Nature and the natural resources derived from it help in not only sustaining and nurturing a growing population but it also helps that popular grow and develop its economy. Take a look at the biggest countries with the most natural resources in terms of overall economic value:
Even on the value of mineral resources alone, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reported that they have exceeded $1.3 trillion according to a recent data. Overall, the kingdom boasts a variety of natural resources worth over $34 trillion. The desert country is popularly known for its oil reserves, making up 20% of the world’s oil. It also ranks high in the global supplier of natural gas, but did you know that the country is also a major producer of Timber? In fact, the wood material is one of their major natural resources.
The United States of America holds several deposits of oil, gold, copper and natural gas, but the major natural resources that put them on top of this list are coal and timber. The U.S. has more than 31% of the world’s coal reserves and produces large tones of timber. In fact, these two primary products cover 89% of the country’s natural resources and have greatly contributed to the growth of the economy.
Russia is the world’s largest nation and it’s only predictable that they have the world’s biggest natural resources as well. The country has an estimated $75 trillion worth of natural resources with coal, timber, and gold leading the list of their largest reserves. In addition, it owns the world’s richest deposits of rare earth metals. Recently, the country posted impressive records of natural gas output as a result of their expansion drives.
The Caribbean is home to the leading financial centers in the world today. Among the nations scattered across the region is the Bahamas, an internationally recognized powerhouse in the finance, banking, and wealth management industries. In fact, premier international investment firm LOM Financial has active operations in the country.
Aside from being well-known as a tax-efficient jurisdiction, there are several reasons why the Bahamas remains a trusted destination for the world’s financial services sector. One of them is its strategic location that gives the country a major advantage compared to other offshore financial centers in the world.
The Bahamas is located just miles from the east coast of the United States, so it’s basically in the same time zone as New York. Since it’s situated at the crossroads of America, it is an ideal hub even for businesses and investments in Canada as well as Central and South America.
It’s not just the financial policies that make this archipelagic state attractive. All credits go to its stable political and economic climate. Investors understand the value of progress and stability when it comes to success in the financial market, and the Bahamas is an independent nation with an uninterrupted rule since 1973.
What makes the Bahamas different from other financial centers is its government’s focus on promoting an economic environment where free enterprise can confidently flourish. One perfect example is its National Investment Policy, specifically structured to provide investment-friendly facilities and generous incentives for both domestic investors and international clients looking for offshore investments.
UNESCO World Heritage sites are major attractions that fuel a country’s tourism sector. In fact, they are sometimes the sole reason why international visitors would willingly endure miles upon miles of travel only to witness such marvels right before their eyes. Lucky for the countries below, as listed by WorldAtlas, for they possess not just one, but multiple Heritage Sites:
Before we get into the countries with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites, let’s look at what is required for a site to be one. There are six criteria for cultural sites which are:
-Represents a masterpiece of human creative genius.
-Exhibits an important interchange of human values.
-Bears a unique testimony to a cultural tradition of a civilization.
-Is an outstanding example of a architectural or technological ensemble throughout history.
-Is an outstanding example of traditional human settlement or interaction with the environment.
-Is tangibly associated with traditions, ideas, beliefs, and works of universal significance.
There are four criteria for natural sites which are:
-Contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty.
-Has outstanding examples that represent the major stages of earth’s history.
-Is an outstanding example of significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of land and sea communities of plants and animals.
-Contains the most important natural habitats for conservation of biological diversity.
Countries with the Most UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The top ten countries with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites all have their own unique reasons as to why they are in the top ten.
The United States has many cultural sites mostly thanks to a rich indigenous history. These sites include places such as Taos Pueblo. It also has some sites from the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the Statue of Liberty. Most notably, the United States has some of the most natural World Heritage Sites due to its vast size, varied climates, and national parks. These include sites including the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks.
Russia has a number of sites due to a mixture of its rich history and large geographical size. Russia has several cultural sites dating from its past history when it was part of the Russian Empire, such as the Kremlin and Red Square. Russia, like the United States, has a great deal of natural sites due to its immense share of the global map, including the Golden Mountains of Altai.
The United Kingdom has a number of culturally important sites from its past Roman occupation and from its own past as a global spanning empire. Some of these included the Frontiers of the Roman Empire and the Tower of London.
India was home to some of the oldest civilizations on Earth, seeing the rise of many empires and dynasties, and serving as the birthplace for several major religions, including Sikhism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. India has many natural sites including the Taj Mahal and the Elephanta Caves.
Mexico was the home to two important past civilizations, the Maya and Aztecs, as well as some of the earliest sites of European colonization of the New World. Some cultural sites in Mexico are the Historic Center of Puebla and the Pre-Spanish contact city of Teotihuacan.
Germany has a number of cultural sites from its history with the Roman Empire and the later being at the center of the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire. Some sites included the Wartburg Castle and the Cologne Cathedral.
France has a long history stretching back to the Frankish tribes during Roman times and as well as the powerful French Empire and its powerful monarchs. France has many cultural wonders such as the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Palace of Versailles.
Spain, much like Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, has a past history involving the Roman Empire and as a powerful world spanning empire of its own. Some cultural sites in Spain including the Roman Walls of Lugo and the Burgos Cathedral.
China is the birthplace of one of the oldest civilizations in the world and many different dynasties that have come and gone. China is home to many different cultural sites, including the Great Wall of China. China also has many natural sites, since like Russia and America it is a big country. One of these natural sites is the Chengjiang Fossil Site.
Italy has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any country in the world, due to its history as the birthplace of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. Some of the cultural sites in Italy include the Villa Romana del Casale and the Castel del Monte.
In the modern world, great cities are defined not only by their economic and cultural wealth but also by their efficiency and how they can respond to the needs of their population through facilities, services, and technological advances aimed to achieve one common goal: good quality of life.
Thanks to the wonders of science and technology, modern cities have gone beyond and explored more possibilities to further serve and build their communities one vision at a time. Let’s take a look at the world’s most efficient cities and discover what they have in common.
For the eighth time, Vienna ranked atop the Mercer’s list of the world’s most livable cities in 2017, recognizing the city’s effort to provide the highest quality of life in terms of socio-economic and political stability, public services, transport and medical services, education and recreation, housing and infrastructure, and most importantly, its natural environment.
This Canadian city is second on this list because aside from winning one of the top ten spots in Mercer’s list, it has consistently played an important role as a major Canadian gateway to the Asian pacific regions. Its ports are rich and experience an enormous volume of transshipment traffic that contribute to the region’s booming economy. Aside from advocating a clean and green way of living, many communities in Vancouver enjoy safe and secure transportation facilities, and great educational services.
This Swiss city boasts a thriving metropolis, highlighting both modern and a classic way of life and living. Their clean streets as well as reliable access to transportation services are just two of the many factors that won Zurich its rank. As the second in Mercer’s list, Zurich also ranked as the one of the best cities preferred by expats, thanks to its highly-developed infrastructure and stable economy.
Planning to do ‘art tourism’ somewhere abroad? For the best experience, The Culture Trip suggests going to any of these superb cities:
Whether home to stunning public sculptures, world-renowned art galleries or a burgeoning street art scene, these cities scattered across the globe are the ideal destination for any self-professed lover of art. We tour some of the most vibrant art scenes in the world from familiar hotspots like Paris to up-and-coming arty hubs like Mexico City and Lagos.
With over 1,000 art galleries spread across the city, Paris is an art lover’s mecca. From iconic art museums like The Louvre – home of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and a must-do on any art fan’s bucket list – and veteran contemporary galleries like Galerie Daniel Templon to relative newcomers like La Maison Rouge and Modus Art Gallery and the vibrant street art in Paris’ Belleville neighborhood, there’s art to be found around every corner in The City of Light.
New York City, USA
Manhattan alone is enough to keep art mavens occupied for days with world-famous institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA and the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Guggenheim Museum – a work of art itself – alongside art gallery hotspots like Chelsea, but to ignore New York City’s other boroughs would be a crying shame. Head to Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood for street art and cutting-edge contemporary galleries showcasing emerging talents and don’t miss out on Queens for the Socrates Sculpture Garden and Queens Museum.
While some cities may have more or less defined art districts, Tokyo’s differs in that its galleries are spread far and wide across the sprawling metropolis, but they’re certainly worth the trek. A good place to start is Roppongi – home to the Mori Art Museum, National Art Center and smaller spaces like Ota Fine Arts – while over in Taito, SCAI The Bathhouse, a contemporary gallery in a 200-year-old former public bathhouse, is one of Tokyo’s most prestigious art destinations.
São Paulo, Brazil
It might not boast the arty acclaim of Paris and New York, but Brazil’s sprawling megalopolis São Paulo is the art capital of Latin America. Beyond the venerable São Paulo Biennial, the world’s second oldest art biennial after Venice, the city is also home to the Museu de Arte Moderna where visitors can see modern and contemporary Brazilian art and a garden home to 30 outstanding sculptural works, while galleries like Choque Cultural offer a glimpse into local, emerging talents.
The economic and political growth of every great civilization depended on their proximity and access to trade routes, mostly maritime, that helped their empire prosper for hundreds or thousands of years. Compared to their non-coastal rivals, their strategic location had given them a natural boost to expand and protect their empire from several forces that caused the downfall of other, less-blessed nations.
History tells us that geography plays a vital role in understanding how our planet’s material character and spatial organization can contribute to a country’s political and economic development. The insights derived from this understanding can be greatly relevant especially to decisions and policy-makings involving trade, governance, and most importantly, the relationship and processes within the local and global economy.
This is why experts in the field have emphasized how consulting publications and related studies can give authorities awareness of problems and issues that policy-makers face today. By revealing the effects of the changing spatial organization, authorities are informed of present problems and alternative solutions that offer practical and long-term benefits.
The number and specificity of policies and institutions of countries depend on where they are in the world and the climate that they have to endure. It’s natural and proper to strengthen environmental movements and environment-centered guidelines on countries located in the tropics where land is hostile and water is scarce. It’s also not a coincidence that the richest and most powerful nations in the world are located in the fertile, temperate and rainy European regions.
China is a perfect example of nations that benefit from having a politically and economically strategic location because of its access to markets. In fact, the nation is a home to three of the planet’s busiest and most hectic ports.
Lastly, specific geographical locations offer natural resources available for capitalization and because of the combined factors of both a nation’s position on the map and its climate, many countries have advantages over the others. Saudi Arabia and the UAE make their money from the natural supply of oil in their deserts while South Africa leads the world’s largest gold and diamond supply. Top of Form
The rise of global cities has provided a sturdy foundation for startups and entrepreneurs to seek greater heights, building a haven for companies and investors from all over the world with two important goals: create business opportunities and encourage technological innovations to grow and prosper not only for the present but also for the years to come.
As homes to the primary international leaders in knowledge and business, these mega cities serve as the melting pots of ideas, cultures and leading economic and technological advances. Some of these leaders come from the most powerful countries in the world like New York, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo and they have topped charts and have been undefeated for consecutive years.
However, many cities are starting to follow their footsteps and are rapidly emerging as the new players in the global city rankings, thanks to their dynamic market and highly-skilled talent pool. Here they are:
This Southeast Asian city is the most populated region in Myanmar and analysts have observed that it has also one of the fastest growing economies in the country. Yangon’s vibrant and dynamic charm as a tourist destination isn’t the only thing to be celebrated about. Many investors have shown interest in this rising metropolis where culture and innovation blend perfectly well and the city, in response, opened up to foreign investments in 2011.
As the largest city in Nigeria, Lagos holds the most number of population—making it a contender in the global economic race in terms of business and innovation. In fact, it has become a financial hub of the entire continent, alluring multination companies to its shores. Ironically, it’s not like its other counterparts because instead of being a business center, it’s actually a home to “Nolywood,” the region’s biggest film industry, making it a top entertainment hub in Africa.
Santiago is an emerging startup hub in Chile and is one of the most important cities in South America. Reports have recorded a 600% increase in GDP from 1988 to 2017, thanks to a huge number of startups in Santiago. It’s ‘Chilecon Valley’ is a harbor for international entrepreneurs because of its diverse and talented population.
For decades, Saudi Arabia has been the biggest producer of oil in the world, with Russia taking a hold of that title just this year. For proven oil reserves, however, Venezuela takes the top spot. Here is a ranking of the world’s 11 most oil-rich countries as listed by World Atlas:
Proven oil reserves are those that have a reasonable certainty of being recoverable under existing economic and political conditions, with existing technology.
The volatility in oil prices over the past decade has created plenty of concern for businesspeople, national governments, and global policy makers alike. With such uncertainty in pricing, coupled with environmental concerns as our world’s appetite for fossil fuels grows, the questions of whether there are enough petroleum oil reserves to satisfy demand, and what the consequences of its extraction will be, have never been more pertinent. In order to shed more light into a somewhat ambiguous subject, we have profiled the ten countries with the largest oil reserves in the world to help put their positions within the energy landscape into perspective. The volatility in oil prices over the past decade has created plenty of concern for governments and policy makers at the global stage. This lack of certainty, coupled with environmental concerns as the world grows ever more energy hungry, the question of whether there are enough petroleum oil reserves to satisfy the demand and what the consequences will be has never been more pertinent. In a bid to shed more light in this somewhat nebulous sector, we have profiled countries with the highest oil reserves in the world. These are the countries whose proven oil reserves are in the top 10 globally.
United States – 36.52 Billion Barrels
U.S. oil reserves soared to new heights in recent years due to increased usage of unconventional drilling methods that enable extraction of more shale oil and gas than was previously possible. As a result of these, especially fracking and horizontal drilling, U.S. reserves surpassed 36 billion barrels in 2012 for the first time since 1975. Still, proven U.S. oil reserves are but a fraction of the reserves of the global petroleum leaders such as Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada.
Nigeria – 37.07 Billion Barrels
Although Libya has more reserves, there were 37.2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves in Nigeria, ranking the country as the largest oil producer in Africa and the 10th largest in the world. At current rates this would be 45 years of supply if no new oil was found. Pipeline vandalism, kidnappings, and militant takeover of oil facilities have reduced production. The Oil industry accounts for about 14% of Nigeria’s economy.
Libya – 48.36 Billion Barrels
Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa, and the tenth largest globally. It has the potential to have a greater reserve of fossil fuel than we currently know of, as it remains largely unexplored as a result of past sanctions against foreign oil companies. Libyan oil accounted for 98% of government revenue in 2012 but, due to recent political instability, Libya’s power as an oil producer has been significantly hampered. Eventually it is expected that untapped oil reserves will foster more economic investment as the political situation stabilizes.
United Arab Emirates – 97.8 Billion Barrels
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) sources most of its oil from the Zakum field, which has an estimated 66 billion barrels, making it the third largest oil field in the region, behind only Ghawar Field (Saudi Arabia) and Burgan Field (Kuwait. Roughly 40 per cent of the country’s GDP is based on oil and gas output and, since its discovery there in 1958, has enabled the UAE to become a modern state with a high standard of living.
Russia – 103.2 Billion Barrels
#6 Russia – 103.2 Billion Barrels – The World’s Largest Oil Reserves By Country
Russia is a country filled with natural resources for energy use, most notably the country’s massive oil reserves under the vast Siberian plains. Russian oil output fell considerably after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, but the country has revamped production in the past few years. The nation may further boost its reserves of oil and gas in the future as exploration continues beneath its holdings of arctic waters and ice.
Kuwait – 104 Billion Barrels
To be such a small country in terms of land area, Kuwait holds more than a fair share of the world’s petroleum oil reserves. Over 5 bbl of reserves lie within the Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone which Kuwait shares with Saudi Arabia, while over 70 billion barrels of Kuwaiti oil are in the Burgan field, the second largest oil field in the world.
Most of us admire the most powerful countries around the world and how they were able to maintain their status as top sovereign nations in terms of their economic prowess, diplomatic relations, and strong political influence. However, while having a competitive economy and friendly ties among other countries can contribute to both wealth and power for any sovereign nation, there are other regions that greatly thrive in autonomy. These non-sovereign territories or dependencies don’t fall behind especially when it comes to wealth and robust economy.
The Basque Country for instance, is one of Spain’s autonomous regions and it ranks first in terms of per capita income. Although self-governing, this non-sovereign territory is one of the first Spanish industrialized region, thanks to the abundance of iron ore and a highly-skilled workforce. What makes it different and extremely wealthy compared to other territories like Catalonia for example is how it was able to maintain its industrial economy’s diversity, focusing more on the long-term economic boost and investing greatly on human capital.
Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean, derives its wealth from being a world-class and tax-neutral offshore financial center. In 2014, it was reported that a total of $31 billion was held by over a hundred ultra-high-net-worth individuals living in the territory, most of which entrust their wealth to some of the island’s top financial managers, such as LOM Financial. In the same year, it was included in the “A List Islands” for the super-rich because of its attractively “rare and exclusive” nature over its mainland counterpart. Bermuda is also a favorite playground among yachting enthusiasts. In fact, it just recently hosted the 35th staging of the America’s Cup.
Another non-sovereign territory that’s topping the list of the wealthiest autonomous regions in the world is Macau, also known as the “Las Vegas of Asia.” From this nickname alone, you’ll get the idea why tourism flourished in this leisure and gambling capital. The impressive fact is, it’s making more cash from its casinos than its American counterpart. In fact, the gambling industry in Macau is seven times bigger than that of Las Vegas. Furthermore, Macau is a haven for luxurious hotels, casinos, and studios.
Although climate change affects every corner of the planet, not all countries are active and involved enough to mitigate its potentially catastrophic effects. Below is a list of nations working the hardest to keep the Earth healthy and green (source: Condé Nast Traveler).
On June 1, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will pull out of the Paris Agreement, a 2015 deal to curb carbon emissions, invest in green technology, and take other steps to combat the existential threat of climate change. Following the announcement, countries like France and Canada reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement, while more than 80 mayors of cities across the U.S. announced they would continue to follow the guidelines agreed upon two years ago. With President Trump’s decision, the United States joins a small club: Nicaragua and Syria are the only other countries not a part of the Paris Agreement.
As the U.S. retreats from its commitments, other parts of the world continue to lead the way toward a greener future. Counting down from 13, these are the top-performing countries, according to the 2017 Climate Change Performance Index, an annual study from the think tank Germanwatch and the Climate Action Network Europe, which looks at how the world’s top 58 carbon emitters—together responsible for 90 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions–are taking on climate change. Eco-travelers take note: These places deserve your tourist dollars this year.
After leading the rankings for five consecutive years, Denmark slipped significantly in the latest index, in part, the researchers say, due to a reversal of a number of environmentally friendly policies. The country is still among the better performing nations when it comes to saving the planet, but policy changes like a decision to invest in highways rather than electrified railroads (as the government had previously promised) means it took a hit this year. As pressure from environmentally-minded citizens heats up, expect one or two more vandalized statues.
Overall, as this list will show, the European Union is a good place for you to settle down if environmental-friendliness is part of your criteria—and as the headquarters of the EU, Belgium has a duty of sorts to lead by example. Coordination between a complicated federal political system divided by regions is a challenge, but the country as a whole is committed to the EU’s target to cut 1990 carbon emission levels by 20 percent by 2020—and has started by shutting down the last of its coal-powered power plants.
Just seven years ago, Portugal was hit by an economic recession that led to record unemployment. As part of its recovery, the country put into place progressive policies that encouraged local arts and rejuvenated its decaying architecture. Along with a focus on the country’s creatives, the Portuguese government has also focused on creating green jobs and revamping its energy system—and it’s paid off. A government-led “Commitment to Green Growth” sees the country promoting the “low-carbon economy” and investing in sustainability efforts across industries and territories; policies which helped Portugal jump up seven spots year-over-year in the index.