Mokia-0 - Import/Export

Suggested Teaching time

1½–2 hours

Maths warm-up suggestion

Recap exchange rates.

Begin to look at currency exchange tables and how to read/interpret them.


  • Students are informed that it may be cheaper to make the phone in another country and have it imported, as opposed to making the phone in this country. They have already been told it will cost £50 per phone to produce in the UK.
  • Students are to look at five different countries’ manufacturing and transport costs, to decide which would work out the cheapest.
  • They should then be handed out the question, exchange rate and total cost sheets which contain the task and all figures needed.
  • It should be highlighted to students that there is a 5% import tax on all countries except the EU, so this needs to be added on for relevant countries. A discussion regarding their findings should be made to compare their workings.

Steps to success:

  • Step 1: Convert the total cost of the phone into GBP.
  • Step 2: Add on the cost of the import tax (5%) for the relevant countries.
  • Step 3: Work out the cost of the transport for each.
  • Step 4: Find which country is the cheapest to buy from.

Step 5: Give the final cost in GBP of making and transporting one phone to the UK.

Suggested scaffolding

Outline of the spreadsheet can be given if needed and a simplified PowerPoint slide for the exchange rates can be provided to help with the reading of the exchange rates table.

Suggested extension

Print most current exchange rates and compare to see if a different country is now cheaper.

Extension questioning

  • What distance does each country have to be to match the cheapest cost?
  • Find and order the percentage difference between each country.

If you rounded the cost, mileage and import tax on each to 1 SF, which is the cheapest and by what percentage?