Countertrade is a reciprocal form of international trade in which goods or services are exchanged for other goods or services rather than for hard currency. This type of international trade is more common in lesser-developed countries with limited foreign exchange or credit facilities. Countertrade can be classified into three broad categories: barter, counterpurchase, and offset.
In any form, countertrade provides a mechanism for countries with limited access to liquid funds to exchange goods and services with other nations. Countertrade is part of an overall import and export strategy that ensures a country with limited domestic resources has access to needed items and raw materials. Additionally, it provides the exporting nation with an opportunity to offer goods and services in a larger international market, promoting growth within its industries.