Mapping the key trends in global trade – insights from the Global Trade Atlas

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DHL Express – Business Reporter Client

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Over the past two years, what felt like a relentless series of crises has placed international trade at the center of the debate about economic growth and sustainability. People around the world have seen what happens when trade patterns and supply chains are disrupted and have been reminded of the vital role that the flow of goods plays in the quality of our lives.

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In this context, the DHL Trade Growth Atlas, produced in collaboration with the NYU Stern Center for Future Management, sought to understand the future of globalization and trade, and how businesses moving along global trade routes can find their place in these changing trends. .

International trade remains strong

Our first lesson from the GTA was that international trade has proven remarkably resilient amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing spread, as evidenced by events such as the war in Ukraine. In fact, it is now well above pre-pandemic levels despite growth constraints caused by supply bottlenecks, and trade is expected to grow slightly faster in 2022 and 2023 than in the previous decade.

E-commerce continues to expand opportunities for all types of businesses

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Not surprisingly, e-commerce sales skyrocketed during the pandemic as the world’s population stayed at home and shopped online. However, this growth was not limited to domestic sales and we saw ample opportunities created for merchants to enter new overseas markets and cross-border sales.

The outlook remains optimistic and sales are likely to rise from $300 billion in 2020 to about $1 trillion in 2030, according to McKinsey. A survey commissioned by Paypal found that 23 percent of respondents have become more comfortable shopping abroad during the pandemic. pandemic, highlighting that the opportunity for businesses to trade internationally still exists.

Markets and trade routes expand and change

The GTA has identified interesting shifts in the geography of trade growth as new poles emerge. Between 2016 and 2021, China accounted for a quarter of global trade growth, and while it is still expected to post the largest trade growth of any individual country, the International Monetary Fund predicts that China’s share of global growth will decline over the next five years. . Instead, growth in Southeast and South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa will expand trade to a much wider range of countries.

The range of products traded by advanced economies compared to developing countries has changed. Emerging market economies are becoming increasingly important importers of raw materials and exporters of complex capital, intermediate and consumer goods.

The role of trade in the fight against inflation

Businesses around the world are facing the common challenge of record high inflation, so the role of trade as a powerful inflation-fighting tool cannot be underestimated. According to one recent analysis, individual cuts to U.S. trade barriers could reduce the country’s inflation rate by 1.3% to 2%.

For companies, the ability of trade to boost growth, reduce costs and increase resilience can be an important part of their strategies to respond to inflationary pressures and persistent supply disruptions.

Despite undeniably turbulent times, the GTA has shown that international trade still represents a great opportunity for business growth, and we hope it will provide them with the knowledge to take advantage of the most promising opportunities, ultimately leading to more sustainable economic growth, lower inflation and a more sustainable global economy.

Originally posted on business reporter

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