The ratio of trade to GDP for the world as a whole – a commonly-used measure of the openness of economies – has increased from 39% in 1990 to 59% in 2011. The total value of global trade today exceeds US$ 20 trillion.


The explosion in global trade that has occurred in the last two decades is in part a reflection of the innovations in logistics and supply chain as well as changes in policies in countries around the world that have led to a reduction in the costs of shipping goods and services across borders.