World Trade Organization -

The world needs more trade and more cooperation

The World Trade Organization's 2023 Annual Forum was held in Geneva, Switzerland. Under the theme "Act Now", participants focused on the role of the services sector in sustainable trade and inclusive policies to promote green trade. The World Trade Report 2023, released during the conference, stressed that global problems require global solutions, that more cooperation is needed in today's world, and that revitalizing the multilateral trading system under the coordination of the WTO is essential.

According to the World Trade Report 2023, more than 70 years ago, the world multilateral trading system was founded on the idea that interdependence and cooperation contribute to peace and shared prosperity. At a time when new challenges such as geopolitical tensions, rising inequality and climate change affect trade flows, "early signs of trade fragmentation are already emerging, which could weigh on global growth." WTO Director-General Iweala pointed out in his report that the openness and predictability of the global economy have been challenged, and the international community should continue to strengthen the multilateral trading system.

Overall, despite some signs of trade fragmentation, international trade is booming, and the rhetoric of deglobalization is generally not supported by data, the report argues. Trade has had a positive impact on poverty reduction, keeping trade open helps reduce the likelihood of conflict, and technological advances brought about by trade have had a huge impact on reducing carbon emissions. The report notes that in 2022, global trade in digital services will be $6.8 trillion, up 15% year-on-year, with the share of digital services exports from developing economies increasing by 3 percentage points and trade in environmental goods quadrupling since 2000.

The report believes that trade integration is a powerful tool to improve the living standards of people in all countries and help hundreds of millions of people lift themselves out of poverty, and trade integration should be extended to more economies so that more people can enjoy the fruits of trade integration.

In its report, the WTO calls for more trade and more cooperation to effectively address major issues facing us, such as security, inclusive growth and climate change. The WTO believes that integrating more people and economies into global trade and strengthening multilateral cooperation are effective solutions to global challenges and help the global economy develop in a more secure, inclusive and sustainable direction. "If we are to overcome the most pressing challenges we face today, we need to embrace trade, not deny it." WTO Chief Economist Ossa said.

Ossa said China is a staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system and economic globalization. Thanks to its active participation in the multilateral trading system, China has achieved remarkable economic growth and brought hope to developing countries. (Reporter Niu Ruifei)

People's Daily (Version 2023, September 09, 18)