Merchandise Exports by Trade Agreement, 2015

Merchandise Exports by Trade Agreement 2015

Source: WTO.

The more integrated an economic bloc is, the more likely that a significant share of its international trade will take place between member countries. For the EU (European Union) and NAFTA (North American Free-Trade Agreement), which are considered the world’s most integrated trade agreements, 62.3% and 51.2% of their respective trade concerns member nations. While trade relations between advanced economies are linked to the emergence of economic blocs, trade relations between developing economies are often related to unilateral agreements between specific partners (particularly for former colonies). Therefore, trade agreements between developing economies tend to have a high proportion of their trade with external parties, which underlines a lack of connectivity, trade dependency, cohesion in their customs policies, and often basic economic interdependencies. Economic agreements such as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Mercosur, and the Andean Community have 74.5%, 85.8%, and 92.4% of their trade involving external parties, underlining higher connectivity to external actors.