Published on Monday, March 29, 2021 | Updated on Monday, March 29, 2021

Global | The new normal of international trade

The expansion of global trade has slowed in recent years, following a long period of exuberance. How will trade flows evolve over the next decade, taking into account recent trends such as the pandemic and climate change, as well as other factors?

Key points

  • Key points:
  • Global exports and imports increased steadily from around 10% of global GDP at the end of World War II to approximately 60% right before the 2008 financial crisis.
  • The global context has changed dramatically and, over the next decade, it's unlikely that international trade will be as dynamic as in the decades before the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Trade in high-technology manufacturing (automobiles, electronics, machinery, etc.) is expected to be affected the most, while exports of high-value services, including technological and financial ones, may benefit from the new global environment.
  • A new, coordinated global commitment to international trade in goods and services will be necessary to avoid the undesirable, but likely, de-globalization scenario.

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