G20 economies agree to improve global trade governance

Shanghai, July 11  The G20 economies agreed to improve global trade governance to arrest the slowdown of global trade growth, said a statement released on Sunday after the two-day G20 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Shanghai.

These economies would remain committed to an open global economy, and will further work towards trade liberalisation and facilitation, Xinhua news agency quoted G20 Trade Ministers’ Meeting Statement, the first of its kind in G20 history, as saying.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) statistics showed that global trade growth has slowed significantly since 2008, from an average of over seven per cent per year between 1990 and 2008, to less than three per cent between 2009 and 2015. 

Last year marked the fourth consecutive year with global trade growth below three per cent.

The meeting endorsed the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth, in which the economies will lead by example to lower trade costs, harness trade and investment policy coherence, boost trade in services, enhance trade finance, promote e-commerce development and address trade and development.

The WTO unveiled a new trade-related index called the World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI) on Friday ahead of the meeting, which is designed to provide real time information on trends in global trade. The current reading suggested that trade growth will remain weak into the third quarter of 2016.