The World Trade Organization has slashed its forecast for trade growth in 2013,saying it feared protectionism was on the increase.
It cut its forecast for global trade growth in 2013 to 3.3 per cent from 4.5 per cent and said trade grew only 2.0 per cent in 2012. That was the smallest annual rise since records began in 1981 and the second weakest figure on record after 2009,when trade shrank.
WTO Director General Pascal Lamy warned that 2013 could turn out even weaker than expected,especially because of risks from the euro crisis,and countries might try to restrict trade further in a desperate attempt to shore up domestic growth.
The threat of protectionism may be greater now than at any time since the start of the crisis,since other policies to restore growth have been tried and found wanting, he said.