WTO / TRADE FORECAST 2021

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31-Mar-2021 00:04:18
Prospects for a quick recovery in world trade have improved as trade recovered more quickly than expected in the second half of last year, with the WTO forecasting world merchandise trade volume will increase by 8 percent in 2021 and 4 percent in 2022 after contracting 5.3 percent in 2020. WTO

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STORY: WTO / TRADE FORECAST 2021
TRT: 4:18
SOURCE: WTO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 31 MARCH 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Zoom in, WTO headquarters exterior
2.Zoom in, WTO logo at entrance.
3.Pan right, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General, arrives in room
4.Zoom in, Dr Ngozi takes her seat on the podium
5.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General:
"Following a sharp decline in the first half of the year, trade recovered more quickly than expected in the second half of 2020. This rebound has continued, and the WTO’s baseline trade forecast foresees an 8% increase in the volume of world merchandise trade for 2021."
6.Pan right, press releases of Trade Forecast
7.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General:
"COVID-19 continues to pose the greatest threat to the outlook for trade. New waves of infection could easily further undermine any hoped-for recovery. The rapid development of effective vaccines has given the world a realistic chance of stopping this disease in its tracks and jump-starting the world economy at the same time, but this opportunity could be squandered if large numbers of countries and people do not have equal access to vaccines. A rapid, global and equitable vaccine roll-out is the best stimulus plan we have for the strong and sustained economic recovery that we all need."
8.Pan right, press conference room
9.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General:
"Large monetary and fiscal injections in advanced economies helped prevent a bigger downturn last year – a major factor in why growth and trade have both outperformed projections from last year. But these support measures will not be enough to bring an end to the crisis. Only by ramping up production of vaccines and making them more widely available can we hope to get the world economy back to full speed."
10.Wide shot, speakers on podium
11.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General:
"The WTO has helped keep trade flowing during the crisis. Now, the international community must leverage the power of trade to expand access to life-saving vaccines."
12.Wide shot, speakers on podium, Koopman removing mask
13.SOUNDBITE (English): Robert Koopman, WTO Chief Economist:
"I think it's fairly safe to say that trade has done relatively well. There have been significant concerns about export restrictions and policy measures being put in the path of trade and slowing its growth but overall, it's been relatively robust. I think that says something about the underlying fundamental, the foundation of the WTO and the agreements in that members feel restrained in invoking measures that might impede trade. Now, should they feel more restraint? Maybe. That's up to them. But overall, it appears that trade has been providing a strong underpinning so far for a potential recovery."
14.Wide shot, speakers on podium
15.SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Koopman, WTO Chief Economist:
"Overall, I think we'll see trade start to return to a more normal path after 2022 although 2022 is probably a reasonable recovery. Much will depend on what happens to global GDP."
16.Med shot, speakers on podium
17.SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Koopman, WTO Chief Economist:
"It's important to keep the Suez Canal trade impacts in perspective. The estimate generated by other folks has been about 10 billion dollars per day. That's about 20 percent of global daily trade. However, that's not lost completely. So, that trade is delayed."
18.Pan right, reporters and cameras

STORYLINE:

Prospects for a quick recovery in world trade have improved as trade recovered more quickly than expected in the second half of last year, with the WTO forecasting world merchandise trade volume will increase by 8 percent in 2021 and 4 percent in 2022 after contracting 5.3 percent in 2020.

COVID-19 continues to pose the greatest threat to the outlook for trade. New waves of infection could easily undermine any hoped-for recovery, said WTO Director-General Dr Ngosi Okonjo-Iweala. "A rapid, global and equitable vaccine roll-out is the best stimulus plan we have for the strong and sustained economic recovery that we all need", she said. Ramping up production of vaccines will allow businesses and schools to reopen more quickly and help economies get back on their feet.

Keeping international markets open will be essential for both health and economic recovery.

Trade restrictions will make this much harder.

Despite current challenges, notably around vaccine trade, the multilateral trading system kept trade flowing and prevented worse outcomes. Members were restrained by commitments, pro-openness norms and economic self-interest.
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