Global Trade Outlook and Statistics Report


  • According to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO), Global Trade Outlook and Statistics, Global goods trade is expected to pick up in 2024 following a contraction in 2023.

Key Findings

  • World merchandise trade volume is expected to increase by 2.6% in 2024 and 3.3% in 2025 after a decline of 1.2 per cent in 2023.
  • World real GDP growth at market exchange rates slowed from 3.1% in 2022 to 2.7% in 2023 but is expected to remain stable over the next two years at 2.6% in 2024 and 2.7% in 2025.
  • The US dollar value of world merchandise trade fell 5% in 2023 to US$ 24.01 trillion but this decline was mostly offset by a strong increase in commercial services trade, which rose 9% to US$ 7.54 trillion.
  • Trade in services: World commercial services trade grew 9% in 2023 despite a decline in freight transport

Regional trade outlook

  • Africa’s exports will grow faster than those of any other region in 2024, up 5.3%.
  • North America (3.6%), the Middle East (3.5%) and Asia (3.4%) should all see moderate export growth. European exports are expected to lag behind those of other regions, with growth of just 1.7%.
  • Merchandise exports of least-developed countries (LDCs) are forecasted to grow 2.7% in 2024, down from 4.1% in 2023, before growth accelerates to 4.2% in 2025.
  • Imports by LDCs should grow 6.0 percent this year and 6.8 percent next year following a 3.5% contraction in 2023.

Downside risks

  • Red Sea crisis: Attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden have caused the average number of weekly passages to plunge more than 45% (264 in 2024, compared to 489 a year earlier).
  • The monthly volume of shipments through the Suez Canal in metric tons has fallen 54%.
  • Energy Prices: Red sea crisis raised concerns about a potential temporary oil shortage in certain regions potentially contributing to additional inflationary pressures.







World Trade Organization (WTO)

– WTO is the international organization that deals with the rules of trade between countries.

– History: WTO was founded in 1995. It is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established in the wake of the Second World War.

– Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

– Member: The WTO is run by its 164 members.

– Mandate: It aims to promote free trade, which is done through trade agreements that are discussed and signed by the member states. a.

The WTO also provides a forum for countries to negotiate trade rules and settle economic disputes between them.


WTO’s Ministerial Conference

 – The Ministerial Conference is the WTO’s top decision-making body. It usually meets every two years.

– All members of the WTO are involved in the Ministerial Conference and they can make decisions on all matters covered under any multilateral trade agreements.