DMCC Report: Global Trade Defies Expectations In 2021; US & China To Lead The Way

Global trade will rebound in 2021 after showing surprising resilience in 2020 despite the economic challenges posed by the pandemic, according to DMCC’s latest special edition Future of Trade 2021 report titled, ‘Defying predictions and driving the post-pandemic economic recovery’.

The report highlights two key global and regional takeaways: first, global trade will underpin strong global economic growth in 2021 and beyond, with the US and Chinese economies leading the way. This growth has defied expectations of double-digit annual declines, estimated between 13-32% by the WTO. Second, Dubai saw its foreign trade growth rebound significantly in 2020, with H2 2020 trade volumes jumping 6% year-on-year. Dubai’s overall export values jumped 8% in 2020, on an annual basis.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “While global trade has shown its resilience, it is simultaneously in the midst of profound change. Technology, changing consumer behaviours, the drive to combat climate change, and geopolitics will all be key contributors to its reshaping in the years ahead.”

According to the research, the most transformative element of the global trade outlook is technology. Blockchain, decentralised finance (DeFi) and other new and disruptive technologies will further accelerate trade growth. For example, DeFi protocols have seen a considerable amount of funds invested. Since the start of 2021 alone, the total value locked into DeFi has tripled from approximately $20 billion to $60 billion. As digital infrastructures grow, they will continue to accelerate a ground-breaking shift in trade from the national to the global.

Commenting on the report, Feryal Ahmadi, Chief Operating Officer, DMCC, said: “An important development over the last twelve months has also been the pivot of governments, companies and investors towards sustainable practices in international trade – now high on the agenda. What the report ultimately reiterates, in line with our previous findings, is that international coordination and collaboration, and technology remain the key enablers and drivers of the recovery.”

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