Economic Themes (2014) 52 (1) 2, 13-32


Slobodan Čerović, Marina Pepić, Pero Petrović, Stanislav Čerović

Abstract: Modern economic and financial crisis has caused a significant reduction in trade flows, for the first time since the Second World War, so it is often referred to as the trade crisis. Despite many benefits and disadvantages of liberalization as key features of modern age, the current crisis has led to a reassessment of these positions affecting the introduction of protectionist measures and the strengthening of regional ties and alliances. The question that arises is how the future trade flows will look like and whether regional integration will prevail over multilateral and liberalized trading system. The financial crisis quickly became the economic crisis that hit all sectors. The first visible effects of the crisis were reflected in a sharp fall in trade flows, and conditioned drop in demand, which led to a fall in production and employment. The first reactions of numerous countries were protectionist measures in order to protect national interests. This again aroused debate between proponents of liberalism and protectionism, where the effects and the origins of the crisis favored the latter. Economic decision makers, faced with the pressing economic problems, tried to mitigate them (at least in the short-term) turning more to regional partners, and less to the world market.

Keywords:  financial crisis; trends in trade; globalization; regionalization; WTO.

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