Wednesday, 2 September 2015

An Interesting Piece On Landlocked Countries

One of the almost ineluctable laws of economics is that countries with higher trade costs are poorer because of those costs. One way to make your country poorer is to limit your international trade. Another way is to place tariffs on imports. Because open trade enriches a country, it is essential that every nation tries its best to maximise its trading opportunities in the global market. This means that geography plays a key role in a nation's ability to trade openly and cheaply. Quite naturally a landlocked country in Africa - particularly one surrounded by other countries with civil strife and instability - is not going to have the import/export possibilities of somewhere like England, Spain, Italy, France or Germany.

But the question is; to what extent does being a landlocked country appear to disadvantage a nation?  A very informative article on this in The Economist came to my attention recently, which seems to give some indication of the answer to that question:

"With a few exceptions the world’s 45 landlocked countries are poor. Of the 15 lowest-ranking countries in the Human Development Index, eight have no coastline. All of these are in Africa, which is a poor region. But even compared with similar sea-front countries those without coastlines have lagged behind. Their GDP per person is 40% lower than that of their maritime neighbours."

You can read the full article here - well worth a look.