trade topics

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.

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.

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Trade forecast 2021

Frequently asked questions: The WTO and COVID-19

WTO reports on COVID-19 and world trade

More 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

Latest proposal

Enquiry points

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.

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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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Maintaining open trade

The fastest way to get our societies and our economies back on track is through vaccine equity … increasing domestic production capacity in Africa could make access to COVID-19 vaccines more equitable and, in the long term, expand global production capacity. A strategic and comprehensive approach that addresses trade, regulatory and technical issues will need to be adopted in order to strengthen domestic production capacity for safe, effective and affordable products.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General
23 March 2021

There should be deliberate policies to address the issues of trade imbalance. It is a good thing that some multilateral institutions like the World Trade Organization, which incidentally now has an African head, recognise this imperative, and are considering ways of building confidence and promoting mutually beneficial cooperation at both ends of the global economic divide.

Dr Goodluck Jonathan, former President of Nigeria
19 March 2021

Global value chains for medical and pharmaceutical products, equitable and affordable access to treatments and vaccines are essential, especially for developing countries. Helping MSMEs to achieve international trade integration is vital, given their contribution to employment and development.

Carola Ramón, Argentina's Undersecretary for Economic Multilateral and Bilateral Negotiations
3 March 2021

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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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