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Services exports recovery in the Asia-Pacific region to remain slow in 2022

Trade in commercial services in the Asia-Pacific region is recovering, but the recovery remains both partial and fragile. Services exports from the region remain about 20 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. ESCAP estimates that global export and import values have increased by just 2.7 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively, in 2021, while in the Asia-Pacific region these figures were 9.6 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively. This stronger export growth will boost the region’s prominence in global services exports from 23.8 per cent in 2020 to 25.4 per cent in 2021, while its import share will decline slightly from 30.2 per cent to 30.1 per cent.

Nevertheless, owing to COVID-19 sub-variant outbreaks during the second half of 2021, the current trade recovery may lose its momentum.

Unlike merchandise trade, global and regional trade in services remain well below pre- pandemic levels: Global services trade in 2021 is estimated to be 18.0 per cent (US$ 180 billion), lower than…

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