New study explores role of trade in strengthening developing countries’ economic resilience


(World Trade Organisation Press Release) A new joint study by the World Bank and the WTO highlights the major role played by trade in reducing poverty but notes that further measures are needed to support developing countries’ use of trade as a tool for growth.

The study was presented at an online event on 24 January, with the participation of three ministers from developing countries.

“Trade can support a faster recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, but only if we ensure that everyone can fully participate and benefit from trade,” said Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in her opening remarks.

Entitled “The Role of Trade in Developing Countries’ Road to Recovery”, the study looks into how international trade can help developing countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthen economic resilience to future global shocks, reduce poverty, mitigate carbon emissions and adapt to climate change.

An estimated 100 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty because of the COVID-19 pandemic, note World Bank Group President David Malpass and WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala, in a joint foreword to the study. The current growth of trade is uneven, with women and other vulnerable groups lagging behind. While keeping trade open and global value chains functioning is helping to drive economic recovery, boosting developing countries’ capacity to trade will be essential to distribute the gains from trade more widely and to support a transition to a green economy, the study stresses.

Read more at: World Trade Organisation

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