Types of Foreign Trade

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Types of Foreign Trade

Posted By Jeson Clarke     November 29, 2021    


Many economies rely on foreign trade to keep their economy running smoothly. It’s difficult for any nation to produce their own goods and services entirely on their own, so foreign trade will remain extremely relevant for the foreseeable future. But, foreign trade isn’t just a catch-all category. There are actually different types of foreign trade. Read on to learn more.

Defining Foreign Trade

First, let’s give a general definition of foreign trade before delving into the different types. Foreign trade occurs any time goods or services are exchanged across national borders. Foreign trade is beneficial for many countries because they’re able to produce goods and services at a cheaper price or at a higher quality, making their goods and services a demand for other countries. Now, let’s take a look at the different types of foreign trade:


First, you have importing. Importing is when a country purchases goods or services from another country. China, for instance, claims computers as one of its biggest exports. Therefore, many countries import their computers from China.


For exports, you have the reverse of importing. This is when you sell the goods or services you’ve produced domestically in another country. Ford makes their automobiles in domestic factories, so they export their vehicles when they sell them internationally.


Re-exports are when a country imports a good from another country and then exports that good to a different country. For instance, a company based in the US may import Japanese denim to make jeans and then they may re-export it to other countries who are interested in buying them.

Overall, foreign trade is a very important pillar of the global economy. It generates opportunities for countries that might not have them otherwise and it helps to facilitate economic development of the world overall.

Finding Foreign Trade Statistics

If you’re interested in learning more about foreign trade statistics, there are databases that allow you to search import and export data for many countries. With the ability to lookup these foreign trade statistics yourself, you can more easily identify new trade opportunities. The right platform can help you find new suppliers, connect with new customers, and check out what’s going on with competitor supply chains.

Read a similar article about Costa Rica export statistics here at this page.