Costs and benefits of trade

The point is that the ben­e­fits of eco­nom­ic inte­gra­tion over time far out­weigh the costs. Sin­ga­pore might be head­ed for minus 5 per­cent growth this year due to the very high share of exports (of trade ser­vices among oth­er things) in its nation­al accounts. But, like the rest of Asia, it has enjoyed dou­ble-dig­it year-on-year export growth for much of the last decade. Whose future is more bank­able in a reces­sion? Economies with a high trade-to-GDP ratio or iso­lat­ed, ‘bas­ket-case’ economies (like North Korea or Laos or Moldo­va)?

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