Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: WTO members must intensify co-operation



Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala | FT

On Monday I became the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organization. Now we must roll up our sleeves and get to work.

The WTO already faced acute challenges, and they have been amplified by Covid-19. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy, affecting supply chains and disrupting transport and travel. The crisis has upended trade and economic activities, leading to job losses and reduced incomes around the world. It has erased years of economic gains made by developing countries and even decades of growth in some low income and least-developed countries. 

There is hope on the horizon. The WTO expects world merchandise trade to rebound strongly this year. The IMF forecasts an 8 per cent growth in global trade volumes in 2021 and a 6 per cent growth in 2022. It estimates global gross domestic product to rebound from falling 4.4 per cent in 2020 to growing 5.5 per cent in 2021.

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