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World trade will continue to face strong headwinds in 2019-20: WTO


New Delhi: Global trade will continue to face strong headwinds this year and in 2020 after growing slowly-than-expected in 2018, due to rising trade tensions and increased economic uncertainty, the WTO said.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) statement came at a time when India is taking various steps to boost exports. Slowdown in global trade could impact India’s exports.


“WTO economists expect merchandise trade volume growth to fall to 2.6 per cent in 2019 ? down from 3 per cent in 2018. Trade growth could then rebound to 3 per cent in 2020; however, this is dependent on an easing of trade tensions,” it said in a statement.

The preliminary estimate of 3 per cent for world trade growth in 2018 is below the WTO’s recent forecast of 3.9 per cent issued last September, it added.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said that with trade tensions running high, no one should be surprised by this outlook.

“Trade cannot play its full role in driving growth when we see such high levels of uncertainty. It is increasingly urgent that we resolve tensions and focus on charting a positive path forward for global trade which responds to the real challenges in today’s economy,” he said.