flag Marshall Islands Marshall Islands: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

The Marshall Islands is very open to foreign trade (104% of GDP - World Bank, latest data available). Custom duties are relatively low, and the country has very few trade barriers. However, the Marshall Islands has very limited natural resources and consequently little base for exports. In 2019 (latest data available - International Trade Centre), the country mainly exported passenger and cargo ships (mostly re-exports), fish and broadcasting equipment. Imports were led by passenger and cargo ships, fuel, machinery and equipment.

According to the latest data by UNCTAD, the main destination for the country’s exports are Poland (30.9%), Denmark (20%), South Korea (14.5%), Indonesia (10.9%), and Cyprus (7.2%). Historically, the major import partners are South Korea, Singapore, China and Japan. The country lacks adequate infrastructure and airline transportation, and is fairly far from the developed economies of the region (e.g. Japan, Australia). Trade policy is conducted by the COFA Agreement under which the country has duty-free access to the U.S. market, and is also a member of the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) and the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (SPARTECA).

The country imports in high volumes, while its exports are very weak, resulting in an enormous trade deficit, which has been increasing in recent years. According to figures from WTO, in 2020 the Marshall Islands exported USD 44 million worth of goods (down by 20% year-on-year), whereas imports increased by 10.3% (to USD 75 million). According to data from the World Bank, the country's external trade deficit stood at 34.5% of GDP in 2020, up from the record low of 73% one year earlier.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 14590756875
Exports of Goods (million USD) 4740415544
Imports of Services (million USD) n/an/a000
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1113n/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -11-29n/an/a
Trade Balance (million USD) -66-58-33n/an/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 114123126n/an/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 778485n/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 363940n/an/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs duties

 

Trade Compliance

International Economic Cooperation
Member of Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)
Useful Resources
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
Website of the Ministry of Culture and Internal Affairs - Contact Information
 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2022

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