Trade volume is measured in relation to the size of the domestic economy, and is shown as three values: the value of exports as a percentage of GDP (red dots), the value of imports as a percentage of GDP (green solid line), and the combined value of both imports and exports as a percentage of GDP (blue dotted line). Source: International Monetary Fund.
Trade volume shows how much the economy depends on foreign trade. A nation turns abroad for anything it needs that it cannot generate domestically. Exports reflect dependence on foreign markets, while imports reflect dependence on foreign-made goods and services. High levels of trade volume reflect vigorous engagement with the global economy.