A country today is known internationally for what it imports and exports. That’s right in the modern world every country is a trading partner in the world fraternity and its level of development and economic growth can be gauged from the import-export data it dishes out every quarter. Many economists are of the view that a country’s import-export data can be used to predict its future course and indeed help discern the pattern of its growth trajectory.

Indeed International trade has had a great impact on the world politics and economy from ancient times but in the second half of the 20th century, its impact has been astonishing. Not only it became the crucial factor in the international relations but it also helped the growth of many countries.

since the Second World War international trade started growing rapidly, and in the last decade’s trade expansion has been faster than ever before. Today, the sum of exports and imports across nations is higher than 50% of global production. At the turn of the 19th century, this figure was below 10%.

If we analyze import-export data on historical trade patterns around the world, and then move on to discuss more recent data, we can have a clear insight into the direction the world is moving. The empirical evidence reveals how the world has come to be divided into trading blocs.

The developing countries which are often net importers of technology, goods etc. and who manage to export only raw minerals and agriculture produce. While on the other hand, the developed countries who have a favorable balance of payment are net exporters of goods and services and provider of technology and heavy machinery to the developing worlds. This indeed is a win-win situation for both as the movement of goods and services enables better life and livelihood in the trading countries. Interestingly, trade among developing nations more than tripled in the period 1980–2011 signaling a new era of world trade where developing countries are coming closer for mutual benefit.

Free international trade is often seen as desirable because it allows countries to specialize, in order to produce goods that they are relatively efficient at producing while importing other goods.

The exchange allows countries to “do what they do best, and import the rest”.

**India Export Import Data; Post 2004 as per notification no 128/2004 does not have names of Indian   companies.

**India Export Import Data is available from Jan-2010 to 26th November-2016.