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International Trade: World’s Top 10 Export Nations
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International Trade: World’s Top 10 Export Nations

Exports have a crucial role in the economy of every country. Exports boost a country's foreign exchange reserves and liquidity while generating jobs, higher earnings, and higher living standards for its citizens. Exports give producers access to a global marketplace, greatly expanding their potential customer base. The overall goal of governments is to increase exports relative to imports. Let's take a look at the world's top 10 export nations. 


Aside from the European Union, China is the world's largest exporter. Due to strong trade with Southeast Asian nations, in 2021, China exported products and services worth an estimated USD 3.36 trillion, mostly electronic gear and equipment such as broadcast equipment, computers, integrated circuits, office machine parts, and telephones. China contributed roughly 10.78% of world exports in 2018 to the total.

United States

With estimated exports of $1.75 trillion for 2021, the United States will rank as the second-largest exporter in the world. The United States exports the most integrated circuits, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and aircraft, including planes, spaceships, and helicopters, as well as their spare parts. It also exports the crudest and most refined petroleum. Many products can't be created, assembled, or manufactured in the United States for a price that's competitive with China's. The labor cost contributes to the United States' export deficit with China.


Germany is the third-largest exporter in the world, with an anticipated $1.63 trillion worth of products and services shipped in 2021. Germany exports automobiles (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen), medicines (Bayer), aviation, machinery, electronics, and chemicals. Germany is one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world. Behind only China and the United States, Germany is one of three nations with exports that exceed $1 trillion.


In 2021, the Netherlands exported a total of $835 billion, making it the number 4 exporter worldwide. The biggest exports from the Netherlands by dollar value are refined petroleum oils, machinery for making semiconductors, phone devices including smartphones, medication mixes in dosage, agricultural products, and electro-medical equipment such as Xrays machinery.

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Japan's exports for 2021 were valued at an estimated $756 billion. Automobiles (including models from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Suzuki, and others) and automotive components, as well as integrated circuits and electronic gadgets, are among Japan's top exports (Nintendo, Panasonic, Sony, and many more). China, the US, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are the top export destinations for Japan.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom was the fifth-largest exporter in the world in 2021, sending out an estimated $770.5 billion worth of products and services to clients abroad. The biggest exports from the United Kingdom are automobiles (including Bentley, Jaguar, Mini, Rolls-Royce, and more), gas turbines, gold, pharmaceuticals, hard liquor, antiques, and crude oil (which is often first imported from Norway, then exported to the rest of Europe, as well as China and South Korea).

Hong Kong

Hong Kong will be the world's 6th largest exporter in 2021, the same as in 2020. Overall, Hong Kong earned $669 billion in exports in 2021, supplying countries around the world with textiles, clothing, electrical machinery and appliances, office machinery, photographic apparatus, and various other manufactured items.

South Korea

With revenues of $644 billion from exports in 2021, South Korea became the seventh largest exporter. The country exports mainly electrical and electronic equipment, machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers, vehicles other than railways, tramways, plastics, mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, and optical, photo, technical, and medical apparatus.


In 2021, Italy exported a total of $610 billion, making it the number 8 exporter in the world. Among the top exports of Italy is precision machinery, which represents 18% of total exports; metals and metal products, worth 13%, but also clothing and footwear; motor vehicles, including luxury vehicles, motorcycles, and scooters.


France ranks 9th in the top with exports of $488.4 billion of products and services. France exports aircraft, vehicles, pharmaceutical products, food products (wine), hydrocarbons, and electronic components. The country imports many consumer goods, vehicles, hydrocarbons, and pharmaceutical products.

Honorable Mention: Canada

In 2021, Canada exported goods and services worth about 503.84 billion dollars. Canada's top three exported goods are energy products, motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, and consumer goods. These three categories made up almost half of all exports.

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