International Trade Terms Glossary

Counter Trade

This is essentially reciprocal trade ie barter. If you sell something abroad, you would normally expect to be paid in cash (in advance; on credit; or by letter of credit). If the customer has no access to cash then he may offer to pay in kind, eg you may be paid in washing machines for your highly engineered aerospace components!

Countertrade actually accounts for around 15% of all world trade and it is especially useful as a trading tool where there is a shortage of foreign exchange. Government bureaux can help if you are stuck but there are a number of commercial organizations that will help you manage such transactions.

The age-old system of bartering lives on!

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