Paul Lachine

El comercio como salida a la crisis

GINEBRA- El comercio global se contrajo en 2009 a niveles nunca vistos desde la Gran Depresión, y los que pagan el precio más alto son aquéllos que menos tienen. Así pues, cuando los ministros de comercio de los 153 miembros de la Organización Mundial del Comercio se reúnan en Ginebra a finales de este mes, la cuestión de cómo la OMC y el sistema multilateral de comercio podrían ayudar a los países más pobres será prioritaria en la agenda.

Debido en gran parte a una caída abrupta de los niveles de la demanda interna y la producción, pero también a una escasez de financiamiento asequible, el volumen del comercio disminuirá este año más de 10% . Está por verse si el próximo año se recuperará. A pesar de que hay pruebas de que el volumen del comercio creció durante el verano, la recuperación ha sido poco uniforme –y tan frágil que una caída súbita de los mercados de valores o de divisas podría socavar una vez más la confianza de los consumidores y las empresas que conduciría  a un mayor deterioro del comercio.

Los países más pobres del mundo se enfrentan a los peores apuros cuando el comercio pierde dinamismo. No pueden darse el lujo de improvisar paquetes de estímulo fiscal o rescates de industrias debilitadas para amortiguar el desplome provocado por la crisis económica. Para ellos, el comercio representa una enorme parte de la actividad económica global y es sin duda la mejor vía para salir de una crisis que los ha golpeado fuertemente.

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