G-20, an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union (EU), adopted lower trade restrictive measures between mid-May and mid-October compared to the previous period.
The latest Trade Monitoring Report on G20 trade measures, released by the World Trade Organization (WTO) today (Wednesday), unveiled the scenario.
It showed a ‘slowdown in the number and coverage of trade-restrictive and trade-facilitating measures on goods’ implemented by G20 countries during the period under review.
The slowdown in trade-restrictive measures is primarily due to the sharp decline in overall global trade since the outbreak of Covid-19.
The report also documented numerous trade-facilitating and support measures introduced by these economies to combat the economic downturn and prepare the ground for a strong economic recovery.
G-20 is made up of the leading industrialised nations and emerging economies and produces around 80.0 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The group also shares more than three-fourth of the world trade.
The report pointed out that trade coverage of both regular facilitating and restrictive import measures, taken by G-20, declined to US$36.8 billion (down from US$735.9 billion in the previous period) and US$ 42.9 billion (down from US$ 417.5 billion) respectively.
“This was likely as a result of the sharp decline in overall global trade flows, the diversion of governments' attention towards responding to the pandemic – through trade policy as well as other areas, and a general commitment to keep trade flowing,” it continued.
The latest report of the WTO also showed that around three out of every ten Covid-19 restrictive measures on goods taken by G-20 economies had also been repealed by mid-October.
“Most of them were export restriction,” it added. “In the services sectors heavily impacted by the pandemic, most of the 68 measures related to Covid-19 adopted by G20 economies appeared to be trade facilitating.”