The head of WTO compared the 2008 crisis with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

An economic downturn amid a coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 pandemic could have worse consequences than the 2008 financial crisis. This was stated by Roberto Azevedo, head of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“This pandemic will undoubtedly have a very strong impact on the economy, trade and, consequently, on jobs and human welfare… Recent forecasts predict an economic downturn and job losses that will be worse than the global financial crisis 12 years ago,” Azevedo said in a video statement published on the WTO website.

He stressed that a global solution will be needed to overcome such a global problem. According to Azevedo, trade will play a decisive role in this.

“No country can be self-sufficient, no matter how powerful or developed it is. Trade enables efficient production and supply of basic goods and services, medicines and equipment, food and energy. Maintaining trade and investment flows will be crucial to maintaining abundance on the shelves and affordable prices,” the WTO head added, Izvestia reported.

WTO experts are now analyzing the impact of the crisis and will present their conclusions and forecasts for trade in 2020 and 2021. Although there are still a few weeks left before the report release, the director general noted that economists “foresee a very sharp decline in trade volumes.

“Once the medical crisis begins to recede, trade will allow countries to help each other’s economies grow, providing a faster and stronger recovery for all of us. The WTO will do its part,” he summed up.