A GLOOMY report from the World Trade Organisation has concluded that the growth in global commerce has fallen steeply and is now expected to reach just two per cent, compared with much healthier estimates at the start of the year and a 12 per cent boom in the year 2000.

The WTO's International Trade Statistics 2001 warns: "Even this growth is not assured given the present great uncertainties about economic and trade developments."

It highlights North America as the area with the most problems, where trade growth is expected to ...

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