World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy said on Wednesday that Asian economies may be leading a new expansion in world trade.

Our figures showed that Asian countries may be leading a recovery in global trade, Lamy told a news conference, after a two-day Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade meeting in Singapore.

In June, Lamy told Reuters the WTO had revised its forecast for a contraction in world trade volume this year from 9 percent to 10 percent, a figure confirmed in an accompanying press release, which however said the contraction appeared to be slowing.

World exports of merchandise goods grew 15 percent in nominal terms in 2008 to $15.78 trillion, the WTO said in its latest World Trade Report on Wednesday, but it gave no forecast for trade this year.

(Reporting by Kazunori Takada, Kevin Yao and Harry Suhartono; Editing by Neil Chatterjee)