New world trade chief lowers global forecast to 2.5 per cent

City A.M. Reporter
WORLD trade is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent this year and 4.5 per cent in 2014, the World Trade Organisation’s new chief, Roberto Azevedo, said yesterday, revising down previous estimates of 3.3 per cent and five per cent.

In his first press conference since taking the helm on 1 September, Azevedo said the figures would be detailed in a report due out on

19 September. He said forecasts had been cut because the European economy had not recovered as expected in the second quarter of this year, but gave no extra details.

The original forecasts were presented in April by Azevedo’s predecessor Pascal Lamy, who warned that the threat of protectionism may be greater than at any time since the start of the economic crisis, since failing growth policies might spur countries to erect barriers to imports instead.

Before the WTO can improve its role in policing protectionism, it needs to resolve the impasse in global trade negotiations, Azevedo said.