The disastrous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has spared no area of activity and, in addition to the health effects, will have a severe negative impact on the global economy and global trade, with further spill-over effects for people’s welfare. The multilateral trading system was already grappling with serious challenges that have now been compounded by the pandemic.
According to recent data from the World Trade Organization (WTO), global trade suffered a sharp contraction in the first half of 2020 and has continued to decline in the second half, with a drop of 14 per cent in volume and 21 per cent in value. Dramatic consequences on people’s lives are expected, with a 3.6 per cent drop in per capita income, according to the World Bank, which would plunge many into extreme, multidimensional, poverty.
The scale of the challenge simply illustrates the need for a matching response. One part of this response needs to come from the international trading system.
The Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO is organizing this webinar as a parliamentary contribution to the global mobilization to tackle the economic consequences of the pandemic.
This webinar will explore the possibilities of maintaining the stability of global value chains – essential components of restoring global trade – and of meeting the specific needs of developing countries to face COVID-19 related challenges. It will also highlight best practices while comparing countries’ experiences and approaches to address trade challenges related to the pandemic.