History’s first global trade route may have been the original Silk Road which was actually a network of routes that connected China to Rome. It lasted from 130 BC to  1453 AD and stretched around 6,437km (4,000 miles) across some of the world’s most inhospitable deserts and mountains. 

Global trade makes the world economy more efficient. It allows goods, and services to be transported to where they are needed and increases productivity.

Global trade can be affected by many factors. Natural disasters, unpredictable exchange rates, political instability, and protectionism can all cause global trade to slow down.

On the positive side, trading services, digital goods, and e-commerce are growing and more regional trade agreements are being signed or negotiated. On the downside, trade sanctions and protectionist policies are increasing.

According to the United Nations inflation, along with higher energy prices, rising interest rates, and the war in Ukraine may lead to a slowdown in global trade in 2023.