Economies Most Dependent On Exports To East Asian And Pacific Island Nations

Burmese exports leaving the port of Yangon, Myanmar typically end up in East Asian and Pacific destinations.

Ages-old trade ties connect markets in Yemen and Oman to those thousands of miles away. Countries in East Asia and the Pacific, with an increasing population and a rising middle class, provide opportunities for lucrative global markets. Decades-long partnerships continue to flourish between countries and those of East Asia and the Pacific, stimulating the growth of individual countries’ economies. Countries which are top exporters to nations in East Asia and the Pacific are discussed below.


81% of Myanmar’s exports are destined for countries in East Asia and the Pacific. Myanmar has been subject to international sanctions, and it has turned to its Asian neighbors to establish trade partnerships. Myanmar export products such as gas and oil and agricultural commodities to China. Exports valued at $3.536 Billion were estimated to have been shipped to China in the fiscal year 2014-2015 ending in December. China ties with Myanmar can be attributed to China’s quests to establish a presence in the Indian Ocean. Myanmar is strategically located on Indian Ocean’s coastline, and it serves two landlocked provinces of China. Trade ties worth billions of US Dollars have seen Myanmar’s economy become largely dependent on China.Myanmar also trades heavily with South Korea and its partnership with Myanmar does not end in the trade as South Korea has invested in the country and given aid and grants in efforts to speed up Myanmar’s economic development. Myanmar also exports to Japan and Hong Kong. The bulk of Myanmar’s exports are mainly gas, rough wood, precious gems, and pearls.

Solomon Islands

69.1% of exports from Solomon Islands head to countries in East Asia and the Pacific.Major exports from the Solomon Islands are made of rough wood, processed fish, crude palm oil, cocoa beans and copra. Major trade partners are China, Philippines, and South Korea. In 2015, the Solomon Islands exported goods valued at $232 million and $16 million to China and the Philippines respectively. Solomon Islands also trade with other nations in the Pacific under the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement which accommodates a mostly free trade between signatories.

Hong Kong

59.3% of Hong Kong’s exports were destined for countries in East Asia and the Pacific. Hong Kong trades extensively with Mainland China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Mainland China was estimated to import 56.8% of Hong Kong’s total exports in 2015. Hong Kong exports have a large market in Mainland China due to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between the two countries. Japan imported an estimated 3% of Hong Kong’s total exports in 2015. The bulk of the exports are made of machinery, jewelry, and precious and semi-precious stones and metal-bearing ores. Hong Kong also acts as a re-export hub between Japan and China.

In 2015, Taiwan imported a share of 1.8% of Hong Kong’s total exports, comprised of silversmith’s and goldsmith’s wares, jewelry, other precious and semi-precious stones, metal scrap, non-ferrous metals, and metallic ores. South Korea imported 1.4% of Hong Kong’s exports in 2015. The bulk of these exports were made of electronic appliances, machinery and parts, metal scrap, and metallic ores, telecommunications equipment and sound recording apparatus.

North Korea

57.3% of North Korea’s exports head to countries in East Asia and the Pacific. North Korea has been victim to international sanctions especially due to its development of nuclear weapons. In the face of these sanctions, North Korea has established trade relationships with its Asian neighbors. North Korea borders China, and this has facilitated close trade relationships between the two countries. China is estimated to import 63% and South Korea 27% of North Korea’s total exports. Major exports from North Korea are coal, textiles, minerals, metallurgical products, agricultural produce, missiles, and arms.China is inclined to alliance with North Korea because of its opposition to South Korea’s alliance with the US. The large volumes of goods traded between North Korea and China has established China as North Korea’s major ally.

East Asia and the Pacific A Growing Market

Other top exporters to nations in East Asia and the Pacific are Oman (46.9%), Singapore (43.7%), Yemen (43.3%), Australia (42.6%), South Korea (36.1%), and Thailand (32.6%).Future trends indicate that East Asia and the Pacific will continue to be home for emerging economies. Global exports to the regions are set to increase. Developed countries such as the US are set to increase their exports to this region in an attempt to claim a share of the growing market.

Economies Most Dependent On Exports To East Asian And Pacific Island Nations

RankCountryShare of Total Merchandise Exports Destined For East Asia and the Pacific
2Solomon Islands69.1%
3Hong Kong59.3%
4North Korea57.3%
9South Korea36.1%

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