Recent trends in trade and trade finance: Impact of the Covid-19 crisis and challenges ahead

Enhancing digital trade facilitation will be crucial to increase resilience to further trade disruptions and to enhance countries’ participation in global value chains. The trade finance industry will be facing several challenges in the coming years due to factors affecting the underlying environment for international trade.

For the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has put a strain on health systems and led to unprecedented trade disruptions and economic crisis. The global economy started to rebound in 2021 thanks to faster vaccine roll-out, but the recovery remained uneven and marked by supply-chain disruptions and inflationary pressures. As we enter the third year of this pandemic, where are we now? This report offers an updated assessment of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on global trade and trade finance. The first chapter analyses the impact of the pandemic on trade flows, examines the causes and consequences of supply-chain disruptions, and discusses challenges associated with reshoring production. Using data from the latest Trade Finance Register, the second chapter builds on the previous analysis to study the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the trade finance flows in 2020.