Free, fair and sustainable trade

Without trade between countries we would be poorer and more vulnerable

We people need each other. Without trade between countries we would be poorer and more vulnerable, and we would lack the tools we need to tackle common challenges in areas such as climate change, poverty reduction, global health and sustainability.

International trade provides more people in the world with a job to go to, and it means more disposable income and greater prosperity. It can also do a great deal to promote gender equality, as access to markets and international trade can strengthen women’s economic empowerment.

Trade has many advantages, but it is also important that international trade goes hand in hand with social security and decent working conditions – and with corporate social responsibility, free from corruption. It is also important that globalisation occurs in a responsible manner, so that people’s lives improve even if global competition means that jobs change or disappear.

International trade can help us to eradicate extreme poverty. Around one billion people were lifted out of poverty between 1990 and 2015, largely thanks to international trade.

“For the extreme poor living on less than $1.25 a day, the central value of trade is its potential to help transform their lives and those of their families. In this way, there is no doubt that the integration of global markets through trade openness has made a critical contribution to poverty reduction.”

Read the report from the World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization in full.