• International trade refers to the exchange of goods and services between different countries.
  • It has become increasingly important in today’s globalized economy, as it allows countries to specialize in producing the goods and services in which they have a comparative advantage, leading to increased efficiency and economic growth.
  • Zimbabwe, like many other countries, engages in international trade, exporting goods such as tobacco, minerals, and agricultural products, and importing goods such as fuel, machinery, and consumer goods.

Common terms used in international trade:

  1. Export: This refers to the shipment of goods and services to another country for sale or exchange.
  2. Import: This refers to the purchase of goods and services from another country.
  3. Tariff: This is a tax imposed by a government on goods that are imported into the country.
  4. Quota: This refers to a limit set by a government on the quantity of goods that can be imported into the country.
  5. Free trade: This is a policy that promotes the unrestricted exchange of goods and services between countries, without the imposition of tariffs or quotas.
  6. Protectionism: This is a policy that restricts the free flow of goods and services between countries, typically through the imposition of tariffs or quotas.
  7. Balance of trade: This refers to the difference between a country’s exports and imports.
  8. Exchange rate: This is the value of one currency in relation to another currency.
  9. Letter of credit: This is a document issued by a bank that guarantees payment to the exporter once the goods have been shipped.
  10. Incoterms: These are a set of standardized terms used in international trade to define the responsibilities of the buyer and seller.

Reasons why international trade is important:

  • Increased economic growth: International trade can lead to increased economic growth by allowing countries to specialize in producing the goods and services in which they have a comparative advantage.
  • Increased efficiency: Specialization and the division of labour that comes with international trade can increase efficiency and reduce costs, as countries focus on producing goods and services that they can produce most efficiently.
  • Access to new markets: International trade allows businesses to access new markets and increase their customer base, which can help to increase sales and revenue.
  • Access to new resources: International trade allows countries to access resources that are not available domestically, such as raw materials or technology.
  • Lower prices: International trade can lead to lower prices for consumers, as businesses are able to take advantage of lower costs of production in other countries.
  • Job creation: Increased international trade can lead to job creation, as businesses expand to meet increased demand for their goods and services.
  • Increased competition: International trade can increase competition, which can help to drive innovation and improve the quality of goods and services.
  • Cultural exchange: International trade can facilitate cultural exchange between countries, as people become exposed to different products, ideas, and ways of life.
  • Reduced poverty: International trade can help to reduce poverty, as increased economic growth and job creation can lead to improved living standards for people in developing countries.
  • Political cooperation: International trade can promote political cooperation and peaceful relations between countries, as it encourages countries to engage in dialogue and work together towards shared economic goals.

Business Studies

Discover more comprehensive and exam-focused ZIMSEC Advanced Level Business Studies Notes.

Get more notes