WTO sees export growth slowing

21st November 2011, Comments 0 comments

The World Trade Organisation said Monday in its annual report that the worsening outlook for the global economy has led to slower growth in exports.

"The outlook for the global economy has worsened considerably in recent months," said the report, with WTO chief Pascal Lamy calling for renewed efforts to break down trade barriers.

"Global activity is slowing down. ... World trade has grown more slowly than expected in recent months," the report said.

The report confirmed a downward revision of its forecast for world export growth in 2011 to 5.8 percent from an earlier estimate of 6.5 percent.

Developed economies' exports are now expected to rise by 3.7 percent rather than 4.5 percent, and those from developing countries by 8.5 percent instead of 9.5 percent.

"In a context of greater economic uncertainty and rising global risks, it is all the more important that the process of global trade opening continues," Lamy said.

WTO members have been labouring for a decade over further trade liberalisation in the Doha round of talks, with industrialised and developing nations failing to agree on the level of cuts on industrial goods tariffs and agriculture subsidies.

The report noted a growing perception that trade protectionism is gaining ground in some parts of the world, but said fewer restrictive measures had been introduced over the past year.

While developing countries should continue to see strong trade growth in the coming months, the report warned that "even the most dynamic developing economies would still find themselves strongly affected by another global recession."

It noted that developing countries had accounted for more than half of the growth in the value of trade since the global economic crisis began.

© 2011 AFP

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