This Great Graphic, from the Economist, utilizes the new data base created by the OECD and World Bank that we brought to your attention here. Rather than simply look at the dollar value of goods and services that cross national borders, it focuses on the value-added.
The chart here shows breaks down electronic exports (2009) into their domestic and foreign content. China, for example, was the world's largest exporter of electronic goods at $467 bln. However, foreign content was 40% or almost $187 bln. That has far reaching implications. For example, the more foreign content there is, the less helpful a currency adjustment would be in correcting trade imbalances Nearly 30% of the value of what China exports are imported. That makes trade less sensitive to changes in the yuan-dollar exchange rate than is often appreciated.
The ratio of foreign content to domestic content may reflects the location of the country in the global supply chains. If one is largely an assembler of imported parts or components that could be reflected in high foreign content to domestic content of exports. Of the countries in the Economist chart, South Korea stands out as the highest about of foreign content in overall exports (the number in white box on the right of the chart) at 40%. The US stands the lowest at 11%, though Italy, the UK and Japan are in the teens. Germany, France, Switzerland are near Mexico and China in terms of foreign and domestic content of exports.