How geography designs the world’s economic policies

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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.

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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.

Experts have also readily identified the capacity of different regions to support modern economic growth and how specific locations can be at a disadvantage in terms of productivity from local and international trade.

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

These non-sovereign territories are the havens of the super-rich

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

REPOST: The 9 best countries in the world to start a business

Planning to establish a business outside your country? Here are nine excellent choices for you, according to Business Insider:

 

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Countries in central and northern Europe dominate a global ranking of the best places to start a business — although a central American state tops the list.

 

The index, compiled by Wharton University and market research firm Y&R, evaluates a total of 80 countries which collectively account for 95% of global gross domestic product.

 

The overall ranking considers a wide range of factors to create an overall “best countries” index, including entrepreneurship, heritage, quality of life, and openness for business.

 

Business Insider took a look at the “openness for business” subindex, which considers a range of factors including the price of manufacturing costs, levels of bureaucracy, tax environment, transparency of government practices, and the extent of corruption.

 

View the complete list HERE.

Tiny but mighty: The world’s richest small countries

The likes of the United States, Canada, and Australia are huge countries with substantial natural resources, making it relatively ‘easy’ for them to amass enormous fortune (along with many other factors, of course). However, large area does not always equate to great wealth on a per-person basis. In an eclectic world of big economic events and heavy emphasis on globalization, wealthy small jurisdictions have seemed like an anomaly. They have very little resources and a limited manpower, and yet they are home to a significant number of millionaires and billionaires. Below are some of the planet’s tiniest countries that defied so many odds and eventually succeeded in the end:

 

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Monaco

Strategically located between France and Italy in their Riviera regions, Monaco is home to a Grand Prix and the Super Yacht Show as well as one of the world’s biggest gambling scenes. It is a popular holiday destination for the rich and famous that even if it is only about half the size of the Central Park in New York City, it boasts of an average income per person of more than $180,000.

 

The Bahamas

With an economy primarily driven by luxury tourism and offshore banking, The Bahamas is among the richest countries in the Caribbean. It has a population of just above a third of a million, but is frequented by millions of tourists each year to stay in its world-class luxury hotels and resorts. Majority of these visitors arrive via cruise ships.

 

Image source: 1worldbermuda.com

 

Bermuda

Although technically not a country (it is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom), Bermuda is a highly impressive administrative unit. This small Atlantic island has a population of just around 65,000, but has one of the highest income per capita in the world according to the World Bank. It has a thriving tourism sector and is considered a major offshore financial center, being home to some of the world’s largest offshore financial services companies. Many international companies headquartered in this island benefit from its zero corporate income tax.

 

Singapore

One of the world’s greatest success stories, Singapore—which covers an area of only 720 square kilometers (some of it are reclaimed)—currently enjoys a status of being a global financial hub. With a stable politics, business-friendly environment, a booming tourism sector, excellent infrastructure, strategic location, and a highly educated cosmopolitan population, this South-East Asian powerhouse is a force to be reckoned with.

 

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Andorra

Nestled in the Pyrenees mountain range between France and Spain, Andorra is home to around 270 hotels and 400 restaurants. Those are pretty impressive numbers considering that this tiny landlocked nation only has around 85,000 residents.  With more than 10 million visitors arriving each year (easily dwarfing the local population), Andorra unsurprisingly enjoys massive tourism revenues.

 

These small countries are a living testament that wealth is not always about having the best resources or the largest labor pool. Becoming rich sometimes boils down to proper strategies, hard work, smart decisions, extensive research, and learning from the mistakes of others.