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India, China, South Africa register better performance in Import & Exports during Q1 2021: UNCTAD

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India, China, South Africa fared 'relatively better'According to the Global  Trade Update (May 2021) released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) – India, China, and South Africa performed ‘relatively better’ than other major economies in imports & exports during the 1st Quarter of 2021.

i.Compared to 2020 averages, India’s imports increased by 45%, and Exports increased to 26% in Q1 of 2021.  Service Imports increased by 14%, Service Exports increased by 2%.

ii.At the Global level, Trade in goods and services increased by 10% year-over-year, an increase of about 3% compared to Q1 2019.

iii.The overall forecast for 2021 indicates an 16% growth  in Global Trade – 19% for Goods and 8% for services.

iv.In Q2 of 2021, the value of Global Trade in goods and services is expected to reach USD 6.6 Trillion.

Key Points

i.Economies of China & USA will be the main drivers of global growth during 2021.

ii.In Q1 2021, trade continued to recover not only in sectors related to COVID-19 (such as pharmaceuticals, communication and office equipment), but also others like Minerals and agrifood.

  • Sectors like Energy & International trade of transport equipment  were lagging in the recovery process.
  • Trade growth remained to grow stronger for East Asia & Developed Countries.
  • China’s exports showed strong increases compared to the 2020 average and also pre-pandemic levels.
  • The Economic recovery in 2021 will be uneven.

iii.Due to the pandemic, Global economy shrank by 4.3% in 2020, which is two-and-a-half times more than  the 2009 recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Recent Related News:

i.On March 18, 2021, UNCTAD released its Trade and Development Report 2020 in which it expected India’s GDP to have contracted 6.9% (-6.9%) in 2020 and grow 5% in 2021.

About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Acting Secretary-General – Isabelle Durant
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland