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March 29, 2010    

WTO sees pick up in world trade after 2009 slump

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by Kay Murchie
WTO sees pick up in world trade after 2009 slump

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) said it expects to see a strong recovery in world trade this year after experiencing the sharpest decline in over seven decades.

According to the WTO, world trade fell by 12.2% last year as the economic crisis resulted in a slump in consumer confidence and dented demand.

The world’s wealthiest economies such as the US, Europe and Japan suffered the worst with exports plummeting by 13.9%, 14.8% and 24.9% respectively.

However, the WTO expects the volume of world merchandise exports to rebound this year and post growth of 9.5%, which will be led by strong growth in exports from developing countries such as China, India and Brazil.

“We have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and trade promises to be an important part of the recovery,” said WTO’s director general Pascal Lamy.

The WTO used trade volumes and not trade values for its assessment to avoid distortions caused by sharp changes in commodity prices or exchange rates.

In terms of value, world merchandise exports fell 23% to £8.15 trillion ($12.15 trillion) in 2009, while world commercial services exports dived 13% to £2.23 trillion.

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