GENEVA: Global trade could plummet by a third this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the World Trade Organisation said, warning the deepest recession “of our lifetimes” could be on the horizon.
“Covid-19 has completely upended the global economy and with it international trade,” WTO chief Roberto Azevedo told reporters in a virtual briefing from Geneva.
The global trade body was projecting that “trade in 2020 will fall steeply in every region of the world, and basically across all sectors of the economy,” he said.
The WTO acknowledged that there was huge uncertainty around how the economic crisis around the pandemic, which has infected more than 1.4 million people globally and killed nearly 83,000, would unfold.
Stressing that the situation was first and foremost a health crisis, Azevedo warned that “the unavoidable declines in trade and output will have painful consequences for households and businesses, on top of the human suffering caused by the disease itself.”