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Global trade will continue to face strong headwinds in 2019-20 on increased economic uncertainty: WTO

New Delhi: Global trade will continue to face strong headwinds this year and in 2020 after growing slowly-than-expected in 2018, due to rising trade tensions and increased economic uncertainty, the WTO said Tuesday.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) statement came at a time when India is taking various steps to boost exports. The slowdown in global trade could impact India's exports.

 Global trade will continue to face strong headwinds in 2019-20 on increased economic uncertainty: WTO

Representational image. Reuters

"WTO economists expect merchandise trade volume growth to fall to 2.6 percent in 2019 — down from 3 percent in 2018. Trade growth could then rebound to 3 percent in 2020; however, this is dependent on an easing of trade tensions," it said in a statement.

The preliminary estimate of 3 percent for world trade growth in 2018 is below the WTO's recent forecast of 3.9 percent issued last September, it added.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said that with trade tensions running high, no one should be surprised by this outlook.

"Trade cannot play its full role in driving growth when we see such high levels of uncertainty. It is increasingly urgent that we resolve tensions and focus on charting a positive path forward for global trade which responds to the real challenges in today's economy," he said.

India's exports grew by 8.85 percent to $298.47 billion during April-February 2018-19.

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Updated Date: Apr 03, 2019 11:21:32 IST