If rapid growth in the global economic importance of some emerging economies continues to be strongest in natural resource-poor Asian economies, so too will be the growth in that region’s demand for imports of primary products, to the on-going benefit of natural resource-rich countries. This paper projects global trade patterns over the next two decades in the course of economic development and structural changes. The GTAP model and Version 8 of the GTAP database are used, together with supplementary data and growth forecasts from a range of sources. The baseline projection from 2007 to 2030 assumes trade-related policies do not change in each region but that agricultural land, extractable mineral resources, population, skilled and unskilled labour, capital and real GDP grow at exogenously-inserted rates. That core projection of the world economy is compared with a number of alternative scenarios. Implications for South American versus other natural resource-abundant economies are highlighted.