Led by economic growth in China and India, world trade is projected to expand by 9.5 percent this year after shrinking by 12.2 percent last year in the sharpest contraction since World War II, the World Trade Organization said on Friday.
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel, and trade promises to be an important part of the recovery,” the organization’s director-general, Pascal Lamy, said. “But we must avoid derailing any economic revival through protectionism.”
Export declines last year were even greater in the United States (13.9 percent), the European Union (14.8 percent) and Japan (24.9 percent) than in the rest of the world. Shipments from China fell 10.5 percent.
The W.T.O. confirmed that China overtook Germany as the world’s top exporter of merchandise in 2009, accounting for almost 10 percent of global exports. China is second on the import side, with an 8 percent share of world imports compared to 13 percent for the United States.
The exports from developed countries are expected to rise by 7.5 percent this year, outpaced by an 11 percent increase projected for the rest of the world.
The W.T.O., which is trying to catalyze political support for the long-stalled Doha round of global trade negotiations, said its members had avoided imposing trade barriers in response to the crisis, but expressed concern that persistent unemployment “may intensify protectionist pressures.” (Read the Whole Story)
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Amadou M. Sall
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