A number of post-2008 after-shocks _ the European debt crisis, the turmoil in the Arab countries, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and, not least, the floods that hit this country at the end of last year _ all caused trade expansion to shrink in 2011, recording a growth rate of 5%, compared to an average of 6% in the past 15 years. Projections for 2012 are even more modest. World trade is expected to grow slower than in past years, with a forecast for this year at less than 4% in volume.
ThePort ofSingapore, one of the region’s busiest, bustles with activity as itmoves moreregional freight. Countries around the world are becoming more interconnected but a resurgence of protectionism could worsen the current economic environment.
This slowdown is largely a consequence of sluggish growth in advanced economies, particularly in the eurozone, with repercussions for exports from emerging and developing countries, where the contribution of trade to growth is also decreasing.
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