WTO releases report on world trade in 2019

The World Trade Organization, or WTO, released the World Trade Report 2019 on Oct 9 in Geneva, Switzerland.


The report pointed out that trade in services has become the most significant type of global trade and will continue to grow in the coming decades.


Since 2005, the annual average increase in global service trade has stood at 5.4 percent, 0.8 percentage points higher than trade in goods, according to the report.


Thanks to digital technology, the number of remote transactions has increased and trade costs have been reduced over the same period, boding well for growth in service trade over the next 20 years.


Distribution services, financial services, telecommunications, audio-visual and computer services account for more than half of total global trade in services.


Though education, sanitation and environmental services occupy a relatively small share of trade in services, they are quickly gaining ground.


The report also indicated that from 2005 to 2017, the rate of increase in the share of global service trade accounted for by developing countries surpassed 10 percentage points, accounting for 25 percent and 34.4 percent of the import and export value of global service trade.


If all developing countries adopt digital technology, their share in global service trade is expected to increase by 15 percent by 2040.