Review 2019 - World Trade Organization

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About the WTOThe World Trade Organization deals with the globalrules of trade between nations. Its main function isto ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictablyand freely as possible.About this publicationWorld Trade Statistical Review provides a detailedanalysis of the latest developments in world trade.It is the WTO’s flagship statistical publication andis produced on an annual basis.For more informationAll data used in this report, as well as additionalcharts and tables not included, can be downloadedfrom the WTO web site at

World Trade Statistical Review 2019I.II.Introduction2Acknowledgements4A message from Director-General Roberto Azevêdo5Highlights of world trade6World merchandise trade in 2018World trade in commercial services in 2018Trends in world trade, 2008-2018Developing economiesGlobal trade: World maps89101214World trade developments, 2018-201916General trends in world trade in 2018World trade and GDP in early 20191825Trade in merchandise and commercial services28Merchandise tradeTrade in commercial servicesGlobal value chains, 2005-2015Digital trade30364244Leading traders and the role of developing economies in world trade46Leading playersRegional performanceRegional trade agreements (RTAs)Developing economiesLeast-developed countries4852555762Trade policy developments66Trade monitoringTrade Facilitation AgreementApplied tariffsAid for TradeTrade finance6870737576Composition, definitions & methodology78Composition of geographical and economic groupings80Definitions and methodology84Trade policy indicators91Specific notes for selected economies92Statistical sources93Statistical tables94Abbreviations and Symbols174III.IV.V.VI.VII.VIII.1

World Trade Statistical Review 2019Chapter IIntroductionAcknowledgements4A message from Director-General Roberto Azevêdo5102

World Trade Statistical Review 2019113

World Trade Statistical Review 2019Ac k nowledgement sThis publication has been prepared under the directionof Robert Koopman, Director of the Economic Researchand Statistics Division, and Andreas Maurer, Chief of theInternational Trade Statistics Section. The coordination ofthe report was undertaken by Ninez Piezas-Jerbi. Statisticalresearch, data compilation and the preparation of estimateswere conducted by Barbara d’Andrea-Adrian, AlejandraBarajas Barbosa, Lori Chang, Christophe Degain, FlorianEberth, Antonella Liberatore, Kathryn Lundquist, ColemanNee, Ninez Piezas-Jerbi and Ying Yan with the assistanceof Sonia Bouali and Carlo Gambaré.Contributions to this publication were also provided bythe WTO’s Aid for Trade Unit, the Market Access Division,the Market Access Intelligence Section, the EconomicResearch Group and the Trade Monitoring Section of theTrade Policies Review Division.4The International Trade Statistics Section alsowishes to thank colleagues from the Information andExternal Relations Division (IERD) and the LanguagesDocumentation and Information Management Division(LDIMD) whose collaboration is vital in the productionof this report. In particular, recognition is due to AnthonyMartin, Serge Marin-Pache and Steve Cooper in IERDand to the French and Spanish translators in LDIMD.Finally, we wish to thank the users of WTO statistics fortheir constructive suggestions on how to improve ourstatistical output. This regular feedback allows us toconstantly refine the data we provide.

Chapter I: IntroductionA me s s age f rom D i re c tor- G ene ralRob e r to A z evêdoAt a time of great uncertainty for globaltrade, the role of trade statistics takeson a renewed significance. Governmentsneed the latest data to take informeddecisions and to determine the bestdirection of trade policy for the benefitof the people they represent. The WTO’sdata-gathering role plays a big part inmeeting this need.World merchandise trade grew by 3.0 per cent in 2018,slightly exceeding GDP. This was significantly lower thanthe 4.6 per cent growth recorded in 2017. This loss ofmomentum is partly due to increasing trade tensions andhistorically high levels of trade restrictions.and agricultural products grew by 8 per cent and 5 per centrespectively. Overall, merchandise exports grew by 10.0 percent, down from 10.7 per cent in 2017. In contrast, worldtrade in commercial services grew by 8 per cent, recordingstrong growth for the second consecutive year. Goodsrelated services registered the strongest expansion, at 11per cent, while the weakest growth was in transport services.The WTO’s latest trade monitoring report confirms that traderestrictive measures are on the rise. Trade covered by importrestrictive measures recorded in the last trade monitoringreport (mid-October 2018 to mid-May 2019) is estimatedat US 339.5 billion. This is the second-highest figure onrecord, after the US 588.3 billion reported in the previousreport (mid-October 2017 to mid-October 2018). If trade isto pick up in 2019-20, trade tensions must be resolved.Worldwide networks for the production of goods continue togrow in importance, with developing economies playing anincreasing role. Asian economies have become major playersin global value chains. Viet Nam and the Philippines haveseen growth in GVC participation while for Singapore over60 per cent of its trade involves exchanges among GVCs.Trade continues to be concentrated. The ten leadingtraders in 2018 represented more than half of worldtrade, with the top five accounting for around 37 percent of global transactions. Developing economies areplaying an increasingly important role in world trade, withsignificant increases in their rankings among the world’sleading exporters and importers. There are also increasinglevels of trade between developing economies. In 2018,this represented over 50 per cent of their merchandiseexports. However, the merchandise exports of the leastdeveloped countries remained at a meagre US 193 billion,representing less than 1 per cent of world exports.While this publication sheds light on the latest trendsin trade, the increasing use of new technologies andonline transactions begs the question as to whether wehave the right data to measure these trends. Are existingtrade statistics and product classifications up-to-datefor quantifying and identifying emerging products andservices? As technology has helped to create newbusiness models and products, it is essential that theseare sufficiently captured. The WTO is currently working incollaboration with national and international authorities, theprivate sector, consumers and academia to increase ourunderstanding of this area.In nominal terms, high energy prices contributed to growthin merchandise exports in 2018. Exports of fuels and miningproducts grew by 23 per cent while manufactured goodsI would like to thank everyone who has worked on thisreport. We hope it provides useful insights into world tradefor WTO members and all those involved in trade analysis.Roberto AzevêdoDirector-General5

World Trade Statistical Review 2019Chapter I IHighlights ofworld tradeWorld merchandise trade in 20188World trade in commercial services in 20189Trends in world trade, 2008-201810Developing economies12Global trade: World maps14106

World Trade Statistical Review 2019117

World Trade Statistical Review 2019World me rc ha nd i s e t rade i n 2018The volume of world merchandise trade, as measured by the average of exportsand imports, grew by 3.0 per cent in 2018, just above the 2.9 per cent increasein world GDP over the same period.19.67The value ofmerchandise tradeincreased by 10 per centin 2018. The increase inexports was mostly drivenby high energy priceswhile Asia was the maincontributor to an increasein global imports.Value of worldmerchandisetrade in 2018World merchandiseexports of fuels andmining products,manufactured goodsand agriculture grewby 23 per cent, 8 percent and 5 per centrespectively.Developing economiesexported a total of US 8,779 billion in 2018,of which US 193billion were from leastdeveloped countries.8US M e rc h a nd i s et radetrillionChinaWorld’s leadingmerchandise traderin 2018ClothingClothing was the mostdynamic product amongmanufactured goods,with an increase of3.3 per cent in 2018.US 193billionMerchandise exportsof least-developedcountries in 2018

Chapter II: Highlights of world tradeWorld t rade i n c om me rc ial s e r v ic e s i n 2018Trade in commercial services recorded strong growth for the second year in a row,rising by 8 per cent.US 5.63C om m e rc ials e r v ic e s t radeValue of world tradein commercialservices in 2018Information andcommunicationtechnology recordedthe highest exportgrowth (15 per cent)among servicessectors in 2018, ledby computer services.trillionUnited StatesWorld’s leadingcommercial servicestrader in 201817%Growth in world exportsof computer servicesin 201816.2%Growth of leastdeveloped countries’services exports in 2018Growth in exports ofcommercial serviceswas highest in theCommonwealth ofIndependent States(12 per cent) in 2018,partly due to the FIFAWorld Cup in Russia.China was the leadingexporter of commercialservices (by value)among developingcountries, with exportsincreasing by 17%in 2018.9

World Trade Statistical Review 2019T rend s i n world t rade, 20 0 8 -2018Trade and GDPChart 2.1World merchandise trade volume and real GDP at market exchange rates, 2008-2018(Indices, 2008 100)130125120115110105World trade and GDP have grown intandem for the last ten years. Both haveincreased by 26 per cent since 2008.10095908580200820092010World merchandise trade -23120002017Source: WTO estimates, IMF World Economic Outlook.10122140002016Chart 2.3World exports in commercial services by sector and annualgrowth, 2008-2018(US billion and average annual percentage change)20000202015World real GDP at market exchange ratesChart 2.2World merchandise exports by product groupand annual growth, 2008-2018(US billion and average annual percentage 000200060004000100020000200820092010Agricultural products2011201220132014Fuels and mining products201520162017 2018*Manufactures* Provisional estimate.Source: WTO estimates.World exports of merchandise tradehave increased by 20 per cent invalue terms since 2008. Exports ofmanufactured goods grew at an averageannual rate of 2.3 per cent.1002008Transport20092010Travel2011 201220132014Other commercial services2017 2018Goods-related servicesSource: WTO-UNCTAD-ITC estimates.World exports of commercial serviceshave increased by 46 per cent in valueterms since 2008 and services exportsgrew by an average annual rate of3.9 per cent.

Chapter II: Highlights of world tradeChart 2.4World’s leading traders of goods and services, 2008 and 2018(US billion)2008United StatesGermanyTop 202018United d KingdomNetherlandsUnited KingdomNetherlandsItalyHong Kong, ChinaKorea, Republic ofKorea, Republic ofCanadaSpainRussian FederationSingaporeBelgiumHong Kong, ChinaIndiaMexicoSwitzerlandChinese TaipeiWhich sectorsincreased or declinedthe most?Italy4.2%Exports ofpharmaceuticals sawthe biggest increaseamong manufacturedgoods, rising by 4.2%per year between 2008and orts of iron andsteel declined at anannual rate of 2.3%from 2008 to 2018.Russian FederationSwitzerlandIrelandChinese Taipei1%World exports of seatransport servicesdeclined at an averageannual rate of 1%between 2008 and 2018.IrelandSource: WTO-UNCTAD-ITC estimates.Over the past ten years, Hong Kong China, India, Mexicoand Ireland rose the most in world rankings among thetop 20 traders of goods and services.6.5%Global trade inprofessional andmanagement consultingservices increased at anaverage annual rate of6.5% from 2008 to 2018.11

World Trade Statistical Review 2019D evelopi ng e c onom ie sParticipation in world tradeChart 2.5Developing economies’ trade in goodsand services, 2008-2018(Annual percentage change)Developing economies outperformed or equalledthe performance of developed economies in worldtrade in most of the past ten years.3020100-10-20-3020082009Developing oped economiesSource: WTO-UNCTAD-ITC estimates.Note: Trade is calculated as the average of exports and imports.Chart 2.6Growth of selected developing economiesin merchandise exports, 2008-2018(Average annual percentage change)Chart 2.7Growth of selected developing economiesin commercial services, 2008-2018(Average annual percentage change)Viet ited Arab Emirates2.4Turkey1.9Brazil1.5South AfricaNigeria-3.5Source: WTO-UNCTAD estimates.40.9Myanmar29.3Qatar14.5Macao, China14.1Philippines13.0Panama12.4ThailandChinese Taipei10.1Viet Nam10.0Singapore9.4India8.6Source: WTO-UNCTAD-ITC estimates.Viet NamMyanmarViet Nam’s exports of electrical machinery increasedalmost 30-fold between 2008 and 2018.Myanmar’s travel exports increased 29-fold between2008 and 2018.BangladeshQatarBangladesh’s exports of apparel and clothing more thantrebled between 2008 and 2018.Qatar’s exports of transport services quintupled between2008 and 2018.12

Chapter II: Highlights of world tradeTrade between developing economiesChart 2.8Trading partners of developing economies, 2008-2018(US billion and percentage share)Source: WTO estimates.Note: As a preliminary estimate, the percentage shares of 2017 were applied to 52016525202008South-South trade2009201020172018Developing economies’ exports to developed economies and CISFrom 2011, developing economies’ exports to other developing economies surpassedits exports to developed economies. “South-South” trade represented an estimatedUS 4.28 trillion or 52% of total developing economies’ exports in 2018.Chart 2.9Leading exporters among least-developed countries, 2008 and 2018(Percentage of total LDC exports)2008Merchandise tradeCommercial a OthersDemocraticRepublic ofthe CongoBangladeshAngola2008BangladeshCommercial scarOthersYemenZambiaBangladeshEthiopiaCommercial bodia2008UgandaYemenTanzania OthersTanzaniaOthersMyanmarLaoPDR2018Guinea Tanzania OthersCambodiaLaoPDR2018BangladeshNepalGuinea Tanzania Others2018UgandaMadagascarSudanSenegal OthersBangladesh mercial niaZambiaOnly Angola,Bangladesh and Myanmar remained inZambiaChadmerchandise traders from 2008 to queZambiaMyanmarDemocratic Republicof the CongoMerchandise tradeDemocraticRepublic ofthe CongoDemocratic Republicof the CongoBangladesh2018ZambiaYemenMerchandise tradeMozambique2008MyanmarMerchandise tradeTanzaniaUgandaMadagascarSudanSenegal OthersOnly Tanzania, Cambodia and Ethiopia remainedin the top five LDCs for commercial services.Source: WTO-UNCTAD-ITC estimates.13

World Trade Statistical Review 2019Global t rade : World m ap sEconomies by size of merchandise trade, 2018US billion0-125125-250250-400 400Source: WTO-UNCTAD estimates.Note: Includes significant re-exports or imports for re-export.US 19.09trillionMerchandise exportsof WTO memberstotalled US 19.09trillion in 2018.1452%44%The top ten tradersin merchandise tradeaccounted for a littleover half of the world’stotal trade in 2018.Developingeconomies had a44% share in worldmerchandise tradein 2018.

Chapter II: Highlights of world tradeEconomies by size of trade in commercial services, 2018US billion0-1010-2525-50 50Source: WTO-UNCTAD-ITC estimates.US 5.6853%34%WTO members’exports of commercialservices totalled US 5.68 trillion in 2018.The top ten traders incommercial servicesaccounted for overhalf of the world totalin 2018.Developingeconomies had a34% share of worldtrade in commercialservices in 2018.trillion15

World Trade Statistical Review 2019Chapter I I IWorld tradedevelopments,2018-2019General trends in world trade in 201818World trade and GDP in early 2019251016

World Trade Statistical Review 2019US 19.48trillionThe value of world merchandise exportswas US 19.48 trillion in 2018, up fromUS 17.33 trillion in 2017, partly due tohigher oil prices.US 5.77trillionThe value of world commercial servicesexports grew by 8 per cent in 2018, reachingUS 5.77 trillion, up from US 5.36 trillionin 2017.3.0%Growth in the volume of worldmerchandise trade, as measured by theaverage of exports and imports, was 3.0per cent in 2018, down from 4.6 per centin 2017, amid rising trade tensions.-0.3%The volume of world merchandise tradedeclined by 0.3 per cent in the fourthquarter of 2018 compared with the previousquarter, equivalent to an annualized rate ofdecline of -1.2 per cent.1117

World Trade Statistical Review 2019G ene ral t rend s i n world t rade i n 2018World trade and GDP slowed in 2018 as trade tensions increasedWorld trade faced renewed headwinds in 2018 as tradetensions and economic policy uncertainty rose sharply.Year-on-year growth in the volume of world merchandise tradefell from 3.9 per cent in the first half of 2018 to 2.7 per centin the second half of the year. The slowdown became morepronounced towards the end of the year, as relatively strongquarter-on-quarter growth of 1.2 per cent in the third quarterwas followed by a decline of 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter.Slower trade growth was accompanied by weaker outputgrowth in major economies. For example, G20 countries sawtheir collective GDP increase at an average year-on-year rateof 3.5 per cent in the second half of 2018, down from 3.9per cent in the first half.The loss of momentum in trade and GDP is partly due totighter monetary policy, increased financial volatility and theraising of tariffs on widely traded goods in major economies.Trade tensions appear to have contributed significantly tothe slowdown.Overall trade growth of 3.0 per cent in 2018 was significantlylower than the 4.6 per cent growth recorded in 2017. Thisstrong growth had suggested a return to the stronger paceof trade expansion that characterized the late 1990s andearly 2000s but this was not sustained in 2018. Trade onlygrew slightly more than output in 2018 after being 1.6 timeshigher in 2017 (see Chart 3.1). However, trade growthremained above the 2.6 per cent average rate since 2008.Chart 3.1World merchandise trade volume and real GDP growth, 2011-2018(Annual percentage change)World merchandise trade volumegrew by 3.0 per cent in 2018, atroughly the same rate as GDP(2.9 per trade growth 2008-1820142015Average GDP growth 2008-18201620172018Note: GDP growth is calculated with market exchange rate weights.Source: WTO Secretariat for trade, consensus estimates for GDP.Differences by region and level of developmentThe slowdown in the growth of merchandise trade volume in2018 was broad-based, reflecting weaker import and exportshipments globally, although some country groupings weremore affected by the slowdown than others.Weaker trade growth was most evident in the fourth quarter of2018, when export volumes declined by 0.1 per cent and importvolumes dropped 0.5 per cent (see Chart 3.2).18On the export side, the slowdown was mostly due to reducedshipments from developed countries, which contracted yearon-year in three out of the four quarters of 2018. On the importside, developed countries recorded slow growth throughoutthe year, particularly in the first half. Meanwhile, developingeconomies and the Commonwealth of Independent States(CIS) saw imports fall 2.1 per cent in the final quarter of 2018despite stronger growth earlier in the year.

Chapter III: Wo

The World Trade Organization deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. About this publication World Trade Statistical Review provides a detailed analysis of the latest developments in world trade.

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