Regional trade trends

The trade recovery of Q4 2020 is largely due to developing countries. The trade of goods from and to developing countries has recovered more strongly relative to developed countries, especially in relation to exports.

However, the positive trade growth of developing countries in Q4 2020 vanishes once East Asian economies are excluded. The importance of East Asian economies in explaining the recovery in the trade of developing countries is even more marked when considering trade among developing countries (South-South trade).

While South-South trade has outperformed global trade, excluding trade of East Asian developing economies results in South-South trade to significantly drop, even for Q4 2020.

Developed and Developing countries’ trade recovery shows different patterns The trade recovery of Q4 2020 has been very different across geographic regions.

On a year-over-year basis, trade in goods originating from the East Asian region grew about 12 per cent in Q4 2020, with goods imports increased by about 5 per cent. In contrast, in Q4 2020 negative trends remained for goods exports originating from most other regions.

Goods trade has not rebounded for most regions, except East Asia and the Pacific

Source: UNCTAD estimates based on national statistics.
Note: Changes are year-over year. Data excludes intra-EU trade. Data does not include trade in services. Q4 statistics are preliminary.

Source: UNCTAD estimates based on national statistics.
Note: Changes are year-over year. Data excludes intra-EU trade. Data does not include trade in services.

The designations employed and the presentation of material on any map in this work do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

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