2021 WTO world trade report calls for increased economic resilience
Updated 15:57, 17-Nov-2021

The World Trade Organization (WTO) called on Tuesday for increased economic resilience by unwinding trade integration, as well as for more regional and multilateral cooperation. 

The body made the appeal in a new world trade report that examined vulnerabilities and resilience in global trade. The report noted that today's hyper-connected global economy has made the world simultaneously more vulnerable and resilient to shocks.

"Ongoing WTO negotiations on services, investment, agriculture, electronic commerce and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises could create further opportunities for inclusive trade and diversification, making economies more resilient in the future," said WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. 

She added that "reinvigorated international cooperation, not a retreat into isolationism, is the more promising path to resilience."

The report noted that policies set to reshore production and unwind trade integration would ultimately reduce economic resilience.

Read more: Is the Shanghai rail link the answer to Europe's supply chain problems?

The WTO also identified "many and varied" challenges ahead, including climate change, which is driving increases in extreme weather events and incidents of cyberattacks and data fraud.

"While the WTO already contributes to economic resilience in important ways, it can and must do more, as we confront a future of increasing natural and man-made risks and disasters," Okonjo-Iweala declared.

Read more: Facing climate change, why do we need to build resilient cities?

The World Trade Report is an annual publication that aims to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues and the multilateral trading system.

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