World Trade Organization director-general said trade will be vital for fostering an economic recovery once the medical emergency subsides.
"No country is self-sufficient, no matter how powerful or advanced it may be," director-general Roberto Azevédo said. "Trade allows for the efficient production and supply of basic goods and services, medical supplies and equipment, food and energy ... Keeping trade and investment flowing will be critical to keep shelves plentiful and prices affordable."
WTO economists are analyzing the fallout from the crisis and will report their findings and projections for trade in 2020 and 2021. The economists are reporting "a very sharp decline in trade."
"Once the medical crisis begins to recede, trade will allow countries to help each other grow, bringing faster and stronger economic recovery for all of us," Azevédo said. "The WTO will do its part."
The WTO has set up a dedicated webpage to help governments, business, the media and the public track the latest trade-related COVID-19 news.