Origin of Trade

In the slave society, due to the low productivity and inconvenient transportation, the circulation of commodities was not large and international trade was very limited, and the commodities traded were mainly slaves and luxury goods for the consumption of slave owners. In the feudal society, with the development of social economy, international trade also developed. During this period, China and Eurasian countries carried out international trade activities through the Silk Road, and there was also trade between countries along the Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea and Black Sea. the geographic discovery from the end of the 15th century to the beginning of the 16th century promoted the development of international trade. At that time, the goods involved in trade were mainly general consumer goods and luxury goods for the consumption of feudal lords.

Development History

After the emergence of the capitalist mode of production, especially after the industrial revolution, international trade developed rapidly and began to have a world scale due to the rapid increase in productivity and the expanding scale of commodity production. From the 17th century to the 19th century, the foreign trade volume of capitalist countries rose continuously. Britain was in a monopoly position in international trade for a long time. At that time, the commodities involved in international trade were mainly general consumer goods, industrial raw materials and machinery and equipment, and after entering the imperialist period at the end of the 19th century, a unified and all-embracing world economic system and world market were formed.

After that, the impact of World War I and the world economic crisis from 1929 to 1933 caused great damage to the capitalist world economy, and the volume of world trade declined sharply and stagnated. After the Second World War, international trade further expanded and developed, and the United States became the number one country in international trade. 1950s, with the increasing socialization and internationalization of production, especially the rapid development of productivity brought about by the new scientific and technological revolution, international trade has never been more active and with many new features, trade in manufactured goods has overtaken primary products and dominated, and new products are emerging. Products continue to emerge, and increasingly flexible and diverse trading methods.

Contemporary international trade is dominated by developed countries, the United States is still the world’s largest trading country, but the status has declined; Germany, Japan and other countries have great development in foreign trade; the vast number of developing countries in international trade accounted for a small share, but compared with itself, foreign trade has also developed greatly, becoming a force to be reckoned with in international trade. International trade has a pivotal influence in contemporary international affairs, and is also of great significance to the economic development of each country itself.

The important role of international trade

I. The role of international trade for the nationals

  1. increase national welfare.
  2. meet different national demand preferences.
  3. international trade improves national living standards.
  4. international trade influences national culture and values.
  5. provide jobs

Second, the role of international trade for enterprises

  1. strengthen quality management and improve business efficiency.
  2. be invincible in product quality competition.
  3. facilitate international economic cooperation and technology exchange.
  4. contribute to the improvement of enterprises’ self-improvement ability.
  5. effectively avoid product liability.

Third, the role of international trade for a single country

  1. Regulate the supply and demand of national markets.
  2. Continuing social reproduction.
  3. Promote the full utilization of production factors.
  4. Give full play to comparative advantages and improve production efficiency.
  5. Improving production technology and optimizing domestic industrial structure.
  6. Increase fiscal revenue.
  7. Strengthen economic ties between countries and promote economic development.

Fourth, the role of international trade to the world

  1. International trade is an important means for all countries in the world to participate in the international division of labor and achieve smooth social reproduction.
  2. International trade is an important way of scientific and technological exchanges between countries in the world.
  3. International trade is an important tool for the political and diplomatic struggle of all countries in the world.
  4. International trade is the core of foreign economic relations of all countries in the world.
  5. International trade is an important channel of “transmission” in the international economy.