There are enormous differences in the extent to which individual nations are dependent upon transactions with the outside world. The UK has always been an ‘open’ economy, both importing and exporting on a massive scale. Superficially this may simply be seen to reflect the difficulties which any nation the size of the UK must inevitably face in trying to be self-sufficient across the whole range of goods and services, but it is important to note both that the UK’s degree of openness has been increasing steadily over the past several decades (as has also been true elsewhere in the EC), and that external transactions increasingly involve one-way flows of capital which are unrelated to the immediate consumption requirements of UK residents. In recent years the value of both imports and exports has grown to exceed 30 per cent of the UK’s GDP, and it is obvious that these trade flows impact significantly upon the UK’s industrial structure, the level of employment, the standard of living of UK nationals and so on. In other words.
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- External Transactions
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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