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Capital Focus

How Global Trade, China, ETFs, and Derivatives Exploded Over 30 Years

Charts demonstrate the enormous transformations in the financial landscape.

The Yangshan Deepwater Port in Shanghai.

The Yangshan Deepwater Port in Shanghai.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

As coronavirus deaths climb, a war rages in Ukraine, and stock markets tumble, investors may find it helpful to take a longer-term view. In the three decades since we published our first issue of Bloomberg Markets, globalization and digital technologies have reshaped finance and the world economy. The following pages provide data showing the evolution of trade, economic growth, financial products, investing, and wealth. The big trends in finance have survived other military conflicts (the Iraq War) and financial crashes (in 2000 and 2008).

World Trade Changes the Map
Asian and Latin American countries were among the biggest winners from three decades of globalization, as comparatively low labor costs turbocharged their exports. Japan lagged behind the US and Germany in export growth, and Russia’s position stagnated following the collapse of the Soviet Union.