Difference Between Import and Export (With Table)

The difference between import and export is that import connotes to bring in commodities in the home country while export means to trade home products in foreign lands. Import and export are two crucial activities of international trading activities.

These activities help domestic and international businesses wherein the purchaser and seller both benefit. Import refers to acquiring products from outside the country.

Import vs Export

The main difference between Import and Export is that import means when a country buys a product from other countries and export means when a country sells its product in foreign countries. Import serves a product demand that is not being produced in the home country. Export does the same for the foreign country and in turn, increases the home country’s GDP.

The purpose of the import is to make products available that are not available in the domestic country while the purpose of export is to distribute its product and make the company globally known. Export pertains to selling home products outside the country for monetary gains through bilateral agreements.

Excessive of both import and export can hamper the home countries economy.

Comparison Table Between Import and Export

Parameter of Comparison




A service or a commodity brought in the country

A surplus produced sold outside the country for global exposure.


To bring goods and services from another country to the home country

Selling home counties good and services to other countries

Economy strategy

Import is done for serving needs or closing the gap.

Export is done for gaining monetary benefits.

Effects on trade

GDP drops if import exceeds beyond a notion limit.

Overall, a noticeable trade profit occurs.


The foreign country gets more trade advantage

The home country gets more of the monetary gain.


High Import demand means stronger domestic demand

High export demand means trade surplus and foreign demand


High Import demand means stronger domestic demand

High export demand means trade surplus and foreign demand


Strengthens the currency, if a currency is weak

Benefits if the currency is stronger

What is Import?

Import is when products, goods, facilities are brought in by the citizen of a country to their home through a ‘channel’ when there is a dearth of certain products or certain products are in demand.

This channel can be via transportation, digital platform, email interaction, phone interaction, etc.  Import is external products that fulfill the demand of consumerism through purchasing goods and services outside their country.

What is Export?

Export is a move or a tactic to increase the global presence through selling goods, commodities, products, vegetation to another country. Export fosters the benefits of economic trades by an understanding of foreign markets through agreements between involved trading parties.

Export is considered when there is an increase in some produce or reservoir in a country by sending out the products to gain self-sufficiency and adequate growth in the gross domestic product (GDP).

The foreign incomes give a competitive advantage to the seller at the home country as well.

Main Differences Between Import and Export


Import means to bring in merchandise, commodities, products with an intention to buy, sell, re-sell for serving the demands in their own country. Export means to send, sell, trade products, things from their nation gross output to gain monetary benefit and make space for more products.


Import aim is to serve the demands of consumerism marked with changing demands and trends. The aim of export is to benefit their countries economy by being present in the global market through marketing, selling, leasing anything that the world needs.

It can be simple as a hairpin to as big as machinery and merchandising rights.

Economic Strategy

Import does close the gap of certain product demands in their home country, the monetary rewards mainly rest in the hands of the importer. The profit margins are thin when one product is purchased, transported, reached out with limited profit margins.

While the export of one’s product gives an upper edge. It has a surplus of one or more products and gives room to choose to whom and where to export their products. The sense of choice and decision power is exported super potentiality.

Effect on Trade

The effect of both import and export can be positive and negative. For example, if too many foreign cosmetics are imported, local cosmetic brands will see demise. But if the foreign cosmetics are brought in the limit, the local brands can fight with competitive prices at a cheaper rate.

Hence, the manner in which one market, sells, advertises and serves the gaps in between demand and supply effects positively and negatively to both import and export.


Import advantage is that the act can see smiles on the faces of people when they get to products they love from other lands but the earning out of the selling is minimal.

Also, import backs of heightened domestic demand. In export the residents, businessmen, government benefit through mutual bilateral agreements wherein they sell commodities, products, manpower and get the choice to decide the selling cost.


In the times of globalization, the more products that a country is capable of exports prove that they are self-sufficient, providers, and creators and have a stronger presence in the international market. On the other hand, import fills the needs of the customer, but if overindulgence is acted upon, the human development index suffers.


Import disturbs the local currency if a lot of goods are brought from outside the country on a wholesale price. If the local currency is very strong their economy can fight back. This is the reason when a currency weakens, it only gets weaken. The countries must know that the way to keep their currency stable is by only importing products that are a crucial need for their country’s consumers.

Export improves per capita income through economical agreements of seller rights agreeing on international market demands.

This trading methodology gives a sense of leadership, ownership and a global presence.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Import and Export

What happens when imports increase?

An increase in imports of a country does not always mean loss. It is true that more imports than exports run a trade deficit. But there are several advantages to imports as well.

Import helps share ideas, products, and resources between the two nations. It helps the importing country develop itself further with these ideas and resources from the exporting country.

What are the advantages of importing?

There are multiple advantages of importing:

  1. Imported products can be sold at a good profit.
  2. A variety of products from different countries become available to consumers.
  3. Products that are not easily available or are not available at all can be imported from other countries.
  4. Technology and ideas from other countries get shared with imports.

What are the disadvantages of importing?

Regardless of numerous advantages, there are several disadvantages to importing as well.

  1. It may lead to unemployment as most of the goods will be imported leaving little to no place in the market for local manufacturers.
  2. It is difficult to return imported goods to the exporter.
  3. Domestic manufacturers lose their value in the market.
  4. Buying goods through an agent is costlier.
  5. Due to the different taxes imposed on imported goods, their price is very high.

What happens if you import more than export?

If a country imports more than export, it will lead to a trade deficit. The economic growth of a country gets hindered and domestic goods would lose their place in the market.

A country might even have to take debt from another country to compensate for the price of imported goods.

What is an example of an imported good?

Two good examples of imported goods can be:

  1. Importing a car from San Francisco to India
  2. Importing a mobile phone from China

What do we import from other countries?

There are two types of goods that are imported from other countries.

  1. The first types of imported goods are the products that a country cannot manufacture. Due to the geographic location and availability of natural resources of a country, it may not be able to manufacture certain products that are in demand in its market. These products are needed to be manufactured.
  2. The second type of imported goods is branded products that are only manufactured by a specific brand in a specific country like a supercar.

Many people love to flaunt their wealth by using branded products from other countries.


Summarising, importing products is more beneficial for the economy vis a vis exporting. If the local currency is weak, the chances of the import get limited.

Secondly, being in sync with custom relations, constitution understanding, cultural norms, operational formalities, transportation cost, legal formalities are equally important to serve import and export.

Nonetheless, import and export, serve a significant presence in international trade through trade markets, agreements, and mutual understanding.

But an excess of import is fewer advantages to the country while more export serves victorious.


  1. https://www.elibrary.imf.org/view/IMF024/15739-9781451969344/15739-9781451969344/15739-9781451969344_A005.xml?language=en&redirect=true
  2. https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/26285/1/559514182.PDF
  3. https://www.jbc.org/content/280/32/29158.short