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Global trade expected to slow in 2012 – Retail in Asia

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Global trade expected to slow in 2012

Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and the aftershocks of events such as the Japan earthquake and Arab Spring are expected to slow the growth in global exports to just 3.7 percent in 2012, the World Trade Organisation said on Thursday.

That comes after a slowdown to 5 percent in 2011 and 13.8 percent in 2010, the global trade body said in its annual report. The figures represent the total volume of merchandise exported across borders, accounting for changes in prices and exchange rates.

"More than three years have passed since the trade collapse of 2008-09, but the world economy and trade remain fragile," WTO chief Pascal Lamy said. "The further slowing of trade expected in 2012 shows that the downside risks remain high. We are not yet out of the woods."