Every nation has something to offer to the world, and the following map from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which uses data from the 2014 edition of the extensive C.I.A. World Factbook, shows exactly what that is. (You can find a larger version here.)
In case you missed the fine print, the map looks only at material exports, not intangibles like finance or services.
Joe Myers of the World Economic Forum points out some big trends from this data:
Dark blue shading represents countries where oil is the biggest export and shows the importance of oil not just in the Middle East, but across Asia and Africa and South America.
Other commodities, including precious metals and minerals, also play a significant role in the global economy. Across much of Asia and Africa, large numbers of countries shaded in red and orange indicate the importance of exports such as gold, iron ore, and coal to these nations. Interestingly, and perhaps unexpectedly, India’s biggest export is precious stones.
Conversely, European exports are focused on machinery and transportation.
Electronics dominate in both China and the USA, while food and drink and textiles top the bill in a number of countries.