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Global trade shrank 5.3 percent last year but had returned to 2019 levels by November, according to CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
The global crisis spiked the need for personal protective and medical care equipment, pushing worldwide demand up 46 percent in 2020, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reported. Working and schooling at home sent demand soaring 30 percent for computers and telecom gear. People avoiding public transport bought bicycles. Families bunkered in their houses splurged on entertainment, new appliances, and remodeling projects.
TRENDPOST: Government bailouts and rescue programs ensured there would be money to spend.
That spending, however, was geographically lopsided and concentrated market share in many industries in Asia, where economies reopened sooner than elsewhere in the world.
China claimed 10 percent of the gain in export trade in 2020, U.N. figures show, while Taiwan and Vietnam gained even larger shares. As we have forecast, those gains will continue to accelerate. The 20th century was the American century, the 21st will be the Chinese century… and those in China’s sphere will also reap the profits. 

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