World Trade Organization chief warns against trade fragmentation trends

The head of the World Trade Organization said on Monday that early signs of global trade fragmentation were appearing, criticizing so-called ‘reshoring’ and ‘friendshoring’ between trade blocs.

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“While we don’t yet see any large-scale fragmentation we are beginning to see signs,” said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at an event in Geneva, calling the trend “dangerous”.

Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), speaks at a press briefing after a gathering at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Nov. 29, 2022. (REUTERS/Michele Tantussi/File Photo)

“If we … reshore, friendshore we may be leading the world towards fragmentation of trade, which will be very costly,” she said. “So we’re saying let us not do this. Let us reimagine globalization, and we’re calling it re-globalization,” she said.

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