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

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

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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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