10 Countries That Are the World’s Biggest Exporters

The global economy has countless intricacies allowing it to continue ticking away in the background and laying down the foundations of booming economic growth. An export is simply goods or a service that a country sells to another country. 

In some circumstances, countries will purchase from one country to facilitate the transaction with another. One key example is the United Kingdom purchasing oil from Norway to sell to the rest of Europe. However, this example registers an export sale for Norway and an export sale for the United Kingdom as long as both countries profit.

Today, we will look at the most prominent global exporters and some of the products that generate the most profit for these vast and prosperous nations. A country with sizeable exports and one that operates in a surplus often highlights the strength of its economy and the fact that it could be self-reliant if required.

A country with solid exports not only stimulates its economy through business growth but also helps maintain a strong currency as exports are purchased by other countries. This indicates that the economy is resilient and produces jobs.

10. South Korea

As one of Asia’s most extensive and varied economies, South Korea is one of the most prominent exporters of goods and services in the world. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, South Korea experienced deflation due to the colossal impact of the lockdown on the supply chain of many sectors. It may sound like a positive thing, but deflation is far from good. 

What is deflation? Simply put, it is the opposite of inflation and can cause business and consumer confidence to decrease. Even though South Korea recovered and later experienced inflation, it was a difficult time for their economy. This is because their main exports include nuclear reactors and electrical equipment.

9. Malaysia

Another titan of exports in Asia is also a country specializing in electronic exports. This sector is estimated to make up nearly a third of all exports, and Malaysia’s total amount is somewhere in the region of $250bn per annum. However, it also has emerging financial sectors that generate income for its residents. 

In addition, Malaysia recently posted impressive growth figures, which shows how resistant it is to more significant and negative economic global sentiment.

8. Hong Kong

As one of the financial hubs of Asia, Hong Kong is a massive exporter of services, especially financial services. Recent studies show that they export billions of dollars worth of gold annually. In addition, other booming industries include electrical machinery and textiles.

7. France

The first European country to feature on today’s list, France has various economic exports. French citizen Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH and the world’s richest man, specializes in luxury goods. However, France’s main exports are pharmaceutical products, vehicles, aircraft, and machinery, which are all multibillion-dollar industries. 

Given where France is positioned in Europe, it can act as a middle market for products from the United Kingdom and United States being moved into landlocked regions of Europe. Of course, this also works the other way to its advantage when it comes to exports.

6. Italy

Another global trading hub in Europe, Italy is one of the leading exporters of items that include leather, gas, minerals and machinery. However, luxury brands and fashion a,lso make up a sizeable amount of Italy’s exports, with the country renowned for its stylish and luxurious fashion brands.

5. Japan

The scale of Japan’s economy is vast. Tokyo is the world’s most populated city, with a total of 37 million residents across the city and the greater city region. Japan hosts gigantic industries in car manufacturing, such as Toyota and Nissan, and electronic giants, like Nintendo and Sony.

4. The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country that punches above its weight when it comes to exports and economic performance. Despite having a population of less than a third of the United Kingdom, the annual exports in 2021 were believed to be in the region of $830bn. 

With some of the world’s most significant and most efficient dock areas, the Netherlands acts as a focal point for other countries in Europe looking to bring in goods. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are two of the four most extensive dockland areas in Europe. In addition, the country is ideally suited to act as a distribution center for enormous global industries.

The Netherlands exports billions of dollars worth of poultry products and is also one of Europe’s leading exporters of agricultural products.

3. Germany

As Europe’s most populated country, other than Russia, Germany is one of the biggest exporters in the world. Moreover, it is the leading exporter of goods and services within the Eurozone. Germany’s exports are estimated to be in the region of $1.6tn per year. 

German manufacturing is renowned worldwide, reflected in their copious manufacturing exports. Some of their top car brands include Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, and BMW.

This is only one of many industries in which Germany leads the way, though. It is the first of only three countries on our list with exports exceeding $1tn. Given its size compared to the world’s top two economies, the figures it continues to post are mightily impressive. Moreover, as one of the leading technology centers in the world, Germany is the top-performing economy in Europe. 

It also hosts an emerging finance hub in Frankfurt that is beginning to export financial services following a mass exodus from the United Kingdom due to the disastrous Brexit vote.

2. United States of America

Due to the vast amount of land the USA covers, the variety of its export market is astonishing. Its main exports are through natural resources such as oil, with rich reserves in many southern states. Texas is one of the biggest American states by land area and is an oil-rich state that generates enormous revenue and exports all over the world.

The pharmaceutical industry in America is also the biggest in the world. Many of these companies have a turnover exceeding hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Whether it is the mass production of medicine and vaccines or drug research, it is another vast sector where America is one of the global leaders. Other huge industries include plastics and precious metals.

1. China

China has been the world’s workshop for nearly 20 years, regularly posting GDP growth figures above 10%. China has the capacity, workforce and legislation to produce phenomenal quantities of, goods and services that are exported worldwide.

Last year, China was by far the biggest exporter of goods. Many analysts put this figure in the trillions of dollars. Average estimates are around the $3tn mark. China’s exports comprise over 10% of the global export market. 

With huge industries in production, electronics, mobile phones, construction, steel, clothing, computers, and batteries, China will be at the top of this list for at least the next few years. Now that their economy is beginning to open up again, the sectors that generate these phenomenal profits are starting to export their services and products again. 

China also benefits from low production costs and a substantial land area, while some of its key ports can easily export goods to far-flung corners of the world.