COVID-19 and world trade
The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented disruption to the global economy and world trade, as production and consumption are scaled back across the globe.
On this page:
- Latest news
- Trade forecast
- WTO reports
- Trade and trade-related measures
- WTO members' proposals
- Enquiry points
- WTO members' notifications
- Business/civil society response
- Support for open trade
- Useful links
One of the most effective means of addressing this crisis is through timely, accurate information. An informed public is better positioned to make sound decisions including on questions related to trade. This is why we have created this dedicated page on the WTO website. It will provide up-to-the minute trade-related information including relevant notifications by WTO members, the impact the virus has had on exports and imports and how WTO activities have been affected by the pandemic.
Trade forecast 2020 (October 2020)
WTO reports on COVID-19 and world tradeMore reports
COVID-19: Trade and trade-related measures
COVID-19: Support measures
The table below lists the support measures taken by WTO members and observers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures have been submitted by delegations directly to the WTO Trade Monitoring Section in response to the requests by the Director-General in March 2020 and by Deputy Director-General Agah in September 2020. The list only includes measures communicated by members and observers and features measures only in the original language of the submission. The list is an informal situation report and an attempt to provide transparency with respect to support measures taken in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
WTO members' proposals on COVID-19
In many areas of trade, WTO members are required to establish or maintain one or more “Enquiry Points” to answer reasonable enquiries of governments, traders and other interested parties and provide relevant documents and information. In emergency situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, access to information on product requirements and certification procedures can be crucial, as it can minimize or avoid delays or rejections at customs points.
WTO members' notifications on COVID-19
As of , WTO members had submitted a total of related to COVID-19.
- Agricultural Market Information System
- Consumers International COVID-19
- Enhanced Integrated Framework: COVID-19 and LDCs
- ESCAP-UNCTAD-WTO: “Readying regional trade agreements for future crises and pandemics”
- FAO COVID-19
- IATA database of government measures
- ICAO/WCO: Joint statement on global transportation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and associated medical supplies
- IFPRI Food Export Restrictions Tracker
- ILO COVID-19 and the world of work
- Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture COVID-19
- International Civil Aviation Organization COVID-19 airport status
- International Food Policy Research Institute COVID-19
- International Fund for Agricultural Development COVID-19
- International Grains Council (IGC)
- International Road Transport Union COVID-19
- International Trade Centre: COVID-19 and small businesses
- IMF COVID-19
- Logistics Cluster COVID-19: cargo entry points
- OECD COVID-19
- Standards and Trade Development Facility COVID-19
- Trade Facilitation Resource Repository COVID-19
- UN Initiative on Model Provisions for Trade in Times of Crisis
- UNCTAD COVID-19
- UNICEF news and updates on COVID-19
- United Nations COVID-19
- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa COVID-19
- WCO-WHO revised classification for COVID-19 medical supplies
- WHO COVID-19 pandemic
- World Bank COVID-19
- World Customs Organization COVID-19
- World Economic Forum Covid Action Platform
- World Food Programme COVID-19
- World Intellectual Property Organization COVID-19
- World Organisation for Animal Health COVID-19
- World Tourism Organization COVID-19
WTO Trade Barometers
The WTO has developed a set of indicators to provide “real-time” information on trends in world trade: the Goods Trade Barometer and the Services Trade Barometer. Both barometers highlight turning points in world trade and are intended to complement conventional trade statistics and forecasts.
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Global business/ civil society response to COVID-19
- International Air Transport Association: Guidance for Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Logistics & Distribution
- Global Express Association: COVID-19 vaccine distribution — Getting ready
- Global Express Association: COVID-19 pandemic — Global logistics & express delivery (lessons learned and recommendations)
- Progressive International: “Waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19”
- Civil society letter: Supporting proposal by India and South Africa on waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19
Maintaining open trade
If this pandemic has made anything clear, it's the importance of international cooperation. Tackling a global epidemic can only be done through open and fluid markets.
Xiana Méndez, Spain's Trade Secretary
2 March 2021
The first thing that countries can do is to band together to commit to uphold and strengthen the global trading system. … We must also pursue connectivity and streamline trade rules to enable businesses to move efficiently across borders. … The world needs to work together to overcome challenges of a global scale. Even if a country’s efforts at containing the pandemic were successful, it would mean little if trade and travel remain impossible while other countries are ravaged by the pandemic.
Chan Chun Sing, Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister
26 February 2021
Trade underpins global growth, helping to create jobs and alleviate poverty. The COVID 19 pandemic has seen significant downward trends in global trade, and trade will form an important part of the international recovery effort. It’s important that we have a strong multilateral framework at the WTO with effective leadership to guide members’ efforts and undertake necessary reform.
Damien O'Connor, New Zealand's Minister for Trade and Export Growth
16 February 2021
Trade Facilitation and COVID-19: Report on Survey Results
This report compiles the findings of the joint COVID-19 survey carried out by TFAF, ICC and the Alliance.
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