Trade

What is trade?

Buying and selling things is called trade. Trade is an important way for countries to make money and has been happening across the world for hundreds of years. Today, goods are carried around the world in container ships from port to port and by aeroplane.

Container ships are used to transport trade goods all around the world.
Container ships are used to transport trade goods all around the world.

Export and import

People in the UK can sell things they make when people in other countries want them. This might be because they can’t make them themselves or because they are cheaper or better quality. Sending goods like this to other countries is called export.

There are also things, such as bananas or oranges, that are hard to grow in the UK and we have to buy these things from abroad. This is called import.

Sometimes countries need experts from abroad such as engineers, scientists or teachers. These experts can sell their services to people around the world and this is called a service industry. The service industry is the UK's main industry today and we import more goods than we export.

Where next?

Economic activity
Time zones
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