Developing countries lead trade growth
In spite of the volatility caused by the international financial crisis, developing nations remained the key drivers of growth in international trade for 2011, according to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
South Asia exports, driven by soaring Indian trade with China, outperformed other developing regions in the first three quarters of 2011, but subsequently plummeted.
This year’s ICC Global Survey on Trade Finance, Rethinking Trade and Finance, notes that, after a year of upheavals, annual trade volume growth for 2011 was 6.6%, slightly above forecasts by the World Trade Organization.
However, after positive growth prospects at the beginning of the year, a series of global shocks, including the Arab Spring, the tsunami in Japan and the continuation of the global debt crises, resulted in an uneven performance for the year.
The ICC survey, which provides some of the most important international data on trade finance, suggests that the current environment is dampening prospects for 2012, with annual trade growth forecast at 5.2% this year, increasing to 7.2% in 2013.
The report — in which representatives of 229 banks in 100 countries took part — reveals that China’s trade experienced particularly volatile growth throughout the year, and exports from East Asia have fallen.
Many major developing countries in the region are experiencing a slowdown in growth due to a tightening of domestic policy initiatives introduced between late 2010 and early 2011 to combat high inflation.
The eurozone meanwhile was strongly affected by the financial and economic crises and, down 5.85%, had the highest annual decrease in export traffic.