Are The Landlocked Countries Less Developed?
Landlocked countries across the world are usually some of the least developed nations in the world. The population of these countries are poverty stricken and occupy the bottom tier of the world’s population. Outside the European continent, there is hardly any landlocked country that is highly developed and most of these countries score quite low on the HDI index.
Problems Faced By The Landlocked Countries
Distance and terrain are two of the factors that affect transportation costs. Landlocked countries have no access to the seaports in coastal areas and all export items coming by way of sea direct must pass through greater distances and neighboring countries before reaching the landlocked countries. This fact causes the landlocked countries to lose their competitive edge for exports. These countries need to bear the extra administrative and costs associated with transport goods across neighboring countries.
The Richest Landlocked Countries
Despite the above-mentioned problems, not all landlocked countries are sufferers. In fact, there are a few of them that are among the richest countries in the world. Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, and Hungary are some of the wealthiest landlocked countries in the world.
Why Are These Countries Compared to Prosperous?
Having strong and supportive neighbors is one of the primary reasons responsible for the success of the above mentioned rich landlocked countries. Also since most of these countries are in Europe, they are none of them too far away from the coast despite being landlocked countries. The countries also enjoy strong economic bonding and friendly relations with their neighbors, internal peace and political stability prevails within these countries, and they also have well-developed infrastructural facilities.
Kazakhstan is one of the landlocked countries which, though not located in Europe but in Central Asia, is also quite prosperous. Oil, metal, and mineral resources as well as extensive tracts of arable lands support the economy of Kazakhstan.
For example, Luxembourg has very good relations with its neighbors France, Belgium, and Netherlands and can afford to easily export and import goods via the neighboring lands. On the other hand, Ethiopia in Africa, a landlocked country, shares volatile relations with its neighbors, Somalia and Eritrea.
Why Are European Landlocked Nations So Wealthy?
Nations in Europe do not have a long history of colonialism and exploitation by colonial powers. These countries became independent long back and over the years stabilized their economies, gained high rates of literacy, and developed high-quality infrastructure. Most landlocked countries in other parts gained independence only recently and were heavily exploited by colonial powers. Many of these countries are also plagued by internal rebellions and civil wars.
Several international organizations like the United Nations aim to aid these landlocked countries by altering trade and custom laws applicable in these countries. Also, infrastructural developments in these countries have been encouraged with monetary aid from such organizations.