International trade is an exceptionally important driving factor for corporate and economic growth. Following a two year decline in international trade figures, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) finally reported growth in the second quarter of 2016. Members of G20, an exclusive group of 19 countries and the European Union, showed an increase in combined exports and imports after a run of declines. The majority of G20 countries' export economies rose by at least 1.5% in the second quarter of 2016. Unfortunately, a few major countries such as Argentina, Canada, and China failed to experience export growth.
G20 plays a major role in the world economy and international trade. The international forum represents a combined 84% of the world economy, 79% of world trade, and 65% of the world's population. Every year, leaders of G20 meet to discuss policies and methodologies focused on improving economies across the globe. The 2016 G20 Summit held in Hangzhou, China consisted of a two-day meeting during which powerful leaders addressed a key theme of maintaining the momentum of global economic recovery. In addition to this key theme, the members of G20 urged major economies to strive for innovative growth, as well as pursuing economic growth via fiscal and monetary policies.
Following eight consecutive quarterly declines, combined imports rose by 2.0% in the second quarter of 2016. The majority of G20 countries' economies experienced growth in imports, with the exception of Argentina, France, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Russia. Russia, experiencing an import decline of 5.0%, was the worst performer of the G20 countries.
The World Trade Organization is anticipating an annual global trade growth of 2.8% for 2016. Although the increase in international trade presents a positive outlook of growth in the global economy, the numbers still remain significantly lower than the trade numbers between 2011 and 2014. Two main goals for the future in the G20 summit are the reduction of trade barriers and the revitalization of free trade.