Who imports the most from whom? The map above shows the flag of the country that is the largest source of imports for each other country. For example, the United States imports more good from China than any other.
China is also the biggest source of imports from countries as diverse as Russia, Australia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Madagascar, Sudan and North & South Korea among others.
So what country does China import the most from?
Well somewhat surprisingly it’s not the United States but Japan. Overall, 10% of China’s imports come from Japan, followed by South Korea (9.3%) and in third place the United States (8.0%) according to MIT.
And while the United States may not be the biggest source of imports for any east Asian nation besides the Philippines, it dominates North America, being the biggest source of imports for both Canada and Mexico. It also, plays a key role in the Caribbean, South and Central America, where it’s the biggest source of imports for every country except Cuba (not surprising or for much longer), Haiti, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, French Guiana and most surprisingly Panama.
Two other regional economic powers are worth mentioning. The first is Germany which is the biggest source of imports to the vast majority of European countries. The second is South Africa which is the biggest source to most countries located in the southern portion of Africa.
At first glace, it might not seem as though India, despite being the second most populous nation on earth and the world’s 3rd biggest economy, is having much of an impact. However, a closer look shows that’s it the largest source of imports for Nepal, Bhutan, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Eritrea and the United Arab Emirates.
A few other random observations:
- Haiti’s biggest source of imports is the Dominican Republic.
- Central African Republic gets more goods from far away South Korea than anyone else.
- Ireland is the only country where the UK is the number one source of imports.
- Germany-Netherlands and Japan-China are the only two pairs on the map.
- Greenland is marked as getting most of imports from Denmark being an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.
Finally, the map treats each EU country separately. However, if the EU were treated as a single economic bloc, you’d end up with the following map:
Puts a very different spin on the first map and shows how important the EU is as both an economic power in it’s own right, as well as an important source of imports for many countries around the world.
To learn more about global trade and world supply chains have a look at the following courses:
- The Geography of Globalization
- Capitalism in Crisis: The global economic crisis explained
- Supply Chain Management – Fundamentals, Design, Operations
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