International trade accounts for a huge part of a country's gross domestic product (GDP) and is a vital source of revenue for all countries, particularly those that are developing, though it is the nations that have the strongest international trade, and who have prospered by it, that have become the driving force behind world economy.
It is usually accepted that the benefits of international trade, and therefore, the reasons why it is needed are: It enhances domestic competiveness; it increases sales and profits; it takes advantage of international trade technology; it extends the sales potential of existing products; it maintains cost competiveness in the domestic market; it increases the potential for business expansion; it achieves a global market share; it reduces the dependency on markets that already exist; and it stabilizes seasonal market fluctuations.
International trade is no new phenomena; the Silk Route is a very famous trading route that was used to transport silk and spices in the 14th and 15th centuries. The 18th century saw Clippers, which were ships designed for speed, being used to transport all manner of things from tea from China, and spices from the Dutch East Indies. Sugar, cotton and other goods were also traded internationally to the delight of both those producing them, and those receiving them, but the most sinister trading happened in a much darker period of history: Slaves also became a commodity to be traded internationally; the very negative repercussions of which can still be seen today.