The WTO on Global Trade

According to the Report of the World Trade Organization published on April 12, 2012, in 2011 the volume of the global trade increased by 5%.
Earlier, the WTO forecasted that in 2011 the growth in global trade would amount to 5.8%. In 2011, the growth rates of global production fell to 2.4% against 3.8% in 2010. There are still serious risks for stable growth in the global economy (the European sovereign debt crisis, growing oil prices and the unrest in Arab states); the above risks cannot but affect the state of the global trade. In 2012, further slow-down of that index to 3.7% is expected which figure is below the long-term average value of 6.0% registered in the 1990-2008 period and the average value of 5.5% in the past 20 years, including the period of collapse in 2009.

In 2011, the export from developed countries exceeded expectations as it increased by 4.7%. Developing countries showed a worse than expected result (the mere 5.4%). Earlier, the WTO forecasted that the export from developed countries would increase by 3.6% with the GDP growing by 1.5%, while export deliveries from developing countries increase by 8.6% with economy growing by 5.9%.


Relatively high indices of developed countries were justified by growth of 7.2% in the export from the USA, as well as that of 5% in the export from the European Union.

The export of developing counties was affected by the following unfavorable factors, such as a suspension of oil supplies from Libya which situation resulted in a drop of 8% in export from African states, severe floods that hit Thailand in the 4th quarter of 2011 and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan which disrupted the global chains of supplies and, consequently, resulted in a drop in the Chinese export to Japan.

On the basis of the 2011 results, in the rating of the leading exporters of goods (including the EU states) the Russian Federation was rated the 9th. In 2010, Russia was rated the 12th. On a year-on-year basis, the volume of the Russian export grew by 30% and it permitted Russia to be ahead of Belgium, the UK and Hong Kong.

In the rating of the leading importers, the Russian Federation was rated 17th, while in 2010 it was rated the 18th.


N.P. Volovik, Head of the Foreign Trade Department