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From viruses to wars: recent disruptions to global trade and value chains

How have events in recent years impacted global trade and value chains and how can we strengthen these against future disruptions?


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Global value chains have been severely disrupted in recent times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical friction and most recently the conflict in Ukraine. While trade in goods bounced back more rapidly than expected from the pandemic crisis, not all sectors are faring as well. Along with on-going disruptions in supply chain logistics, this has prompted calls among policy makers to bring more production on-shore, which would lead to permanent changes in the structure of global value chains.

At this event we discussed how trade developed during the pandemic but also what governments can do to help strengthen global value chains against future disruptions, which may arise not just from future health crises, but also from conflict, cyberattacks, or from climate-related weather events. The event featured the presentation of a forthcoming chapter, titled “Global Trade and Value Chains in the Pandemic”, from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook.