Wei Luo 1,+,*, Lingfeng He 2,+, Zihui Yang 1, Shirui Zhang, Yong Wang 3, Dianbo Liu 4, Sheng Hu 5,1, Li He 2, Jizhe Xia 6, Min Chen 7

1 GeoSpatialX Lab, Geography Department, National University of Singapore, Singapore
2 Institute for Empirical Social Science Research, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China
3 School of Computing and Information Systems, Singapore Management University, Singapore
4 Mila-Quebec AI institute, QC, Canada
5 School of Geography and Information Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China
6 Guangdong Key Laboratory of Urban Informatics, and Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Spatial Smart Sensing and Service, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China
7 Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment (Ministry of Education of PRC), Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China
+ These authors contributed equally
* Corresponding Author

Abstrat: The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have created immeasurable health and economic crises, leading to unprecedented disruptions to world trade and supply chains. The COVID-19 pandemic shows diverse impacts on different economies and markets that suffer and recover at different rates and degrees. This research aims to evaluate the spatio-temporal heterogeneity of strengths and vulnerabilities of international trade networks in the current crisis to understand the global production resilience and prepare for the future crisis. We applied a series of complex network analysis approaches to the monthly international trade networks at the world scale, regional scale, and country scale for the pre- and post- COVID-19 outbreak period from 2018 to 2021. The spatio-temporal patterns indicate that countries and regions with an effective COVID-19 containment such as East Asia show the strongest resilience, especially mainland China, followed by high-income countries (e.g., European Union), whereas low-income countries (e.g., Africa) show high vulnerability. The overall findings elicit the hidden global trading disruption, recovery, and growth due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; International Trade Network; Resilience; Vulnerability

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