In what could be termed as a positive development for the apparel manufacturing industry of Bangladesh, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) recently maintained that notwithstanding the severe impact on global trade on account of COVID-19 pandemic, there is a rise in demands – consequent to which supply chains are slowly showing signs of returning to normalcy.
The WTO economists believe that even though global trade volumes would register a steep fall this year, the situation may not be as worse as has been projected earlier.
It may be mentioned here that WTO, in view of uncertainty that coronavirus pandemic has cast on global economy and trade, came up with two conclusions as part of its annual trade forecast earlier in April, one of which underlined that international trade this year would contract by only 13 per cent while as per the other global trade could take a hit and fall by 32 per cent in the worst-case scenario.
Meanwhile, as per statistics published on Tuesday in a WTO statement on Tuesday, global trade in merchandise in the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year shrank by 3 per cent Y-o-Y while estimates for the second quarter hint at a Y-o-Y drop of around 18.5 per cent.
These declines may be some of the worst the country has ever witnessed, but it could have been much worse, the WTO maintained.
However, some experts and economists believe that even if the global trade is on the rebound, it is very slow.
It will take time; we cannot say global trade would return to its previous position soon, maintained Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute (PRI), Ahsan H. Mansur while adding for Bangladesh it would be rather challenging to tackle the COVID-19 fallout vis-à-vis its competitor Vietnam, which Ahsan feels is in an advantageous position, and can outperform the former in global trade.