statistics do state that the bargaining power of producers, small players in developing countries is less and quotes a World Bank report to state that that nearly half of the coffee produced by an estimated 25 million farmers and farm workers is channelled through only four companies before reaching an estimated 500 million consumers.