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  May 3rd, 2024 | Written by

WTO Report Highlights Remarkable Five-Fold Surge in Global Trade Over 28 Years

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In a significant milestone marking its 30th anniversary, the World Trade Organization (WTO) unveils remarkable findings showcasing a five-fold increase in global trade, soaring to over $30 trillion from 1995 to 2023.

Since its establishment on April 15, 1994, following the Marrakesh Agreement, the WTO’s latest report underscores a substantial surge in total world trade of goods and commercial services, averaging an impressive 5.8 percent year-on-year growth. Notably, trade in commercial services has outpaced goods, boasting an average annual increase of 6.8 percent, while goods trade stood at 5.5 percent.

This surge in global trade has significantly outpaced the growth of the global gross domestic product (GDP), which saw an average annual increase of 4.4 percent over the same period. The report also highlights the rise in the global trade-to-GDP ratio, climbing from 20 percent in 1995 to 31 percent in 2022, before stabilizing at 29 percent in 2023, despite a decline in goods trade values.

Tariffs have notably decreased under the WTO’s umbrella, contributing to a reduction in trade costs and fostering greater international economic cooperation. Moreover, this period of robust trade growth has coincided with a substantial decrease in global poverty, underscoring the pivotal role of trade in supporting economic development and enhancing livelihoods worldwide.

Read also: WTO Forecasts Global Trade Rebound Amidst Challenges and Uncertainties

Director-General of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, emphasizes the significance of resilient supply chains and a robust multilateral trading framework in driving global trade recovery. Despite temporary setbacks such as the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there remains a steadfast commitment to sustaining economic growth and stability.

As the world continues to navigate geopolitical challenges and trade complexities, the report underscores the importance of nurturing a conducive environment for trade, harnessing the transformative power of commerce to improve welfare and foster global prosperity.