Russia’s Place in the International Trade in 2008

In late-March 2009, the WTO Secretariat published an analytical review by results of development of the international trade in 2008 and its prospects for 2009. The review comprises preliminary country-wise statistical data on the global trade with goods and services in 2008.

According to the WTO analysts, the 2008n increment in the global trade in real terms accounted for a meager 2.0% (the lowest value over the past decade) vs. 5.5% reported over 2007. The WTO calculates the real growth of trade with account of inflation in different countries and dynamics of currency exchange rates on the basis of the UN and the IMF statistical bodies. The 2009 nominal exportation of goods soared at 15% and accounted for USD 15.8trln, while export of services posted an 11% rise, or up to USD 3.7trln.

In 2008, Germany retained its position of the leading exporter of goods worldwide (USD 1.47trln), followed by China (1.43trln) and the US (1.31trln). The trio is also atop of the list of the largest importers: the US – USD 2.17trln, Germany – 1.21trln, and China – 1.13trln.

It is projected that the 2009 volume of international trade may plunge by 9%, which would become the most drastic fall over the post-WWII period. The fall is fueled by the global recession and rising protectionist tendencies.

According to the WTO rating (preliminary data), in 2008 Russia was ranked the 9th exporter worldwide in terms of the value volume of its exports (USD 472bn). Meanwhile, the nominal annual increment rate surged up to 33%. Russia’s specific weight in global export accounted for 2.9% (vs. the 12th place and 2.5%, respectively, in 2007). By the value of import of goods the country remained on the 16th line worldwide (USD 292bn, the increment rate – 31%), while its share in the aggregate volume of import worldwide reached 1.8% (in 2007 – the same 16th place and 1.6%, respectively).

Without regard to the inter-regional trade of the 27 member nations of the EU and its individual members, Russia was the 5th by exports of goods and the 10th by import of goods worldwide (in 2007 – the 7th and the 10th positions, respectively).

With the USD 50bn-worth exports of commercial services and the respective annual growth rate of 29%, the country held the 22nd position in the 2008 rating of nations that supplied commercial services, while its specific weight accounted for 1.3% (in 2006, accordingly, the 25th position and 1.2%). In the area of import of commercial services, Russia, with its USD 75bn–worth import of commercial services and the annual rate of its growth accounting for 29%, kept the 16th position worldwide, while its specific weight accounted for 2.2% vs. 1.9% reported in 2007.

S. Prikhodko, Executive Director, IET
A. Pakhomov, Director, The International Trade Research Center, ANE