TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues
surges by 25% in first half of the year
Geneva, 3 Sep (Kanaga Raja) -- World merchandise trade in value terms increased by about 25% in the first six months of 2010, continuing a trend that began in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest figures on short-term merchandise trade values by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In a press release, the WTO said that world merchandise exports saw an increase of about 7% in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the first quarter.
According to the WTO,
both exports and imports from
It further said that African and Middle Eastern exports were 35% higher compared to the corresponding period of 2009.
The WTO attributed
this rise to demand in Asia and the
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) saw a buoyant growth in exports of 44%. In a similar vein, external trade between the European Union and the rest of the world (extra-EU trade) was more dynamic than trade within the EU, said the WTO.
Meanwhile, a similar
trend in trade developments was highlighted by the UN Economic Commission
for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in its latest report released
Thursday titled "Latin America and the
In a press release,
ECLAC reported that exports from Latin America and the
According to the ECLAC
report, this solid revival is largely based on the dynamism of domestic
demand, a pick-up in investment and robust exports driven by demand
The report further said that a number of the factors that led to the decline in global trade in 2008 and early 2009 are now contributing to its recovery, with final demand in emerging countries acting as the main engine of growth.
Other factors include the reactivation of demand for capital goods and intermediate inputs, partly thanks to the normalization of financial markets and credit and to fiscal stimulus plans. These have also supported an adjustment in inventories and a new cycle of electronic products.
Growth in world trade by value has also been helped by recovering prices for a number of commodities, particularly oil, it added.
The report however
warned that a European financial crisis would raise the cost of investment
and trade financing. Lower growth in these industrialized countries
would in turn affect emerging countries' exports. Weak final demand
in the industrialized countries and possible economic and financial
contagion from the euro area could adversely affect commodity prices
and demand, damaging commodity exporters in
Regional exports to China rose from -2.2% in the first semester of 2009 to 44.8% during the same period this year, said ECLAC.
According to ECLAC, the positive overall picture, however, masks a high level of heterogeneity in the region's countries. The best performance has been seen in commodity-exporting countries (namely, South American countries).
The recovery has been
slower in countries that are importers of commodities and depend on
tourism and remittances (such as Central American and the
In the post-crisis
period, said ECLAC, the exports of the Andean countries, MERCOSUR (Southern
Common Market) and
ECLAC estimates that exports this year from MERCOSUR are expected to increase 23.4% and those from Andean nations 29.5%. However, exports from the Central American Common Market will expand only 10.8%.
The most notable upswing from the worst period of the crisis in 2009 is expected in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), whose exports are estimated to grow from -43.6% that year to 23.7% in 2010, ECLAC added.
The report also examined
export performance in the region over the past decade. It found that
the region's exports have grown by less than the global average and
have underperformed relative to other developing regions such as Asia,
Africa and the
While the export growth
rate of South America has doubled, that of
ECLAC attributed the
disparity to the fact that exports that most increased were natural
After falling from some 52% of total exports in the early 1980s to a low of 26.7% in the late 1990s, the share of raw materials has risen over the past decade to reach almost 40% of the total in the last two-year period (2008-2009).
This increase in the share of raw materials has taken place at the expense of medium-, high- and low-technology manufacturing exports, all of which have grown by much less than in the 1990s. This is consistent with the reduced dynamism of engineering- and labour-intensive manufacturing exports, said the report.
Differences in the
growth rates of raw material and manufacturing exports have led to a
readjustment of the relative shares of exports from
The former's share
of the region's total goods exports fell from 40% in 2000 to 30% in
By contrast with goods,
services exports have expanded slightly faster in the past decade than
they did in the 1990s. Nonetheless, they grew more slowly than global
exports of services and than those of Africa, Asia,
According to ECLAC, this preliminary overview of export performance in the decade shows that the region has not succeeded in significantly improving the quality of its international trade.
On the one hand, the South American countries have displayed greater export dynamism in the aggregate, but this has largely been determined by exogenous factors such as the renewed strength of international demand for raw materials and the consequent rise in their prices.
On the other,
The expansion of natural
resource-related sectors, driven mainly by demand from
"The diversification of exports, a strong boost to competitiveness and innovation and greater regional cooperation will allow Latin America and the Caribbean to improve the quality of its insertion in the global economy, close productivity gaps and capitalize the opportunities of international trade in order to grow with more equality," said ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena, at the launch of the report in ECLAC headquarters in Chile. +