Beating the blues of recession, Asian economies are on the verge of leading a global trade recovery, World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy said.
"Asia may be starting to see a rebound in trade from extremely low figures. Asian economies may be leading a new expansion in world trade," Lamy told on Wednesday at a conference of trade ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
Urging the Asian economies to make sure that their domestic policy measures support this rebound, WTO said in a release that it has revised further downward its forecast for world trade this year, projecting it to shrink by 10 per cent rather than 9 per cent.
In the WTO's latest annual World Trade Report 2009 launched on the sidelines of the two-day APEC ministerial meeting, Lamy warned countries against resorting to protectionist measures in their bid to overcome economic difficulties amid the current global crisis.
There is a need to remain vigilant as there are "significant risks" of governments taking defensive contingency measures such as safeguards, anti-dumping and countervailing measures, he wrote in a foreword to the report.
"A seemingly attractive short-term solution of keeping production and consumption at home soon becomes a millstone around a nation's neck, the more so when trading partners retaliate in kind," he wrote.