Country Listing

Yugoslavia Table of Contents


Trading Partners

Yugoslavia's trade policy followed the complete realignment of its foreign policy after expulsion from the Cominform in 1948. By the 1960s, structural reform and entry into the international market had broken down many economic and social barriers between Yugoslavia and the outside world. Although the Soviet Union remained Yugoslavia's largest trading partner throughout the 1980s, the emergence in 1986 of West Germany as Yugoslavia's top source of imports typified increased emphasis on trade with Western Europe. Beginning in the 1980s, Yugoslavia traded with developing countries more selectively than it had in previous decades, when the Yugoslav economy was more able to absorb the commercial losses associated with such ventures.

Yugoslavia's growing trade deficit greatly influenced its trade with Western industrialized nations in the 1980s. Many measures were adopted to cut all but essential imports from the West and encourage import-substituting domestic industries. But the import of expensive Western technology often was a prerequisite for establishing such industries. On the export side, over half of Yugoslav exports still went to the East European members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance ( CEMA--see Glossary) in the 1980s, but only the more demanding Western markets (and limited Third World transactions) paid hard currency for Yugoslav goods.

Data as of December 1990