International Trade - The State of World Trade


Every nation in the world participates in international trade to some extent. And practically every product is either traded or relies on components from international suppliers. Trade is not just about physical goods, though. Knowledge and experience can be bought and sold internationally as well. So too can the many services we rely on each day. The world’s richest countries still dominate international trade, but their position is being challenged by emerging economies in what is still referred to as the “developing world”.

© Claude Beaubien -

Chapter 3 reviews some of the major characteristics of international trade today. It describes the value of what is traded and the relative importance of the different products that are bought and sold internationally. It looks at the importance of trade among the different regions of the world, and how this is changing.


Trade to GDP Ratios

Difference between 2006 and 1993 ratios in percentage points

Source: OECD Factbook 2008. StatLink:


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