The World Trade Organization's latest annual report argues that the WTO has enabled developing countries to take advantage of, adapt to and mitigate risks arising from a number of significant new trends in the global trade environment.
The World Trade Report 2014 identifies four emerging trends as potentially significant factors affecting the relationship between trade and development:
- the rise of the developing world;
- the expansion of global value chains;
- the higher prices of commodities; and
- the increasingly global nature of macroeconomic shocks.
The report shows how trade contributed significantly to the unprecedented economic development that has taken place since 2000. Trade has allowed many developing countries to benefit from the opportunities created by emerging new markets, to integrate into the world market through global value chains at lower costs, and to reap the rewards from higher world commodity prices.
“We have entered a new era in the link between trade and development,” Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said in marking the launch of the report yesterday. “Driven in large part by trade, some developing economies have made remarkable progress in recent years, but much still needs to be done to close the gap for many poor economies.”
Azevedo stressed that the open, non-discriminatory, rule-based multilateral trading system has been critically important in underpinning the success of developing economies, but cautions that the trends also hold daunting challenges and a long road still lies ahead for many of them.
Click here to download the report.
Related: The Wall Street Journal offers up its own “5 Takeaways” from the report here.