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New DHL Trade Growth Atlas: World Trade is Surprisingly Robust

DHL Growth Trade Atlas Ship

In 2022 and 2023, international trade in goods is expected to grow faster than in the past ten years. We see an above-average positive development in Southeast and South Asia, and the share of emerging economies in global trade increases from 24 to 40 percent. Find out more about these and many other insights in the DHL Trade Growth Atlas – in collaboration with the NYU Stern School of Business.

World trade Defies the Crises

There are currently plenty of reasons to take a pessimistic view of international goods trade: the Corona pandemic, which is (hopefully) at its last gasps, the war in Ukraine, and the much-anticipated energy transition all give cause for concern. Nevertheless, our report can paint a positive picture of the resilience of world trade – which was able to grow despite supply bottlenecks since the beginning of the Corona pandemic.

The DHL Trade Growth Atlas provides insight into the development of global goods trading – trends, geographical shifts, and changes in the business environment or in the type of goods. It covers 173 countries that together account for 99% of world trade, world GDP, and world population. For each of these countries, there is a concise summary on a respective page.

“We have sought to distill the most important data on the state and trajectory of global trade and to bring the data to life in maps, charts, and other visual content. [...] The trade landscape is shifting and presenting new challenges, but this report strongly rebuts predictions of a major retreat from global trade.

DHL Steve Altman

Steven Altman Senior Research Scholar and Director of the DHL Initiative on Globalization at the Center for the Future of Management, NYU Stern

In times like these, international trade plays a crucial role: it can accelerate economic growth, reduce inflation, and give countries and companies the chance to obtain resources from a variety of new origins. The fact- and data-based report supports decision-makers from business and politics in addressing and mastering current challenges.

There are various findings from our investigations, five of which we would like to summarize for you at this point:

  • With the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the e-commerce sector started to boom and opened up new opportunities for companies to sell across borders. This trend continues and further growth is to be expected.
  • From 2016 to 2021, China generated one quarter of global trade growth. From 2021 to 2026, the country is likely to retain the largest share of growth, but only to make up 13% – just under half of the previous share.
  • Accordingly, trade growth will be spread across more countries in the future than today.
  • Forecasts indicate that by 2026, advanced economies will be accountable for 55% of trade growth and emerging economies for 45%.
  • Emerging economies will advance significantly in terms of connectivity and innovation and will spawn more and more leading companies.

More insights can be found in detail in the DHL Trade Growth Atlas.

The DHL Trade Growth Atlas at a glance

  • 272 pages on the status quo of world trade
  • 10 key learnings from the research team in the executive summary
  • impact of the Corona pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and globalization
  • global developments beyond trade
  • summaries for 173 countries
DHL Trade Growth Atlas

Get the report

Solid Decision Basis for Politics and Economy

We have created the DHL Trade Growth Atlas to provide you with an in-depth analysis of the current state of world trade – a stimulating read that will help you understand and get your bearings in the changing landscape of global trade.

As the world's leading logistics provider, we offer solutions for all logistics requirements, and have proven to provide stable and reliable services even in volatile market environments.

DHL John Pearson

John Pearson CEO DHL Express

We wish you insightful reading pleasure!

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