A virus hits international trade


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented global economic slowdown, disrupting supply chains on a scale never seen before. The World Trade Organization (WTO) estimates that world merchandise trade could fall by 12% to 32% in 2020, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projects that global foreign direct investment inflows could decline by up to 40% this year, reaching their lowest level in two decades. The pandemic poses tremendous challenges for the logistics of international trade. At the same time, investments and reforms of customs and international transport are key to mitigating the negative impact of the pandemic on populations. So, does the current pandemic mean the end of globalization and of global value chains? How is transportation and logistics being affected? How are small businesses coping with this unprecedented crisis and how are governments responding? How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the nature and geography of trade. And finally, what more can be done to alleviate the trade and economic impact of this dramatic crisis? These questions are addressed our experts guests at this Geneva Macro Labs online talk.


Emannuelle Ganne

Senior Analyst, Economic Research Department @ World Trade Organization

Jan Hoffmann

Head, Trade Logistics @ UNCTAD