China will overpass Germany as the world’s largest exporter this year as Asian economies show signs of leading the recovery in global trade, the World Trade Organization said.
The WTO forecasted that world trade volume will decrease 10 percent this year, the biggest drop in 60 years. But the Director General of the WTO, Pascal Lamy, said the pace of declining is slowing.
“Our figures showed that Asian countries may be leading a recovery in global trade,” Lamy told reporters in Singapore on the side lines of a meeting of trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
Patrick Low, the WTO chief economist also in Singapore, said the weak economy in Europe will probably lead to German exports lagging behind China’s in 2009.
China’s merchandise exports worth $1.428 billion were only slightly behind Germany’s at $1.465 billion in 2008, according to the WTO.
Last week China released its GDP growth at 7.9 percent in the second quarter this year, indicating a move towards the goal of 8 percent GDP growth set by the Chinese government amid the global downturn.
But most of the growth was boosted by stimulus policies from government and loose monetary policy after the breakout of the global financial crisis, according to government figures.
Chinese exports, which have been hit hard by the declined spending in developed counties, dropped 21.2 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2009, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.