- International trade in goods has surged as high as 10% above pre-pandemic levels
- Despite the war in Ukraine, trade is projected to grow faster in 2022 and 2023 than it did over the previous decade
- New trade growth leaders emerging; India, Vietnam, and the Philippines stand out on both speed and scale of projected trade growth through 2026
- From 2000 to 2021, trade grew faster in South & Central Asia, roughly doubling the region’s share from 2.3% to 4.5% (primarily due to India’s share rising from 0.7% to 2.2%)
DHL and NYU Stern School of Business have published the new DHL Trade Growth Atlas, which maps the most important trends and prospects of global trade in goods. The report covers 173 countries, providing valuable business intelligence for policymakers and industry leaders. Despite recent shocks and market pessimism, it shines a positive light on the resilience of global trade.
“Our aim is for the DHL Trade Growth Atlas to become a go-to resource for understanding and navigating shifts in the global trade landscape. In the current global business environment, DHL can help customers rethink certain supply chains, basing them on a sensible trade-off between cost and risk so that they are both efficient and secure. As the world's leading logistics provider, we offer solutions for all logistics requirements, and have proven to provide stable and reliable services even in volatile market environments,” says John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express.
There was a surge of interest at the start of the pandemic in shortening supply chains and producing goods closer to customers. However, as trade recovered and global supply chains delivered a record amount of goods, many companies paused reshoring and nearshoring plans. Emerging economies, particularly those in Southeast and South Asia, became important exporters of sophisticated capital goods such as industrial equipment, engines, and raw materials.
“It is fantastic to see emerging economies racing ahead in global trade. South Asia is expected to rapidly increase its share of global trade, with India doubling its trade volume growth rate in the next five years. Given the growing number of MSMEs in the region, it is only natural to enter this market and establish a strong supply chain network to access the ecosystem. We know that global trade growth impacts economic growth rates and enables countries to reduce inflation, as they gain access to key inputs such as industrial goods and raw materials through multiple trade routes. According to the data we have gathered, the shift in trading patterns will result in higher quality goods produced versus the quantity of goods produced by emerging markets in the future," says R.S Subramanian, SVP South Asia, DHL Express.
Key Take-Aways: Growth, Shifts, and Opportunities
- As Asia led the trade expansion around the world during the past two decades, the growth of trade between regions tended to outpace the growth of trade within regions. This is largely because Europe and North America traded more with Asia as “Factory Asia” became increasingly central to global production networks.
- Between 2016 and 2021, China ranked first with the fastest growth in both exports and imports. But between 2021 and 2026, the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) sub-region is forecasted to achieve the fastest export and import growth, followed by South & Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
- From 2000 to 2021, trade grew even faster in South & Central Asia, roughly doubling that region’s share from 2.3% to 4.5% (primarily due to India’s share rising from 0.7% to 2.2%).
- India’s trade volume growth rate is forecast to double from 3% to 6%, boosting its speed rank from 72nd to 34th and its scale rank from 11th to 5th between 2021 and 2026.
- China was the dominant source of trade growth over the past five years and continues to be the single largest contributor to global trade growth, forecasted trade growth over the next five years is spread out more broadly across countries and regions
- China’s growing domestic market—and policies aimed at a transition to consumption-led growth rather than export-led growth— boosted the share of output destined for China’s own burgeoning market. As a result, imports of goods and services fell from 28% of China’s GDP in 2006 to 16% in 2020. Over the same period, China’s exports-to-GDP ratio fell from 36% to 19%.
- Vietnam, India, and the Philippines all stand to benefit from efforts by many companies to diversify China-centric production and sourcing strategies.
- Emerging economies continue to race forward on measures of connectivity, innovation, and leading companies. They are becoming more important exporters of sophisticated manufactured products, and increasingly compete not only on low costs, but also on innovation and quality.
Understanding Global Trade and its Opportunities
The DHL Trade Growth Atlas examines global trade growth trends, geographic shifts, the mix of products traded, and broader changes in the business environment. It analyzes trade in goods worldwide, by region, for advanced vs. emerging economies, and across 173 countries. The report features concise one-page summaries for each of these countries. The countries covered comprise more than 99% of world trade, GDP, and population.
“We have sought to distill the most important data on the state and trajectory of global trade and to bring the data to life in maps, charts, and other visual content. The results show how there are still large trade growth opportunities in both advanced and emerging economies and in regions around the world. The trade landscape is shifting and presenting new challenges, but this report strongly rebuts predictions of a major retreat from global trade,” says Steven Altman, Senior Research Scholar and Director of the DHL Initiative on Globalization at NYU Stern’s Center for the Future of Management.
The DHL Trade Growth Atlas complements the established DHL Global Connectedness Index series. While the DHL Trade Growth Atlas provides a special deep dive on global trade in goods, the DHL Global Connectedness Index, published regularly since 2011, analyzes the broader phenomenon of globalization – based on trade in goods and services, as well as worldwide flows of capital, people, and information. Both reports help pinpoint promising business opportunities, and support fact-based debates about trade and globalization.
One can find the report for download as well as further information on https://bit.ly/3BEu2kL
On the Internet: dpdhl.de/press
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