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 changed. So, let’s see which are the biggest exporting countries today.
China is on top of this list. China has been world’s largest exporter of goods since 2009. In 2019, the country’s total exports were of $2.64 trillion dollars. 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 their economy to the world and started their 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 1983-2013, China averaged annual economic growth of about 10% per year.
They pursued an export-led growth strategy during this period. Today the most prominent 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 European Union.
Despite the United States being the world’s largest economy, it is the second largest exporter of goods. In 2019, the US exported $1.6 trillion dollars worth 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 US 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 they are one of the largest exporters of refined petroleum, commercial aircraft, industrial machines, semiconductors, and pharmaceuticals.
Major trading partner of the US include Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, and some of the European nations.
Germany is the fourth largest economy. In 2016, the goods exported from there had a value of around $1.5 trillion dollars.
In macroeconomic terms, Germany’s total exported goods in 2019 were equal to 34% of their overall GDP that year. 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, and electrical equipment. As you know, German technology is considered one of the best in the world.
This makes their companies more valuable than the competitors and these companies play a key role in their exports. Yet, it isn’t just the large firms, small and medium sized manufacturing firms are also making major contributions in the country’s exports.
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 of German products.
Netherlands total exports account around $710 billion dollars. From down here, the numbers are quite low if you compare to the first three countries in this list.
Netherlands is blessed with a good amount of resources. Because of this, a significant amount of Dutch exports are dependent on refined petroleum products and natural gas.
Also, this country is one of the largest exporter of food and agricultural products. The reason for that is, a good technological expertise in the area of agrofoods. Only the United States tops the Netherlands in terms of food exports.
This make up 11% of Dutch exports and a whopping one-quarter of all those in Europe. Also, Netherlands exports many transport equipment and machinery.
Germany, France, UK, US, and Italy are the main importers of the Dutch exports.
Next is 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 the country 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 and this could be a major asset in the future.
The key markets of Japanese exports are China, US, Taiwan and some of the ASEAN countries.
So, if you produced better and more, you will surely export more. But to do so, first you need to ramp up your capabilities and yes many countries are doing it in order to grab investments.
This means in the future we can expect to see different countries up there just like how history has shown us.