Special Report

Most Self-Sufficient Economies in the World

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20.  Côte d’Ivoire
> Imports as % of GDP, 2020: 20.46%
> Imports in current US$, 2020: $12.55 billion – #94 highest of 189 countries
> Annual imports growth, 2020: 7.57% – #13 largest increase of 170 countries
> Exports as % of GDP, 2020: 21.55% – #51 lowest of 190 countries
> Exports in current US$, 2020: $13.22 billion – #90 highest of 189 countries
> GDP in current US$, 2020: $61.35 billion – #76 highest of 190 countries

This Atlantic coastal African country with a population about 26 million is primarily an exporter of cash crops like cashew nuts, cocoa, and palm oil, as well as fresh vegetables and fuels. It imports primarily petroleum. The country is a signatory to African free trade pacts and has a deal through 2025 allowing it to export goods tariff-free to the United States.

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19. Colombia
> Imports as % of GDP, 2020: 20.13%
> Imports in current US$, 2020: $54.65 billion – #54 highest of 189 countries
> Annual imports growth, 2020: -17.30% – #30 largest decline of 170 countries
> Exports as % of GDP, 2020: 13.52% – #20 lowest of 190 countries
> Exports in current US$, 2020: $36.70 billion – #65 highest of 189 countries
> GDP in current US$, 2020: $271.44 billion – #40 highest of 190 countries

Colombia’s top export is oil, an economically crucial commodity that was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and worsening rural security last year. The South American country of about 51 million people has regional and continental free trade agreements as well as free trade deals with the European Union, United States, South Korea, and Israel.

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18. Australia
> Imports as % of GDP, 2020: 20.06%
> Imports in current US$, 2020: $266.31 billion – #23 highest of 189 countries
> Annual imports growth, 2020: -7.67% – #45 smallest decline of 170 countries
> Exports as % of GDP, 2020: 23.98% – #62 lowest of 190 countries
> Exports in current US$, 2020: $318.47 billion – #22 highest of 189 countries
> GDP in current US$, 2020: $1,327.84 billion – #13 highest of 190 countries

Australia primarily imports petroleum and primarily exports commodities like minerals and fuels, which made up nearly half of its exports in 2019. Its top export market is China, which consumes a massive amount of Australian iron ore. Australia has a population of about 26 million, and it has numerous free trade agreements, including with China, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

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17. India
> Imports as % of GDP, 2020: 19.21%
> Imports in current US$, 2020: $510.98 billion – #10 highest of 189 countries
> Annual imports growth, 2020: -13.61% – #50 largest decline of 170 countries
> Exports as % of GDP, 2020: 18.66% – #40 lowest of 190 countries
> Exports in current US$, 2020: $496.49 billion – #13 highest of 189 countries
> GDP in current US$, 2020: $2,660.25 billion – #6 highest of 190 countries

India, the world’s second-most populous country with about 1.4 billion people, routinely maintains a trade deficit led by imports from China and the U.S. In December, India’s exports hit a record high, and despite the ongoing deficit (which is expected to widen on growing domestic demand), India is also a robust exporter of fuels, chemicals, stone and glass, metals, machinery, and transportation equipment.

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16. Bangladesh
> Imports as % of GDP, 2020: 18.53%
> Imports in current US$, 2020: $59.86 billion – #51 highest of 189 countries
> Annual imports growth, 2020: -10.44% – #69 smallest decline of 170 countries
> Exports as % of GDP, 2020: 11.99% – #17 lowest of 190 countries
> Exports in current US$, 2020: $38.73 billion – #61 highest of 189 countries
> GDP in current US$, 2020: $323.06 billion – #39 highest of 190 countries

Textiles and clothing make up about 90% of Bangladesh’s export business, most of which end up in the United States and Europe. The South Asian country of about 165 million people recently opened direct-freight service to Europe from its largest port that is expected to speed up delivery and reduce shipping costs of the country’s apparel exports. Still, the country imports far more than it exports.

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