World’s Top Export Services

Global services (courtesy of Pixabay.com)

Global services (Pixabay)

Export services are an increasingly essential engine for international trade.

Export services generated US$5.302 trillion in global sales during 2017. That dollar amount reflects a 9.9% increase from the $4.826 trillion worth of exported products for 2013, and a 7.1% improvement from 2016 to 2017.

The global total for exported services compares with $17.546 trillion in overall exported products in 2017, and is also a -7% retreat from 2013 but a 10.5% advance since 2016.

Nurtured by ubiquitous internet communications delivered by lightning-fast fiberoptics networks, many countries continue to transition from product manufacturers into service economies. So it makes sense that those countries are increasingly marketing their products and services on international markets.

Knowing which global services are most in demand can help researchers uncover international business opportunities.

World’s Top Export Services

Below are the top services that generated the highest dollar export sales in 2017. Also shown is each service’s overall share of worldwide export services.

Twelve of the following categories are commercial services which in aggregate represent 98.7% of the overall $5.302 trillion. Government goods and services accounts for the remainder.

  1. Travel: US$1.274 trillion (up 8.2% from 2013)
  2. Miscellaneous business services: $1.147 trillion (up 18%)
  3. Transport: $911.1 billion (up 2.2%)
  4. Telecom/computer/information services: $518.7 billion (up 28.6%)
  5. Financial services: $455.1 billion (up 10.4%)
  6. Intellectual property use: $379.4 billion (up 37.3%)
  7. Insurance/pension services: $117.6 billion (down -8%)
  8. Construction: $96.3 billion (up 2.6%)
  9. Manufacturing on others’ physical inputs: $92.6 billion (up 4.8%)
  10. Maintenance/repair services: $85 billion (up 41.2%)
  11. Government goods, services: $65.2 billion (down -9.8%)
  12. Personal, cultural, recreational services: $41.4 billion (up 0.6%)
  13. Unallocated services: $16.8 billion (up 470.9%)

Excluding the catchall unallocated services category, the fastest-growing services since 2013 are maintenance and repair services (up 41.2%), intellectual property use (up 37.3%), telecommunications, computer and information services (up 28.6%) then miscellaneous business services (up 18%).

The two decliners over the 5-year period were government goods and services (down -9.8%) plus insurance and pension services (down -8%).



 

Export Services from the Top 20 Countries

The following 20 countries generated almost three-quarters (73%) of the total value for exported services during 2017. Shown within parentheses is the portion for each originating country.

  1. United States: US$829.6 billion (14.7% of the global total)
  2. United Kingdom: $383.6 billion (6.6%)
  3. Germany: $335.1 billion (5.7%)
  4. France: $292.9 billion (4.7%)
  5. China: $266.3 billion (4.3%)
  6. Netherlands: $247 billion (4.1%)
  7. Ireland: $208.3 billion (3.5%)
  8. Japan: $202.9 billion (3.5%)
  9. India: $150 billion (3.5%)
  10. Singapore: $192.2 billion (3.1%)
  11. Spain: $175.4 billion (2.6%)
  12. Switzerland: $121.8 billion (2.3%)
  13. Belgium: $123.6 billion (2.2%)
  14. Italy: $124.1 billion (2.1%)
  15. Hong Kong: $114.3 billion (2%)
  16. Luxembourg: $115.5 billion (1.9%)
  17. South Korea: $91.8 billion (1.7%)
  18. Canada: $96.2 billion (1.6%)
  19. Thailand: $83.8 billion (1.4%)
  20. Sweden: $74.3 billion (1.4%)

Expanding its international sales of services from 2013 to 2017 at the fastest pace was Ireland via a 51.8% increase. In second place was Thailand (up 28.7%) trailed by Japan (up 24.9%), India (up 23.3%), Netherlands (up 22%), Luxembourg (up 16.5%), Singapore (up 15%), Germany (up 11.4%), United States (up 11.3%) then China (up 10.8%).

Leading the decliners over the 5-year period were South Korea (down -15.7%) and Canada (down -3.9%).

See also World’s Top Exports Report Card for Products and Countries and Report Card for Trade Surpluses and Deficits by Country

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 15, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map, International Market Analysis. Accessed on February 15, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 15, 2019