By Conor White
National responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused global social and economic disruption with authorities worldwide implementing travel restrictions, lockdowns, workplace hazard controls, and facility closures. Although many international borders closed over the course of 2020, most nations allowed for them to remain open for essential needs only with most governments deeming the continuation of international trade as essential. The economies and markets of today are truly interlinked at a global level and in a global market with mostly free trade, it’s common to see economies that are specialized, each producing specific goods based on the competitive advantages, incentives, and resources they have available.
This map by VoucherCloud helps us to get a sense of the specialization of economies by looking at the top export of every country in the world. It gives us an idea of what certain nations’ expertises are in terms of their biggest exports. European countries’ biggest exports tend to be in the transportation industry, specializing in cars and other vehicle parts. The top export in fifty-three countries, including the United States and Canada is fuel. Metal, minerals and organic exports come in second with a total of fifty countries on the list. Some surprising analyses show that Nepal’s biggest export is flavored water, Israel’s top export is diamonds, Jordan’s is fertilizers, while Lebanon specializes in jewelry.
It is clear that a majority of exports are derived from natural resources. As well as fuel, metals, minerals, and organics being highly tradeable, food and produce, including commodities such as sugar, coffee, fish and soybeans are considered among the top exports globally. It shows a significant divide between the richest and poorest nations around the world. Most of Western Europe deals in manufactured products across the transportation category, while the world’s poorer nations are naturally reliant on natural resources such as fuels, metals, minerals, organics and occasionally food and produce.
Click here to view the map in high resolution.