Ever wonder what your home country exports out to the world the most? What about a neighboring country or political ally? The Bank of America Merrill Lynch put together this comprehensive map showing what each country is best known for exporting. The information comes from 2014 data collected by the CIA World Factbook. The map does not include services exported to other countries. The color coded nature of the map lets us visually identify some pretty important global market trends.
[Image Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch]
You can find the original map here on Page 59.
Probably the least surprising trend comes from the trails of dark blue on the map. Oil remains one of the world's biggest exports, and for several nations, it's the foundation of their economy. However, the need for oil exportation isn't restricted to the Middle East and Russia. Several Asian, sub-Sahara African and South American nations rely on exporting oil.
Europe's exports consist of mostly machinery and transportation. When one thinks about the international popularity of brands like Volkswagen and luxury brands like Abarth and Lamborghini, seeing Europe in light blue really isn't that shocking. Europe also manages to export some of the world's most important manufacturing equipment for civil and mechanical engineering purposes.
The United States and China both boast technology and electronics as its biggest export. As of 2015, the U.S. has the second largest export economy in the world. However, in recent years, refined petroleum has rapidly grown as one of their biggest exports, followed by planes, helicopters, and other aircraft.
Precious Metals / Minerals
Several nations in sub-Saharan Africa export precious metals and jewels. For example, three major international metal and mineral companies can be found in South Africa alone. South Africa and Botswana are also known for their hotly-debated diamond trades. These countries can be found in red throughout the map.
Orange notes standard mineral and metal trade -- items like copper, iron ore and uranium. Again, those exports can be found largely in sub-Saharan and west Africa. There are, however, a handful of countries in South America and Australia which boast mineral and metal trading as their main export.
Other Exported Goods
Even still, there are countries that export food and drink. Eastern African nations like Somalia and Kenya export livestock and coffee, respectively. Most of the world consumes both of those staple foods regularly.
Mexico's largest export is in textiles, and other clothing-heavy exporters can be found in yellow as well. With most of the world promoting "fast fashion," the textiles industry has felt a bigger push to up production to keep up with demands in recent years. That push, however, has led to controversy in exploiting cheap labor to keep prices down.
The comprehensive report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch includes more than just this map. It shows operational robotics usage in other countries. The report details which nations boast the highest concentration of Facebook and Twitter usage in the world. It even breaks down the best-selling artists in each of London's boroughs. (We're still not sure how that one plays out compared to the rest of the maps.)
Understanding the international network of both importing and exporting is crucial to not only global politics but improving technology. How can preexisting technology better aid with current production? Would a technological shift in one nation radically change an area?
Looking at the map also forces readers to infer the interconnectivity of global trade. Those diamonds from South Africa assist in diamond cutting tools used to manufacture car parts in Germany. Those German cars might run on a combination of electric and petroleum from Russia or the UAE.