After the Second World War international merchandise trade has known an impressive rising trend: from 121 bn. USD in 1948 to 25.172 bn. USD in 2009, which means a rise by 210 times, being therefore the economic sector with the most spectacular development. International trade – considered to be the right indicator of a country’s economy – has become one of the major factors of economic development mainly due to the knowledge-based economy. Except for the economic development (translated into high levels of production and productivity, expressed by high figures of GDP), the effect of knowledge has been registered by exports, by their dynamics and high level of foreign markets penetration. It is therefore relevant that three small countries and provinces (the Netherlands, Hong Kong – province of Peoples Republic of China and Singapore) in terms of territory and population are among the first fifteen global exporters (with a percentage of exports ranging from 2,2% and 4%), in contrast with larger countries in terms of surface and population, which play an insignificant role in international trade. These small countries/provinces represent relevant models of using information technology and modern communication, fundamental elements of a knowledge-based economy. Thus, they are very competitive on the global market (the key factor of success). In this paper we argue that humankind is in a transitory phase from industrial economy to knowledge-based economy (in this sense the oil trade is a very good example, as the most traded merchandise).
international trade international trade flows competitiveness knowledgebased economy