DMCC’s new sustainability index measures the growth in the global trade of Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs)

Tracking such changes in the trade of ESTs shows the growing connections and relationships between trade and sustainability, and acts as a proxy to show the growing interest among businesses worldwide in moving towards sustainability.

The steady growth of EST trade shows the importance of sustainable solutions

  • Trade among key exporters and importers over the last twenty years shows clear growth in EST trade – increasing by as much as 80 per cent over the last decade.
  • The increase shown in the trade of ESTs reflect the growing need for such technology and shifting towards a more sustainable path.

Largest trading hubs remain the key EST traders

  • China is currently the biggest exporter of ESTs, followed by Germany and the US. Similarly, the US, China, and Germany are also the largest importers of ESTs.
  • Tariff cuts encourage rapid growth in the EST sector. Smaller EST importers, such as Mexico, have applied deep tariff cuts on green technologies. As a result, Mexico is the only developing country to feature on the top ten list of importers outside of China.

Dynamics between exporters and importers will shape the future of ESTs

  • The analysis of monthly trade flows between the EU and China shows that the EU consistently imports more ESTs from China than it exports.
  • The EU is a net exporter of ESTs to the US, with trade flows of ESTs from the EU to the US increasing by 118% over the past 10 years. Flows in ESTs from the US to the EU grew at a slower rate of 40% over the same time period.
  • Germany is consistently a net exporter of ESTs to the other 27 EU countries. Trade flows from Germany to the rest of the EU increased in value by 37% over the past ten years, while EST exports from other EU countries to Germany increased by 31%.

Majority of the top exporters of Environmentally Sound Technologies are also some of the largest importers, with China, Germany and the US holding the top 3 spots in each category.

Largest Exporters of Environmentally Sound Technologies, 2018
1. China
2. Germany
3. US
4. Japan
5. Italy
6. South Korea
7. Mexico
8. Hong Kong
9. Netherlands
10. UK
Largest Importers of Environmentally Sound Technologies, 2018
1. US
2. China
3. Germany
4. Mexico
5. Japan
6. South Korea
7. France
8. UK
9. Canada
10. Hong Kong

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