Import and export worldwide
Import and export are generally important pillars of a country’s economy. The trade balance of a country shows the relationship between the values of a country’s imports and exports. If the balance is positive, i.e. if the value of exports is higher than that of imports, it is called a trade surplus. If it is negative and import values exceed export values, it represents a trade deficit.
Worldwide trade is regulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO). It provides a framework for trade agreements and helps in resolving disputes. Since its foundation in 1995, more than 150 countries have become members of the WTO and obligate themselves to follow its regulations.
The worldwide export volume in trade since 1950 has tripled, and a similar development can be observed in the worldwide import trade volume since 1950. Europe is leading the ranking regarding the value of worldwide export volume of trade by region, but the value of goods exported by Asia is almost up to par. Both continents are also the top destination regions of inter-regional trade worldwide.
The United States, China and Germany are the leading import countries worldwide, and also the leading export countries worldwide, albeit in a different order. The top traded goods and commodities are oil and fuel, electronic equipment and machinery. The volume of commodities traded worldwide has increased dramatically over the past few years.