Global GDP growth slowed to 2.8 per cent in 2019 from 3.5 per cent in 2018 (FIGURE 1.1). Trade also slowed in 2019, weighed down by the lower economic growth and by trade tensions. The value of global merchandise trade fell by 3 per cent to $18.9 trillion. By contrast, global commercial services trade rose 2 per cent to $6.0 trillion, though the pace of growth was slower than in 2018 (WTO, 2020). GDP growth in Asia1 stabilized at almost 6 per cent a year during 2015–2018 and slowed to 5.5 per cent in 2019. Lower growth in Asia was attributable to a decline in fixed investments and exports (IMF, 2019).