Asia-Pacific trade and investment trends 2021/2022: trade in goods and outlook in Asia and the Pacific

After a dramatic year for the global economy, economic activity and international merchandise trade rebounded strongly in 2021. Global merchandise exports and imports are estimated to have surpassed pre-pandemic (2019) levels, with nominal growth of 24.6% and 23.8%, respectively. Likewise, growth in the value of exports and imports in Asia and the Pacific is estimated at 23.1% and 22.8%. Nevertheless, removing inflationary pressures, ESCAP finds that Asia and the Pacific actually overperformed the rest of the world with regional real exports and imports growing 10.0% and 9.1%, respectively, year on year, compared with 8.4% and 7.7% globally, respectively, in the same period. The Asia-Pacific region’s prominence in global merchandise trade value has slightly declined in 2021 to 41.0% of the world’s exports and 36.8% of global imports, compared to the region’s 41.5% and 37.1% share of global exports and imports, respectively, in 2020.