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Merchandise trade expansion in real terms in 2000 matched the best
annual rates observed over the last five decades. However, a
deceleration of economic growth began in the final quarter of 2000,
clouding the trade prospects for 2001.
151-page report includes an overview of the developments in the
international trading environment and a summary of WTO activities. The
introduction highlights the launching of the negotiations on
agriculture and services, the assistance provided to the least
developed countries and various issues arising out of the Seattle
Ministerial. It also includes an account of the activities of the
various WTO bodies and committees.
main findings of the preliminary review of world trade developments in
2000 reported in Chapter II include the following:
all regions reported faster nominal trade growth, exports and imports
of developing countries expanded by more than 20%, lifting their share
in world merchandise trade to the highest level in the last 50 years.
Various factors contributed to this outcome, including the economic
recovery in Latin America and East Asia, the sharp rise of oil prices
and stronger import demand in developed countries.
value of world merchandise trade rose by 12.5% in 2000 — twice the
average for the last decade — to reach nearly 6.2 trillion dollars.
World commercial services trade is estimated to have expanded by 5%
(to 1.4 trillion dollars) in 2000, the fastest annual growth since
1997. For the second year in a row, the value of commercial services
trade expanded less rapidly than merchandise trade, but for the
1990-2000 period its 6% annual growth matched that of merchandise
2001, the world economy is retreating from the high growth path seen
last year, dimming the prospects for world trade in 2001. The volume
of world merchandise trade is expected to grow by 7%, a marked
reduction from the estimated 12% in 2000.
highlights from the review of world trade developments are noted
year 2000 witnessed not only outstandingly high global trade and
output growth of 12% and 4%, respectively, but also an
exceptionally large excess of trade growth over output growth.
of all internationally-traded goods remained almost unchanged from
the preceding year as sharply higher prices for fuels were offset
by declines in the prices of manufactured goods. In 2000, prices
of manufactures recorded the fifth consecutive annual decline,
causing average prices to fall to their lowest level in 10 years.
oil prices reached their highest level since 1985 and the share of
fuels in world merchandise trade is estimated to have recovered to
somewhat more than 10%, close to its share in 1990.
regions with a large share of fuels in their merchandise exports
(the Middle East, Africa and the transition economies) recorded
outstanding export growth — between 25 and 50% in 2000.
merchandise import growth was the strongest of all the regions
(23.5%) and exceeded for the second year in a row its export
America's merchandise import growth (18%) was second only to that
of Asia and again stronger than its export expansion (13.5%).
growth in the dollar value of Western Europe's merchandise exports
and imports was by far the lowest of all regions, largely due to
the further depreciation of the euro and other European currencies
vis-à-vis the dollar.
America and Latin America recorded both double digit export and
import growth for commercial services.
exports of commercial services rose by 13% boosted by the marked
acceleration of services export growth by Asia's three leading
exporters: Japan; Hong Kong, China and China. The near
stagnation of Japan's services imports — which accounts for one
third of the Asian regional total — was the principal factor in
the subdued expansion of Asia's commercial services.
in euros, Western Europe's commercial services trade expanded by
about 14% which indicates an acceleration in both nominal and real
terms. In dollar terms, however, Western Europe's commercial
exports and imports decreased slightly.
markets. The sharp oil price variations which, over the last three
years recorded their highest and lowest levels in 15 years, have
left their mark on international trade flows. The share of fuels
in world merchandise exports fell to 6.5% in 1998, the lowest
share in three decades but recovered to 10.5% in 2000.
swings in oil prices have had a dramatic impact on the export
earnings of oil exporters. At least 18 fuel exporters recorded
total merchandise export growth in excess of 50% and in 2000. For
about 30 countries fuels account for more than one third of their
merchandise exports. While the developing countries (and also the
LDCs) are — as a group — net fuel exporters, the majority of
the developing countries are net-importers.
the second half of the 1990s, Asia replaced Western Europe as the
largest net-importing region. This development can be attributed to
the buoyant rise of fuels imports into fast growing developing Asia.
The Middle East consolidated its position as the world's leading fuel
exporter and is likely to strengthen it further in the future.
the complete WTO
Annual report 2001
file in pdf format (151 pages; 699 KB)
Download individual chapters
The WTO Annual report 2001
files in pdf (portable document format).
1 — Overview (7 pages;
2 — World trade developments
3 — Overview of developments in the international trading
environment (23 pages;
4 — WTO activities (89
5 — Organization, secretariat and budget
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