World trade in services to increase 15% in 2022

World trade in services recorded a 15% year-on-year increase in 2022, to approximately $7 trillion, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said.

To note: Trade in services records the value of services exchanged between residents and non-residents of an economy, including services provided through foreign affiliates established abroad.

Services include transportation (both freight and passenger), travel, communications services (postal, telephone, satellite, etc.), construction services, financial and insurance services, computer and information services, royalties and license fees, and other business services (trade, operational leasing, technical and professional services, etc.).

It also includes cultural and recreational services and government services not included in the above list.

Trade in services drives the exchange of ideas, know-how and technology, although it is often restricted by barriers such as domestic regulations.

At year-on-year rates, services exports of the following economies showed growth in Q4 2022: Brazil (24%), China (7%), India (30%), Japan (3%), South Korea (5%), South Africa (43%), the United States (19%), and the European Union (6 percent).

Conversely, imports of services from these same economies showed the following behavior, considering the same comparison: Brazil (32%), China (4%), India (27%), Japan (10%), South Korea (10%), South Africa (43%), the United States (21%) and the European Union (10%).

World trade in services

Overall, world trade (both merchandise and services) broke records in 2022, totaling $32 trillion.

Earlier, according to the World Trade Statistical Review 2022, the volume of world merchandise trade recovered 9.7 percent in 2021.

The nominal value of world merchandise and services trade increased 24 in 2021 and amounted to $27.3 trillion.

On the one hand, merchandise trade grew 27 percent, while trade in commercial services increased 16 percent.

Both merchandise and services trade continued to grow with nominal values at the 2-digit level during the first half of 2022 due to higher food and energy prices, and increased spending on travel and transportation services.

So far, the global economy continues to face multiple challenges: the continuing effects of the pandemic, the repercussions of the war in Ukraine, high inflation -particularly for food and energy prices- and several climate change-related events that have disrupted economic activity.


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