A New Era: Global Trade in 2020 and Beyond

5 key factors driving global commerce into 2021: A new report written by The Economist Intelligence Unit

A New Era: Global Trade in 2020 and Beyond

A New Era: Global Trade in 2020 and Beyond


After decades of relative economic stability, the dynamics of global trade have been thrown into disarray by the current pandemic. Many believe this disruption won’t be short-lived, with leading analysts and trade experts predicting it will result in months of economic instability to come. In early April 2020, for instance, the World Trade Organization issued what was an “optimistic” forecast of a 13% drop in trade volumes for physical goods but predicted a 21% increase in 2021.

As a follow up to the 2019 report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Basware, this new study dives into the key factors driving modern commerce, business transactions and supply chains over the next year. Based on in-depth interviews with experts in global trade, this comprehensive report reveals the surprisingly unanimous views and opinions of experts worldwide. These five drivers were identified as the top contributing factors to global trade in 2020 and beyond:

  • Covid-19

  • United States trade policy and China

  • Unites States trade policy and the European Union

  • Rising non-tariff protectionism

  • Taxation of digital trade

Read the report to learn how organizations can safeguard global trade in 2020 and beyond and discover how better supplier management practices and stronger interdepartmental relationships with finance and procurement can help to better manage cashflow and future-proof business.