The International Trade Council (ITC) acknowledges the recent findings from UNCTAD's Global Trade Update, which highlight a slowdown in global trade in 2022. However, the report also brings attention to a silver lining in the form of 'green goods,' which showed significant growth, defying the overall downward trend.
Global trade hit a record $32 trillion in 2022 but saw a negative turn in growth during the second half of the year due to deteriorating economic conditions and rising uncertainties. However, the trade in 'green goods,' or environmentally friendly products, held strong throughout the year. These goods, designed to use fewer resources or emit less pollution than traditional counterparts, saw a 4% growth in the latter half of 2022, with their combined value reaching a record $1.9 trillion, over $100 billion more than the previous year.
Prominent examples of 'green goods' that performed exceptionally well include electric and hybrid vehicles (+25%), non-plastic packaging (+20%), and wind turbines (+10%). "The growth in 'green goods' is not just a positive economic indicator, but also a promising sign for our planet's future," says Alessandro Nicita, one of the report's authors.
The ITC echoes this sentiment and emphasizes the critical role of 'green goods' in protecting the environment and mitigating climate change. The ITC also anticipates the continued growth of green industries as countries ramp up efforts to combat climate change and reduce emissions.
The Global Trade Update also indicates a disparity between the trade in goods and services. While trade in goods declined by 3% in the fourth quarter of 2022, trade in services remained almost constant, finishing the year at $7 trillion. Current projections show a potential increase in global trade in goods by 1% and trade in services by about 3% in the first quarter of 2023, reflecting the steady growth in the information and communication technology sector, along with the recovery of travel and tourism sectors.
Despite the uncertain outlook for 2023, the ITC remains hopeful, given the prospects of averted recession in the European Union and the United States, and the weakening of the US dollar. The ITC also notes the easing of concerns about global supply chain disruptions and shipping costs, which could lead to a more stable global trade environment.
In conclusion, the ITC continues to encourage international trade, with particular emphasis on promoting environmentally friendly goods and services. The council remains committed to supporting organizations and countries in understanding international trade rules and ensuring compliance, thereby fostering a safe and sustainable global trade environment.
For more information about the ITC and its work, please visit our website or contact our office.