Economies Most Dependent On Exports To The Arab World

North Korea and Turkey are two of the most notable outsiders to make it onto this list.


Economics of the Arab World

The Arab World encompasses an area that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean. The region has a long history of trade that dates back to the Silk Road and the past spice trade. Today, many of the countries have rich oil reserves and others raise livestock or build machinery. This article takes a look at which economies around the world are most dependent on exports to the Arab World.

Economies Dependent on Exports to the Arab World

The majority of the countries whose economies rely on exports to the Arab World are actually part of that region. Some Arab countries are much more dependent than others, however. Syria exports 96.9% of its total merchandise to other Arab countries. Agriculture and oil are the two biggest industries here and heavily influence exports. Crude oil, raw cotton, fruits, and grains make up the bulk of exports. Around one-third of the exports go to Iraq. These two countries have long standing ties and conflicts. Since the late 70’s, the two countries have wanted to unite their borders.

Djibouti also relies on trade with the Arab World and exports 93.2% of its total merchandise there. These exports consist mainly of coffee and wood charcoal. Its major export partners for wood charcoal are Kuwait, Qatar, and Lebanon.

Somalia is next on the list and at one point was the major trade partner for Djibouti. Approximately 86.1% of exports from this country stay within the Arab World. Somalia is a top producer of sheep, goat, and cattle, with the vast majority of these animals going to Oman. Since the 1970’s, Somalia and Oman have had a positive relationship. They have bilateral agreements on trade, media, and investments and are working to increase imports and exports between the two.

Just over half, 53.9%, of exports leaving Sudan remain in the Arab World. The main export from here is crude petroleum, but that goes to countries in Asia. Products such as oil-seeds go to Lebanon and Jordan, raw cotton and refined copper to Egypt, and sheep and goat meat to Jordan, Qatar, and Bahrain. This is an interesting composition of exports because it illustrates that Sudan does not have just one principle partner within the region.

Following Sudan, and the last country on the list with over half, 52.4%, of its exports going to the Arab World is Lebanon. This nation has quite a varying list of exports and doesn’t seem to rely on only one product. Jewelry from Sudan primarily goes to the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, Sudanese processed fruits and nuts are shipped in large volumes to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait, and electricity generating sets from the country most often end up in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar, or Syria. Saudi Arabia is a relatively important player for Lebanese exports, but their foreign relations have not always been cooperative. Lebanon relies on foreign aid from Saudi Arabia, but recently the two nations have had disagreements surrounding Hezbollah activity, resulting in cuts in aid.

Remaining countries on the list send less than half of their exports to the Arab World. These places include: Jordan (48.7%), Egypt (35.3%), North Korea (32.9%), Algeria (30.4%), and Turkey (21.9%).

Instability in the Arab World

Arab nations have been plagued by internal conflict for hundreds of years. The economies of these countries are considered developing and while they have grown in recent years, that growth is not guaranteed. Any country that relies solely on exports to this region risks losing that trade due to future upheaval.

Which Countries Export the Most to the Arab World?

Countries who ship the most merchandise to the Arab World include Syria, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, North Korea, and Algeria.

Economies Most Dependent On Exports To The Arab World

RankTen Part TemplateShare of Total Merchandise Exports Destined For The Arab World
8North Korea32.9%


Your MLA Citation

Your APA Citation

Your Chicago Citation

Your Harvard Citation

Remember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.


More in Economics