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WEF: 5 Key Trade & Investment Articles From June

Top international trade stories: A new World Bank report highlights global trade challenges and slow recovery; Emerging economies' share of world trade has doubled over past 60 years, UNCTAD says; India sees a boom in exports; and more.

1. Report details global trade challenges

The World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report highlighted the struggles and slow recovery of global trade in 2023. According to the report, global trade in goods and services was nearly flat, marking one of the weakest performances in 50 years outside of global recessions.

Goods trade volume fell by 1.9% due to a sharp slowdown in global industrial production. Advanced economies, especially in Europe, saw significant declines, while emerging markets had mixed results with growth in China and Europe and Central Asia but contractions in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa.

2. UN takes stock of trade trends

Since the founding of the United Nations Trade and Development conference in 1964, global trade has skyrocketed, with developing nations' share rising from 22% to 44%.

This was the major headline of the organization's 60th-anniversary meeting in Geneva earlier this month.

But while greater international collaboration has generated widespread prosperity, the UN said, regional gaps remain and the poorest countries lag behind the rest of the world with under 1% of trade share.

Other key trade trends of the period include the exponential increase of seaborne transportation of all goods, the continued growth of e-commerce sales and rise in trade via digitally deliverable services such as telecoms and financial services.

Top trade and foreign affairs officials, as well as experts from across sectors and regions, called for "a renewed multilateralism characterized by equality" to ensure a resilient future for global trade.

3. India's exports surge but trade gap widens

India's merchandise exports hit $38.13 billion in May, up by 9.1% from a year earlier. Delhi's exports were boosted by an increase in shipments of smartphones, commercial vehicles and engineering products, government data reported by Reuters showed.

4. News in brief: Trade stories from around the world

United States Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, has called for more public/private partnerships to boost long-term, sustainable growth. The traditional models of supply-side economics and heavy-handed central planning had failed to spur investment, she said.

The German government is working to soften or even block proposed European Union (EU) tariffs on importing electric vehicles (EVs) from China, according to Bloomberg. This could raise duties to as high as 48%, says Reuters, reporting that almost a third of Germany's EV sales came from China in 2023 with the country's Chancellor Olaf Scholz keen to find an "amicable" solution.

Australia's trade with China has reached record levels over the past year, according to the Financial Times. The country's total trade with China hit A$219 billion ($145 billion) in 2023, up from pre-pandemic levels of A$168 billion ($111 billion).

The United States has expanded sanctions against Russia, including targeting China-based companies selling semiconductors to Moscow, as part of efforts to undermine Russia's war on Ukraine, says Reuters.

Singapore is offering refiners and petrochemical companies rebates of up to 76% on its planned carbon tax for 2024 and 2025, to help them remain competitive. The tax requires firms that emit more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon annually to pay $25 per tonne.

WEF: 5 Key Trade & Investment Articles From June
WEF: 5 Key Trade & Investment Articles From June


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