The Middle East, Asia To Have Highest Annual Export Growth in 2024: World Trade Organisation


The Middle East and Asia are slated to see the fastest annual growth in merchandise exports in 2024, in line with the positive trend in the macroeconomic growth prospects in the regions, according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

In its most recent Global Trade Outlook and Statistics report, the WTO said the Middle East region is expected to see 4.7% growth in 2024 compared to 0.9% in 2023. This year’s growth is substantially lower than 9.9% estimated in 2022.

The Middle East is expected to witness a 3.1% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2024 compared to 2.9% in 2023, higher than the world average of 2.6% and 2.4% respectively during these periods.
Asia regional merchandise exports are expected to grow 4.7% in 2024 against 2.5% in 2023.

North America would see a growth of 3.1% in 2024 compared to 3.3% the previous year, with Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) at 2.2%, the European Union at 2%, Africa at 1.4% and South America with 0.6%.

In terms of exports of digitally delivered services, WTO said Central and South America and the Caribbean as well as the Middle East saw an acceleration in growth in 2022, even as Europe accounts for more than half of global exports of such services.

According to the WTO estimates, global exports of digitally delivered services recorded an almost fourfold increase in value since 2005, rising 8.1% on average per year in 2005-2022, outpacing goods (5.6%) and other services exports (4.2%).

Africa is slated to see fastest growth in imports at 5.5% in 2024 compared to 5.6% anticipated this year, followed by Asia with 5.2%, South America with 2.3%, the European Union at 1.8%, North America at 1.4% and Russia and the CIS with 0.8%.

The report highlighted that high prices for wheat and other grains were keenly felt in the Middle Eastern and African countries that relied heavily on imports from Ukraine and Russia before the conflict.

In general terms, the Middle East and Asia are where growth can be expected, with some recovery in Russia and the CIS, with economies in Africa and South America also picking up and purchasing more imports. The West – United States and European Union – remains in minor growth territory.

Dezan Shira & Associates maintain an office in Dubai and have multiple offices throughout Asia, assisting foreign investors into these markets. For more about our services and how we can help your business in the region please contact

Related Reading


About Us

Middle East Briefing is one of five regional publications under the Asia Briefing brand. It is supported by Dezan Shira & Associates, a pan-Asia, multi-disciplinary professional services firm that assists foreign investors throughout Asia, including through offices in Dubai (UAE), China, India, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Italy, Germany, and USA. We also have partner firms in Malaysia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia.

For support with establishing a business in the Middle East, or for assistance in analyzing and entering markets elsewhere in Asia, please contact us at or visit us at To subscribe for content products from the Middle East Briefing, please click here.

Related reading
Back to top