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 2021
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
- INTERPOL: fake medicines
- 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 Chemical Trade Association: Concerns over shipping costs and uncertainties
- Research and education organizations and professionals: Statement on Copyright and Proposal of a Waiver from Certain Provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19 (IP/C/W/669)
- Letter from the European Services Forum: ESF call to consider role of crucial services in time of pandemic crisis
- Caritas Internationalis: CI orientations on COVID-19 vaccines
- Committee of PanAmerican Judges for Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine: The false tension between intellectual property rights and the right to health and to life
Maintaining open trade
There has been discussion on starting to produce vaccines in every country. I think the fact that vaccines were dealt with at a truly international level is the reason we got vaccines as fast as we did. There, the avoidance of autonomy has been very important.
Jacob Wallenberg, European RoundTable of Industrialists
6 July 2021
Disruptions in the travel and tourism industry offer new opportunities to review the business model and improve competitiveness in Africa. It is crucial to use this momentum to reshape existing travel policies and frameworks to make tourism an anchor for endogenous and sustainable socio-economic growth.
Ms Cristina Duarte, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa to the United Nations Secretary-General
23 June 2021
While globalization increases countries' specialization, as well as the dependence of producers at the end of the production cycle on downstream producers (and vice versa), it also enables the diversification of supplies and thus better risk management. Paradoxically perhaps, a crisis that reveals the limits of globalization can also help to preserve it, or even foster it, as it encourages the diversification of supplies and markets. This is probably what also explains the relative resilience of international trade.
Jean-Marc Siroën, Professor Emeritus of Economics at PSL-Dauphine University
14 June 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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