The pattern of world trade

Trade is the exchange of goods and services between countries.

Goods bought into a country are called imports, and those sold to another country are called exports.

Developed countries have a greater share of global trade than developing countries.

Usually developed countries export valuable manufactured goods such as electronics and cars and import cheaper primary products such as tea and coffee. Trading blocks, such as the European Union, dominate world exports.

The greatest volume of trade occurs between the developed, rich countries, especially between industrial leaders such as Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The diagram below emphasises the dominance developed countries still have in terms of exports. However, there is evidence that the developed countries' share is decreasing.

Regional shares in world merchandise exports