Oil prices eroding developing country trade profits; WTO

Increasing oil prices eroding developing country profits despite record trade year in 2004. Increasing oil prices eroding developing country profits despite record trade year in 2004. 2004 was a good year for international trade in goods and services.

“In 2004, the value of world merchandise trade rose by 21 percent, to US$8.88 trillion, and that of world commercial services trade by 16 percent, to US$ 2.10 trillion,” says the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) World Trade Report 2005.

“For both merchandise and commercial services trade this represented an acceleration of growth for the third year in a row, and the strongest rise since 2000,” says the report

However, the WTO points to high oil prices and other factors like persistent sluggishness in some economies, and interest rate and exchange rate volatility, as downside risks in the world economy in 2005.

“I urge governments to address these challenges in a timely and decisive fashion,” says the outgoing Director General of the WTO, Supachai Panitchpakdi.

In 2004 trade growth was fired by fuel exports,