Trade Transformed: The Emerging New Corridors of Trade Power
World trade is set for both a prolonged boom and a marked transformation. We forecast the current period of rapid global trade growth, sometimes referred to as the ‘third wave of globalisation’, to extend at least another four decades. In that period we expect growth in world trade to expand at an average rate of 6.1% pa between 2010 and 2030 and by 4.4% pa between 2030 and 2050, compared to a growth rate of 5.4% pa between 1990 and 2010. In level terms, world trade would rise from $37trn in 2010 to $122trn in 2030 to $287trn in 2050.
Like earlier waves, this growth in cross-border trade is driven by GDP growth, by per capita income growth and by the reduction in man-made and natural trade barriers (transportation costs, tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers). In addition, the globalisation and regionalisation of supply chains and the emergence of new trading hubs will play a bigger role in this wave of globalisation.