World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala underscored the important role of trade in reducing poverty, for which more needs to be done to help developing countries use it as a tool of growth.
Presenting a study on the role of trade in economic resilience, he highlighted that the sector can contribute to faster recovery and build resilience to future global shocks, reduce poverty, mitigate carbon emissions and adapt to climate change.
An estimated 100 million people were pushed into extreme poverty due to Covid-19, while the current increase in trade is uneven, leaving women and other vulnerable groups behind, she added.
The study recognized that while it is essential to keep trade and global value chains active to revive the economy, boosting the trade capacity of developing countries will be essential to support a transition to a green economy.
Okonjo-Iweala noted that a policy note provides a clear and concise resource to support a more resilient, equitable and inclusive recovery across countries and communities, and more supportive of a low-carbon and just transition.
For her part, the Director of Development Policies and Alliances of the World Bank, Mari Pangestu, specified that as the crisis emerges, there is an opportunity to reshape the world economy into a greener, more resilient and inclusive system, and trading can be a powerful tool to achieve that goal.
Faced with these challenges, the WTO called for accelerating the access of developing nations to vaccines against Covid-19, trade financing and digital technologies, to help them play a more important role in the international environment and recover from the crisis. .
It is also urgent, she pointed out, to reduce trade distortions and trade costs, minimize non-tariff barriers and increase cooperation on trade issues that are critical to health and food safety.