International Trade in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-10-15-23
V. Zagashvili (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Received 26.04.2021.

Abstract. The article examines the implications of the COVID‑19 pandemic for the development of international trade. The international trading system has demonstrated sufficient maturity and the ability to remain stable even in extreme conditions. The negative impact of COVID‑19 on trade was provided through a general drop in demand, disruptions in and business travel. Attempts to foster economic stability and enhance the resilience of global value chains through self-reliance and limiting supply network within national boundaries are counterproductive. The solution to the efficiency versus safety dilemma lies in the area of diversification. In the medium term after the expected rapid recovery growth the development of international trade is likely to slow down and the growth rates of trade and production will trend towards convergence. The long-term impact of the pandemic on international trade will be manifested through the impact of structural factors: the Fourth Industrial Revolution, trends in the field of transnational production, changes in the paradigm of social development, competition between economic policy models, rivalry between leaders of the world economy, and the results of efforts to regulate trade on the multilateral basis. The pandemic made more obvious the need for cooperation, not only in the narrow aspect of coordinating anti-epidemic measures, but also in the broader sense of promoting development and narrowing the gap in welfare, health care and the quality of life in general, both in different countries and within countries. In the area of trade policy, it highlighted the urgent need for closer cooperation in overcoming barriers to trade (lowering duties, removing technical barriers, mutual recognition of sanitary certificates, interfacing digital regulation systems). The disunity and noticeable confusion of governments during the pandemic emphasized the task of overcoming the WTO crisis.

Keywords: world economy, international trade, COVID‑19 pandemic, trade policy, protectionism, global value chains, World Trade Organization (WTO), Fourth Industrial Revolution


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For citation:
Zagashvili V. International Trade in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 10, pp. 15-23.

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