The year 2018 was marked by a myriad of factors that influenced global trade dynamics. This blog post will delve into the key statistics and trends in international trade during 2018, shedding light on the complex interplay of economic, political, and social factors shaping the global trading landscape.
Robust trade growth
The global merchandise trade volume increased by 4.0% in 2018. This gain can be ascribed to the global economy's ongoing recovery, increasing investment, and robust consumer demand. However, towards the end of the year, trade growth began to slow, a trend that continued into 2019.
Rising trade tensions
One of the year's most prominent occurrences was the escalation of trade hostilities between the United States and China, which resulted in tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of commodities. These measures raised fears of a trade war, increasing uncertainty in the global commercial environment and affecting other economies throughout the world.
The resilience of services trade
Despite rising trade tensions in 2018, global trade in services remained resilient, increasing by 3.9% year on year. This expansion was fueled mostly by rising demand for digital services, tourism, and transportation.
The role of developing economies
In 2018, developing economies continued to play an important role in global commerce, contributing to its expansion. These economies accounted for over 43% of world merchandise exports and 41% of global imports, with Asia and Africa playing major roles.
The influence of digital technology
The spread of digital technology and e-commerce altered how corporations conducted international trade. In 2018, the digital economy made it easier for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to access global markets. It also made firms more efficient and lowered trade obstacles.
Regional trade agreements
Countries all around the world pursued regional trade agreements in 2018 in order to promote economic integration and collaboration. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which resulted in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), are two notable instances.
Concerns about sustainability and the environment
Growing awareness of climate change and the need for sustainable development has encouraged governments to incorporate environmental issues into international trade rules. This trend resulted in the implementation of programs such as eco-labeling, green supply chain management, and the promotion of renewable energy technology in 2018.
The year 2018 saw substantial transitions and advancements in international trade, with healthy growth, growing trade tensions, and the rise of digital technologies. Countries attempted to maximize the benefits of trade while addressing rising concerns such as environmental sustainability as they negotiated these obstacles and opportunities. Understanding these trends and figures is critical for firms and governments looking to adapt and succeed in a constantly shifting global trade scene.