The European Business Council for Africa

Amid economic disruptions from COVID-19, on the whole global trade held up relatively well in 2020. Much of the trade resilience was due to East Asian economies, whose early success in pandemic mitigation allowed them to rebound faster and to capitalize on booming global demand for COVID-19 related products. The positive trends from the last few months of 2020 grew stronger in early 2021. In Q1 2021, the value of global trade in goods and services grew by about 4 per cent quarter-over-quarter and by about 10 per cent year-over-year. Importantly, global trade in Q1 2021 was higher than pre-crisis levels, with an increase of about 3 per cent relative to Q1 2019. The trade rebound of Q1 2021 continues to be driven by the strong export performance of East Asian economies. In Q1 2021, the value of trade in goods was higher than pre-pandemic level, but trade in services remains substantially below averages. During Q1 2021, global trade of COVID-19 related products remained strong.

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