World’s Top Export Services

Global services (courtesy of Pixabay.com)

Global services (Pixabay)

Export services form an increasingly essential engine for international trade.

Export services generated US$5.802 trillion from global sales during 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 12% increase from the $5.181 trillion worth of exported products for 2014, and a 7.4% improvement from 2017 to 2018.

The global total for exported services is 30% compared to the $19.347 trillion in overall exported products in 2018.

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 assists researchers who uncover international business opportunities.

World’s Top Export Services

Below are the top services that generated the highest dollar export sales in 2018. Also shown is each service’s overall share of worldwide export services.

Twelve of the following categories are commercial services which in aggregate represent 98.8% of the overall $5.302 trillion. Government goods and services accounts for the remainder.

  1. Travel: US$1.405 trillion (up 12.5% from 2014)
  2. Miscellaneous business services: $1.227 trillion (up 9.7%)
  3. Transport: $996.8 billion (up 1.2%)
  4. Telecom/computer/information services: $596.4 billion (up 28.6%)
  5. Financial services: $480.9 billion (up 5.3%)
  6. Intellectual property use: $400.9 billion (up 17.1%)
  7. Insurance/pension services: $136 billion (down -1.8%)
  8. Manufacturing on others’ physical inputs: $106.6 billion (up 9.7%)
  9. Construction: $104.1 billion (down -3.1%)
  10. Maintenance/repair services: $95.1 billion (up 35.4%)
  11. Government goods, services: $69.4 billion (down -5.3%)
  12. Personal, cultural, recreational services: $47.3 billion (up 0.8%)
  13. Unallocated services: $22.4 billion (up 177.7%)

Excluding the catchall unallocated services category, the fastest-growing services since 2014 are maintenance and repair services (up 35.4%), telecommunications, computer and information services (up 28.6%), intellectual property use (up 17.1%) then travel-related services (up 12.5%).

The three decliners over the 5-year period were government goods and services (down -5.3%), construction (down -3.5%) plus insurance and pension services (down -1.8%).



 

Export Services from the Top 20 Countries

The following 20 countries generated approaching three-quarters (72.7%) of the total value for exported services during 2018. Shown within parentheses is the overall world share for each originating country.

  1. United States: US$828.4 billion (14.3% of the global total)
  2. United Kingdom: $376.2 billion (6.5%)
  3. Germany: $331.2 billion (5.7%)
  4. France: $291.5 billion (5%)
  5. China: $266.8 billion (4.6%)
  6. Netherlands: $242.5 billion (4.2%)
  7. Ireland: $205.7 billion (3.5%)
  8. India: $205.1 billion (3.5%)
  9. Japan: $192 billion (3.3%)
  10. Singapore: $184 billion (3.2%)
  11. Spain: $149.2 billion (2.6%)
  12. Switzerland: $124.3 billion (2.1%)
  13. Belgium: $123.4 billion (2.1%)
  14. Italy: $121.6 billion (2.1%)
  15. Hong Kong: $114 billion (2%)
  16. Luxembourg: $113.1 billion (1.9%)
  17. South Korea: $96.6 billion (1.7%)
  18. Canada: $92.9 billion (1.6%)
  19. Thailand: $84.1 billion (1.4%)
  20. Austria: $74.1 billion (1.3%)

Expanding its international sales of services from 2014 to 2018 at the fastest pace was Ireland via a 54.3% increase. In second place was Thailand (up 36.2%) trailed by India (up 31.2%), Spain (up 26.3%), Austria (up 25.6%), Italy (up 24.2%), the Netherlands (up 22.6%) then China (up 22%).

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

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports. Accessed on August 28, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 28, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 28, 2019