Trade, for any economy this is an imperative aspect. In the History the title of biggest exporter in the world has been held by many nations. In ancient times when economies were based on agriculture, many Asian countries held this position. Then in the 19th century, Britain was known as the workshop of the world, and ruled a global empire based on trade. But by the 21st century, many things have changed. And today the picture is very different.
China is on top of the list.
China has been world’s largest exporter of goods since 2009. The country’s total exports in 2019 were $2.64 trillion. These numbers are the result of rapid economic growth in the past few decades. You see, after the communist revolution in China, they adopted isolationist policies for many years. But in the late 70s China began to open its economy to the world. and started its journey on the capitalist road. In this journey their Special economic zones played a major role in the country’s economic boom, and also the growth of exports. Between 1983 to 2013, China averaged annual economic growth of about 10% per year. China pursued an export-led growth strategy during this period. Today the goods exported from China are, consumer electronics, automobile parts, clothing, other textiles, and medical equipment. Their major export markets are US, Japan, South Korea, and EU.
Despite the United States being the largest economy in the world, it is the second largest exporter. In 2019 the US exported 1.6 trillion dollar of goods which is nearly 7% of their GDP. These exports are a result of the US having good amount of natural resources, excellent infrastructure, and a productive workforce. The country has one of the largest industrial sectors. But, the cost of living is higher in the United States than China, and many other Asian countries. Many goods cannot be produced in the United States because of the high manufacturing cost. This is one of the reasons why the US lags behind China when it comes to the exports. But still the US is one of the largest exporters of refined petroleum, Commercial aircraft, Industrial machines, Semiconductors and pharmaceuticals. Major trading partners of the US include Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, and European nations.
Third on the list is Germany.
Germany is the 4th largest economy. In 2016, the goods exported from there had a value of around $1.5 trillion. In macroeconomic terms, Germany’s total exported goods represent 34% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2019. Like China and the United States, Germany also has one of the biggest industrial sectors. The most commonly exported goods from Germany include automobiles, machinery, chemicals, electronics, electrical equipment. As you must knowing, German technology is considered as one of the best in the world. This makes their companies more valuable than the competitors.
Today Germany is one of the leading countries in AI technology. And in future it could help them to reduce their manufacturing cost drastically. This would give Germany a big competitive advantage. US, France, China, Netherlands, and UK are some of the major markets German products.
After Germany, comes Netherlands. Netherlands total exports accounts around $710 billion. This is quite low if you compare it to the first three countries in this list.
Netherlands is blessed with a good amount of natural resources. Because of that, a significant amount of Dutch exports are dependent on refined petroleum products and natural gas. Also, this country is one of the largest exporters of food and agricultural products. And the reason for that is a good technological expertise in the area of Agro foods. Only the United States tops the Netherlands in terms of food exports. These exports make up 11% of Dutch exports, and a whopping one quarter of all those in Europe.
Germany, France, UK, US, and Italy are the main importers of the Dutch exports.
Japan, with an export of nearly 700 billion dollars. Exports of high technology products have been the engine of Japan’s economic growth since 1960. The major exports of Japan include automobiles, vehicle parts, integrated circuits, and Electrical equipment. Out of these automobile industry takes a big share which is 21% of total export. Japan is the world’s third largest manufacturer of automobiles Like Germany, several Fortune Global 500 companies are headquartered in Japan. Also Japan’s advancement in AI technology is also significant which could be a major asset in the future. The Key markets of Japanese exports are China, US, Taiwan, and some of the Asean countries.
1:35 United States
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