Field Listing

Economic overview

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This entry briefly describes five economic components for a given country:

* National Economy, including a brief economic history;

* Domestic Markets, including labor and wage markets, as well as brief commentary on economic sector portfolios;

* Financial Power and Public Finance, including brief discussions of financial market strengths and security, lending/exchange rates (especially if abnormalities exist), and foreign direct investments;

* Trade Power and Influence, including brief commentary on chief imports and exports; and

* Regional Strategy and Efforts, including key partners, regional economic development efforts, and any underlying economic data integrity concerns.

  • Afghanistan

    extremely low-income South Asian economy; import drops, currency depreciation, disappearing central bank reserves, and increasing inflation after Taliban takeover; increasing Chinese trade; hit hard by COVID; ongoing sanctions

  • Akrotiri

    Economic activity is limited to providing services to the military and their families located in Akrotiri. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.

  • Albania

    future hopeful EU member state; oil and gas exporter but investing toward a “blue economy”; COVID-19 and earthquake economic disruptions and declines; experiencing high debt and account balances; strengthening private sector growth and public sector trust

  • Algeria

    suffering oil and gas economy; lack of sector and market diversification; political instability chilling domestic consumption; poor credit access and declines in business confidence; COVID-19 austerity policies; delayed promised socio-economic reforms

  • American Samoa

    tourism, tuna, and government services-based territorial economy; sustained economic decline; vulnerable tuna canning industry; large territorial government presence; minimum wage increases to rise to federal standards by 2036

  • Andorra

    high GDP; low unemployment; non-EU Euro user; co-principality duty-free area between Spain and France; tourist hub but hit hard by COVID-19; modern, non-tax haven financial sector; looking for big tech investments; new member of SEPA and IMF

  • Angola

    African oil leader and OPEC member; fairly stable currency; widespread poverty; emerging African finance and investment capital; systemic public corruption and lack of oversight; massive foreign direct investment recipient

  • Anguilla

    small, tourism-dependent, territorial-island economy; very high public debt; COVID-19 crippled economic activity; partial recovery underway via tourism, benefitting from its high amount of timeshare residences; considering reopening oil refinery

  • Antarctica

    Scientific undertakings rather than commercial pursuits are the predominant human activity in Antarctica. Offshore fishing and tourism, both based abroad, account for Antarctica's limited economic activity.

    Antarctic Fisheries, within the area covered by the Convention on Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources currently target Patagonian toothfish, Antarctic toothfish, mackerel icefish and Antarctic krill. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) manages these fisheries using the ecosystem-based and precautionary approach.  The Commission’s objective is conservation of Antarctic marine living resources and it regulates the fisheries based on the level of information available, and maintaining existing ecological relationships.  While Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing has declined in the Convention area since 1990, it remains a concern

    A total of 73,670 tourists visited the Antarctic Treaty area in the 2019-2020 Antarctic summer, 32 percent greater than the 55,489 visitors in 2018-2019. These estimates were provided to the Antarctic Treaty by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators and do not include passengers on overflights. Nearly all of the tourists were passengers on commercial ships and several yachts that make trips during the summer.

  • Antigua and Barbuda

    dual island-tourism and construction-driven economy; emerging “blue economy”; limited water supply and susceptibility to hurricanes limit activity; improving road infrastructure; friendly to foreign direct investment; looking at financial innovation in cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies

  • Arctic Ocean

    Economic activity is limited to the exploitation of natural resources, including petroleum, natural gas, fish, and seals.

  • Argentina

    large diversified economy; financial risks from debt obligations, rapid inflation, and reduced investor appetites; resource-rich, export-led growth model; increasing trade relations with China; G20 and OAS leader; tendency to nationalize businesses and under-report inflation

  • Armenia

    EEU-and CIS-member state but seeking more EU and US trade; business-friendly growth environments; stable monetary regime but vulnerable demand economy; key copper and gold exporter; persistent unemployment; large diaspora and remittances

  • Aruba

    small, tourism-dependent, territorial-island economy; very high public debt; COVID-19 crippled economic activity; partial recovery underway via tourism, benefitting from its high amount of timeshare residences; considering reopening oil refinery

  • Ashmore and Cartier Islands

    no economic activity

  • Atlantic Ocean

    The Atlantic Ocean provides some of the world's most heavily trafficked sea routes, between and within the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Other economic activity includes the exploitation of natural resources, e.g., fishing, dredging of aragonite sands (The Bahamas), and production of crude oil and natural gas (Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and North Sea).

  • Australia

    Asian and global economic leader and partner for 3 decades; strong financial sector and highly traded domestic currency support best credit ratings; aging workforce; export-led model; reduced consumer spending offset by government and business; energy investor

  • Austria

    one of the strongest EU and euro economies; diversified trade portfolios and relations; enormous trade economy; Russian energy dependence, but investing in alternative energy; aging labor force but large refugee population; large government debt

  • Azerbaijan

    oil-based economy; macroeconomic instabilities due to demand shocks; recent state bailout of largest lender; potential economic gains from Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; negatively impacted by COVID-19; investing in human capital to diversify and retain younger generation

  • Bahamas, The

    high-income tourism and financial services economy; strong US bilateral relations; US supplies the vast majority of imports; struggling to recover from Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19 disruptions; recently introduced special economic recovery zones

  • Bahrain

    heavily dependent oil/gas economy, has suffered due to lower prices and COVID-19 demand reductions; diversification struggles driven by unemployment and low-skilled labor force; deployed fiscal balancing efforts; emerging tourism industry hit hard by COVID-19 disruptions

  • Bangladesh

    one of the fastest growing economies; significant poverty reduction; COVID-19 adversely impacted female labor force participation and undermined previously stable financial conditions; looking to diversify beyond clothing industry; fairly low government debt; new taxation law struggling to increase government revenues

  • Barbados

    import-driven economy; dependent on US trade; maintains a pegged exchange rate to the US dollar; high Human Development Index; heavy tourism; reducing government debt to improve fiscal health; launched major agricultural subsidy program to improve food security

  • Belarus

    declining Russian energy subsidies will end in 2024; growing public debt; strong currency pressures have led to higher inflation; recent price controls on basic food and drugs; public sector wage increases and fragile private sector threaten household income gains and economic growth

  • Belgium

    high income economy with strong but moderate growth; high public debt; aging labor force; low labor force participation of low-skilled, migrant, and older workers; strong welfare system; high congestion; complex business permitting and judicial systems

  • Belize

    tourism- and agriculture-driven economy initially hard hit by COVID-19; ongoing export recovery, especially fruits and sugar demand surges; investing towards a “blue economy”; central bank offering USD-denominated treasury notes; high mobility across borders

  • Benin

    robust economic growth; slightly declining but still widespread poverty; strong trade relations with Nigeria; cotton exporter; COVID-19 has led to capital outflows and border closures; WAEMU member with currency pegged to the euro; recent fiscal deficit and debt reductions

  • Bermuda

    small, tourism- and construction-based, territorial-island economy; American import and tourist destination; known offshore banking hub; increasing inflation; major re-exportation and re-importation area

  • Bhutan

    hydropower investments spurring economic development; Gross National Happiness economy; sharp poverty declines; low inflation; strong monetary and fiscal policies; stable currency; fairly resilient response to COVID-19; key economic and strategic relations with India; climate vulnerabilities

  • Bolivia

    resource-rich economy benefits during commodity booms; has bestowed juridical rights to Mother Earth, impacting extraction industries; increasing Chinese lithium mining trade relations; hard hit by COVID-19; increased fiscal spending amid poverty increases; rampant banking and finance corruption

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

    import-dominated economy; remains consumption-heavy; lack of private sector investments and diversification; jointly addressing structural economic challenges; Chinese energy infrastructure investments; high unemployment; tourism industry impacted by COVID-19

  • Botswana

    good economic governance and financial management; diamond-driven growth model declining; rapid poverty reductions; high unemployment, particularly among youth; COVID-19 sharply contracted the economy and recovery is slow; public sector wages have posed fiscal challenges

  • Bouvet Island

    no economic activity; declared a nature reserve

  • Brazil

    industrial-led economic growth model; recovering from 2014-2016 recession when COVID-19 hit; industry limited by Amazon rainforest but increasing deforestation; new macroeconomic structural reforms; high income inequality; left UNASUR to join PROSUR

  • British Indian Ocean Territory

    small island territory economy; economic activity mainly on Diego Garcia with national military installations; recently settled disputes with Mauritius have increased oil exports; established marine reserve has limited commercial fishing

  • British Virgin Islands

    British Caribbean island territorial economy; strong tourism and services industries; vulnerable to hurricanes; navigating public debt insolvency since 2008 Crisis; considered a tax haven; high electrification costs; major rum exporter

  • Brunei

    almost exclusively an oil and gas economy; high income country; expansive and robust welfare system; the majority of the population works for the government; promulgating a nationalized halal brand; considering establishment of a bond market and stock exchange

  • Bulgaria

    upper-middle-income EU economy; improving living standards and very robust economic growth; coal-based infrastructure; legacy structural vulnerabilities and widespread corruption; increasing Russian economic relations, particularly through energy trade

  • Burkina Faso

    highly agrarian, low-income economy; limited natural resources; widespread poverty; terrorism disrupting potential economic activity; improving trade balance via increases in gold exports; economy inflating after prior deflation; growing public debt but still manageable

  • Burma

    prior to COVID-19 and the February 2021 military coup, massive declines in poverty, rapid economic growth, and improving social welfare; underdevelopment, climate change, and unequal investment threaten progress and sustainability planning; since coup, foreign assistance has ceased from most funding sources

  • Burundi

    highly agrarian, low-income Sub-Saharan economy; declining foreign assistance; increasing fiscal insolvencies; dense and still growing population; COVID-19 weakened economic recovery and flipped two years of deflation

  • Cabo Verde

    tourism-dominated economy benefits from the country’s relative close proximity to Europe; 2009 Financial Crisis halted economic growth for seven years; leveraging export-based growth; COVID-19 decimated economic growth and recovery; high external debt

  • Cambodia

    one of the fastest growing economies; tourism and clothing exports; substantial manufacturing and construction sectors; COVID-19 declines and the suspension of EU market preferential access; massive reductions in poverty, but rural areas remain disproportionately poor

  • Cameroon

    largest CEMAC economy with many natural resources; recent political instability and terrorism reducing economic output; systemic corruption; poor property rights enforcement; increasing poverty in northern regions

  • Canada

    one of the world’s largest economies; leading global financier and macroeconomic partner; largest US trading partner; key timber and oil and gas industries; Canada sends over half its development aid to the World Bank; key “blue economy” developer

  • Cayman Islands

    dominant offshore banking territory; services sector accounts for over 85% of economic activity; recently adopted a fiscal responsibility framework to combat tax evasion and money laundering; large tourism sector; does not have any welfare system; high standard of living

  • Central African Republic

    enormous natural resources; extreme poverty; weak public institutions and infrastructure; political and gender-based violence have led to displacement of roughly 25% of population; Bangui-Douala corridor blockade reduced activity and tax collection; strong agricultural performance offset COVID-19 downturn

  • Chad

    primarily oil-based economy, vulnerable to regional competition and international price shocks; increasing extreme poverty and minimal human capital capacities; one of the most environmentally disrupted economies; high maternal and infant mortality rates destabilizing labor force potentials

  • Chile

    export-driven economy; leading copper producer; though hit by COVID-19, fairly quick rebound from increased liquidity and rapid vaccine rollouts; decreasing poverty but still lingering inequality; public debt rising but still manageable; recent political violence has had negative economic consequences

  • China

    one of the world’s top two economies; sustained growth due to export relations, its manufacturing sector, and low-wage workers; only major economy to avoid COVID-19 economic decline; recovery efforts slowing due to longstanding poverty imbalances and other institutional issues; state-sponsored economic controls

  • Christmas Island

    high-income Australian territorial economy; development through government services and phosphate mining; operates Australia’s Immigration Detention Centre; increasing tourism and government investments; sustained environmental protections

  • Clipperton Island

    Although 115 species of fish have been identified in the territorial waters of Clipperton Island, tuna fishing is the only economically viable species.

  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands

    Coconuts, grown throughout the islands, are the sole cash crop. Small local gardens and fishing contribute to the food supply, but additional food and most other necessities must be imported from Australia. There is a small tourist industry.

  • Colombia

    prior to COVID-19, one of the most consistent growth economies; declining poverty; large stimulus package has mitigated economic fallout, but delayed key infrastructure investments; successful inflation management; sound flexible exchange rate regime; domestic economy suffers from lack of trade integration and infrastructure

  • Comoros

    small trade-based island economy; declining remittances; new structural and fiscal reforms; adverse cyclone and COVID-19 impacts; manageable debts; fragile liquidity environment; large foreign direct investment; state-owned enterprises suffering

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the

    very poor, large, natural resource-rich sub-Saharan country; possesses the world’s second largest rainforest; increasing Chinese extractive sector trade; massive decrease in government investments; increasing current account deficit and public debts

  • Congo, Republic of the

    primarily an oil- and natural resources-based economy; recovery from mid-2010s oil devaluation has been slow and curtailed by COVID-19; extreme poverty increasing, particularly in southern rural regions; attempting to implement recommended CEMAC reforms; increasing likelihood of debt default

  • Cook Islands

    high-income self-governing New Zealand territorial economy; tourism-based activity but diversifying; severely curtailed by COVID-19 pandemic; copra and tropical fruit exporter; recently received economic recovery support from Asian Development Bank

  • Coral Sea Islands

    no economic activity

  • Costa Rica

    trade-based upper middle-income economy; green economy leader, having reversed deforestation; investing in blue economy infrastructure; declining poverty until hard impacts of COVID-19; lingering inequality and growing government debts have prompted a liquidity crisis

  • Cote d'Ivoire

    one of West Africa’s most influential, stable, and rapidly developing economies; poverty declines in urban but increases in rural areas; strong construction sector and increasingly diverse economic portfolio; increasing but manageable public debt; large labor force in agriculture

  • Croatia

    tourism-based economy that was one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 economic disruptions; newest euro user since 2023, helping recover from a 6-year recession; public debt increases due to COVID-19 and stimulus packages; weak exports; continuing emigration; new liquefied natural gas import terminal

  • Cuba

    still largely state-run planned economy, although privatization increasing under new constitution; widespread protests due to lack of basic necessities and electricity; massive foreign investment increases recently; known tobacco exporter; unique oil-for-doctors relationship with Venezuela; widespread corruption

  • Curacao

    high-income island economy; developed infrastructure; tourism and financial services-based economy; investing in information technology incentives; oil refineries service Venezuela and China; unique COVID-19 stimulus support applied to government debts rather than household support

  • Cyprus

    services-based, high-income EU island economy; heavy tourism; sustained growth between recovery of national banking system and COVID-19 trade restrictions; high living standards; a known financial hub, its stock exchange functions as an investment bridge between EU-and EEU-member countries

  • Czechia

    high income, diversified EU economy; advanced services and automotive exporter; mostly intra-EU trader; low unemployment; usually maintains a positive trade balance; large investments in systems innovation and information technologies

  • Denmark

    longstanding EU leader; global environmental regulatory innovator; diversified trade-based economy, dominated by its services sector; increased government spending but retaining budget surpluses; increasing taxes and innovating emissions tax incentives

  • Dhekelia

    Economic activity is limited to providing services to the military and their families located in Dhekelia. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.

  • Djibouti

    food import-dependent Horn of Africa economy driven by various national military bases and port-based trade; fairly resilient from COVID-19 disruptions; major re-exporter; increasing Ethiopian and Chinese trade relations; investing in infrastructure

  • Dominica

    highly agrarian OECS island economy; ECCU-member state; large banana exporter; COVID-19- and Hurricane Maria-related public debt increases; improving government oversight of its very cheap citizenship-by-investment program

  • Dominican Republic

    tourism, construction, mining, and telecommunications OECS economy; COVID-19 disrupted economic growth; major foreign direct investment and free-trade zones; developing local financial markets; improving debt management; declining poverty

  • Ecuador

    highly informal South American economy; USD currency user; major banana exporter; hard hit by COVID-19; macroeconomic fragility from oil dependency; successful debt restructuring; China funding budget deficits; social unrest hampering economic activity

  • Egypt

    Africa’s second largest economy; 2030 Vision to diversify markets; improving fiscal, external, and current accounts; resilient to COVID-19 disruptions; underperforming private sector; poor labor force participation; stimulus expanded credit access

  • El Salvador

    growth-challenged Central American economy buttressed via remittances; dense labor force; fairly aggressive COVID-19 stimulus plan; new and lower banking reserve requirements; earthquake, tropical storm, and crime disruptions; widespread corruption

  • Equatorial Guinea

    growing CEMAC economy and new OPEC member; large oil and gas reserves; targeting economic diversification and poverty reduction; still recovering from CEMAC crisis; improving public financial management; persistent poverty; hard-hit by COVID-19

  • Eritrea

    largely agrarian economy with a significant mining sector; substantial fiscal surplus due to tight controls; high and vulnerable debts; increased Ethiopian trade and shared port usage decreasing prices; financial and economic data integrity challenges

  • Estonia

    advanced service-based EU and OECD economy; regional trade and telecommunications leader; recently rejected Baltic sea rail tunnel from Tallinn to Helsinki; flat income taxation; substantial welfare system; balanced budget culture; business-friendly climate

  • Eswatini

    landlocked southern African economy; South African trade dependent and currency pegging; CMA and SACU member state; COVID-19 economic slowdown; growing utilities inflation; persistent poverty and unemployment; HIV/AIDS labor force disruptions

  • Ethiopia

    growing Horn of Africa construction- and services-based economy; port access via Djibouti and Eritrea; widespread but declining poverty; COVID-19, locust invasion, and Tigray crisis disruptions; public investment increases; second largest African labor force

  • European Union

    The 27 member states that make up the EU have adopted an internal single market with free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor. The EU, which is also a customs union, aims to bolster Europe's trade position and its political and economic weight in international affairs.

     

    Despite great differences in per capita income among member states (from $28,000 to $109,000) and in national attitudes toward issues like inflation, debt, and foreign trade, the EU has achieved a high degree of coordination of monetary and fiscal policies. A common currency – the euro – circulates among 20 of the member states that make up the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Eleven member states introduced the euro as their common currency on 1 January 1999 (Greece did so two years later). Since 2004, 13 states acceded to the EU. Of the 13, Slovenia (2007), Cyprus and Malta (2008), Slovakia (2009), Estonia (2011), Latvia (2014), Lithuania (2015), and Croatia (2023) have adopted the euro; six other member states - excluding Denmark, which has a formal opt-out - are required by EU treaties to adopt the common currency upon meeting fiscal and monetary convergence criteria.

     

    The EU economy posted moderate GDP growth for 2014 through 2017, capping five years of sustained growth since the 2008-09 global economic crisis and the ensuing sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone in 2011. However, the bloc’s recovery was uneven. Some EU member states (Czechia, Ireland, Malta, Romania, Sweden, and Spain) recorded strong growth, others (Italy) experienced modest expansion, and Greece finally ended its EU rescue program in August 2018. Overall, the EU’s recovery was buoyed by lower commodities prices and accommodative monetary policy, which lowered interest rates and stimulated demand. The euro zone, which makes up about 70% of the total EU economy, performed well, achieving a growth rate not seen in a decade. In October 2017 the European Central Bank (ECB) announced it would extend its bond-buying program through September 2018, and possibly beyond that date, to keep the euro zone recovery on track. The ECB’s efforts to spur more lending and investment through its asset-buying program, negative interest rates, and long-term loan refinancing programs have not yet raised inflation in line with the ECB’s statutory target of just under 2%.

     

    Despite its performance, high unemployment in some member states, high levels of public and private debt, muted productivity, an incomplete single market in services, and an aging population remain sources of potential drag on the EU’s future growth. Moreover, the EU economy remains vulnerable to a slowdown of global trade and bouts of political and financial turmoil. In June 2016, the UK voted to withdraw from the EU, the first member country ever to attempt to secede. Continued uncertainty about the implications of the UK’s exit from the EU (concluded January 2020) could hurt consumer and investor confidence and dampen EU growth, particularly if trade and cross-border investment significantly declines. Political disagreements between EU member states on reforms to fiscal and economic policy also may impair the EU’s ability to bolster its crisis-prevention and resolution mechanisms. International investors’ fears of a broad dissolution of the single currency area have largely dissipated, but these concerns could resurface if elected leaders implement policies that contravene euro-zone budget or banking rules. State interventions in ailing banks, including rescue of banks in Italy and resolution of banks in Spain, have eased financial vulnerabilities in the European banking sector even though some banks are struggling with low profitability and a large stock of bad loans, fragilities that could precipitate localized crises. Externally, the EU has continued to pursue comprehensive free trade agreements to expand EU external market share, particularly with Asian countries; EU and Japanese leaders reached a political-level agreement on a free trade agreement in July 2017, and agreement with Mexico in April 2018 on updates to an existing free trade agreement.

  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

    British South American territorial economy; longstanding fishing industry; surging tourism prior to COVID-19 and Brexit; recent offshore hydrocarbon discoveries threaten ecotourism industries; no central bank and must have British approval on currency shifts

  • Faroe Islands

    high-income Danish territorial economy; party neither to the EU nor the Schengen Area; associate Nordic Council member; very low unemployment; unique foreign ownership allowance in fishing industry; known salmon exporter; growing IT industries

  • Fiji

    tourism-based Pacific island economy, susceptible to sea-level rises; new energy infrastructure investments; major foreign direct investment; COVID-19 crippled tourism sector; privatizing state-owned enterprises; military coups have destabilized labor force

  • Finland

    highly industrialized, export-based EU economy and euro user; high per capita GDP; major timber, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries; manageable public debts; rigid labor laws impose higher regulatory burdens

  • France

    high-income, advanced and diversified EU economy and euro user; strong tourism, aircraft manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and industrial sectors; ongoing pension reform protests; high public debts and COVID-19 spending increases; global environmental leader

  • French Polynesia

    small, territorial-island tourism-based economy; large French financing; lower EU import duties; Pacific Islands Forum member; fairly resilient from COVID-19; oil-dependent infrastructure

  • French Southern and Antarctic Lands

    very small, fishing-based, domestic economic activity; military base servicing

  • Gabon

    natural resource-rich, upper-middle-income, Central African economy; sparsely populated but high urbanization; young labor force; oil, manganese, and rubber exporter; foreign investment dependent; data integrity issue on poverty and income

  • Gambia, The

    small West African economy; COVID-19 reversed robust growth trends; good fiscal management; substantial foreign direct investment and remittances; G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative participant; widespread poverty; increasing Chinese relations

  • Gaza Strip

    Movement and access restrictions, violent attacks, and the slow pace of post-conflict reconstruction continue to degrade economic conditions in the Gaza Strip, the smaller of the two areas comprising the Palestinian territories. Israeli controls became more restrictive after HAMAS seized control of the territory in June 2007. Under Hamas control, Gaza has suffered from rising unemployment, elevated poverty rates, and a sharp contraction of the private sector, which had relied primarily on export markets.

    Since April 2017, the Palestinian Authority has reduced payments for electricity supplied to Gaza and cut salaries for its employees there, exacerbating poor economic conditions. Since 2014, Egypt’s crackdown on the Gaza Strip’s extensive tunnel-based smuggling network has exacerbated fuel, construction material, and consumer goods shortages in the territory. Donor support for reconstruction following the 51-day conflict in 2014 between Israel and HAMAS and other Gaza-based militant groups has fallen short of post-conflict needs.

  • Georgia

    COVID-19 crippled tourism, transportation, and construction sectors; rising unemployment, public debts and poverty; foreign investment and domestic bond issuance

  • Germany

    leading EU services-based export-driven economy; COVID-19 disrupted its modern manufacturing sector; highly skilled and educated labor force; positive current account balances; increasing public debt; low defense spending; second Russian gas pipeline

  • Ghana

    West African trade and agrarian economy; COVID-19 reversed nearly 4 decades of continuous growth; major diamond, gold, cocoa, and oil exporter; high public debts; financial and energy sector reform programs adding to fiscal pressures; high remittances

  • Gibraltar

    British territorial high-income economy; Brexit caused significant economic disruption to longstanding financial services, shipping, and tourism industries; ongoing negotiations to rejoin EU Schengen Area; independent taxation authority

  • Greece

    tourism- and shipping-based EU economy; clientelism economic culture and systemic corruption; new structural reforms for fiscal solvency; high public debts and unemployment; increasing Chinese port control; oil and gas disputes with Turkey

  • Greenland

    large self-governing Danish territorial economy; preferential EU market access; high-income economy; dependent on Danish financial support, even for whaling and sealing industries; growing tourism; hydropower-fueled but environmentally fragile economy

  • Grenada

    small OECS service-based economy; large tourism, construction, transportation, and education sectors; major spice exporter; shrinking but still high public debt; vulnerable to hurricanes; declining remittances

  • Guam

    small Pacific island US territorial economy; upper income, tourism-based economy; hard-hit by COVID-19 disruptions; relaunched many industries via vaccination tourism; domestic economy relies on multiple military bases; environmentally fragile economy

  • Guatemala

    growing Central American economy; unique South Korean business relations; high poverty, inequality, and malnutrition; low government revenues impede educational, sanitation, and healthcare efforts; high migration, child labor, and remittances

  • Guernsey

    high-income English Channel island economy; strong financial sector but stressed due to COVID-19 disruptions; manufacturing, tourism, and construction industries suffered but expected to recover; stable inflation; maintains independent taxation authority

  • Guinea

    growing but primarily agrarian West African economy; major mining sector; improving fiscal and debt balances prior to COVID-19; economy increasingly vulnerable to climate change; slow infrastructure improvements; gender wealth and human capital gaps

  • Guinea-Bissau

    extremely poor West African economy; ethnically diverse labor force; increasing government expenditures; slight inflation due to food supply disruptions; major cashew exporter; systemic banking instabilities and corruption; vulnerable to oil price shocks

  • Guyana

    small South American export economy; COVID-19 disruptions and commodity price drops; high emigration and remittances; widespread poverty; recently discovered oil and gas reserves; formalizing financial sector; large bauxite and gold resources

  • Haiti

    small Caribbean island economy and OECS-member state; extreme poverty; enormous income inequalities; destabilization due to recent presidential assassination; US preferential market access; deteriorating human capital and infrastructure investments

  • Heard Island and McDonald Islands

    The islands have no indigenous economic activity, but the Australian Government allows limited fishing in the surrounding waters. Visits to Heard Island typically focus on terrestrial and marine research and infrequent private expeditions.

  • Holy See (Vatican City)

    limited, tourism-based economy; euro user but issues commemorative stamps and coins; solar energy producer; some printing industry to support museums and religious needs

  • Honduras

    second-fastest-growing Central American economy; COVID-19 and two hurricanes crippled activity; high poverty and inequality; declining-but-still-high violent crime disruption; systemic corruption; coffee and banana exporter; enormous remittances

  • Hong Kong

    high-income tourism- and services-based economy; global financial hub; COVID-19 and political protests fueled recent recession; ongoing recovery but lower-skilled unemployment remains high; investing in job-reskilling programs

  • Hungary

    high-income EU and OECD economy; decreasing government spending; increasing judicial independence concerns; flat income taxation; increasingly dependent on energy imports; strong tourism and automotive manufacturing

  • Iceland

    high-income European economy; frozen EU accession application but Schengen Area member; tourism industry, which helped rebound the economy after 2008 collapse, hit hard by COVID-19; major fishing industry; complex regulatory environment

  • India

    largest South Asian economy; still informal domestic economies; COVID-19 reversed both economic growth and poverty reduction; credit access weaknesses contributing to lower private consumption and inflation; new social and infrastructure equity efforts

  • Indian Ocean

    The Indian Ocean provides major sea routes connecting the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia with Europe and the Americas. It carries a particularly heavy traffic of petroleum and petroleum products from the oilfields of the Persian Gulf and Indonesia. Its fish are of great and growing importance to the bordering countries for domestic consumption and export. Fishing fleets from Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan also exploit the Indian Ocean, mainly for shrimp and tuna. Large reserves of hydrocarbons are being tapped in the offshore areas of Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, and western Australia. An estimated 40% of the world's offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean. Beach sands rich in heavy minerals and offshore placer deposits are actively exploited by bordering countries, particularly India, South Africa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

  • Indonesia

    one of the fastest growing economies and largest in Southeast Asia; upper middle-income country; human capital and competitiveness phase of its 20-year development plan; COVID-19 reversed poverty reduction trajectory; strengthening financial resilience

  • Iran

    traditionally state-controlled economy but reforming state-owned financial entities; strong oil/gas, agricultural, and service sectors; recent massive inflation due to exchange rate depreciation, international sanctions, and investor uncertainty; increasing poverty

  • Iraq

    oil-dependent Middle Eastern economy; COVID-19 disruption and domestic economy fragility post-US presence; poverty increases; currency devaluation leading to inflation; import-dependent for most sectors; evaluating fiscal and monetary restructuring

  • Ireland

    strong, export-based EU economy; multinational-business-friendly environment known for resilience, even amid COVID-19 disruptions; real wage growth beyond other OECD members; high livings standards; strong social equity and cohesion; aging labor force

  • Isle of Man

    high-income British island economy; known financial services and tourism industries; taxation incentives for technology and financial firms to operate; historic fishing and agriculture industries are declining; major online gambling and film industry locale

  • Israel

    high-income, technology- and industrial-based economy; recent debt spikes; high inequality and poverty disparities persist; significant tariff and regulatory burdens, especially in agriculture; hard-hit by COVID-19; quantitative easing in effect

  • Italy

    core EU economy; strong services, manufacturing, and tourism sectors; hard hit by COVID-19 disruptions but starting to recover; large EU exporter but data skews due to inflated port entry valuation; corruption somewhat stymies foreign direct investment

  • Jamaica

    upper middle-income Caribbean island economy; prior to COVID-19 disruption, declining public debt and unemployment; environmentally fragile economy due to hurricanes and rising sea levels; persistently high crime, youth unemployment, and poverty

  • Jan Mayen

    Jan Mayen is a volcanic island with no exploitable natural resources, although surrounding waters contain substantial fish stocks and potential untapped petroleum resources. Economic activity is limited to providing services for employees of Norway's radio and meteorological stations on the island.

  • Japan

    third-largest, trade-oriented, and diversified economy; most indebted country; recent infrastructure spending, significant currency devaluations, consumption tax hikes; declining labor force; recent government stimulus largely offset COVID-19 downturn

  • Jersey

    British territorial island economy; strong offshore banking and finance sectors; low asset taxation; strong tourism sector prior to COVID-19 and Brexit; one of the most expensive places to live; minimal welfare system; historical cider industry

  • Jordan

    low growth; high unemployment, especially for youth and women; growing debt; severe COVID-19 disruptions to service and tourism; high current account balances and Five-Year Reform Matrix progress; new business programs; declining remittances

  • Kazakhstan

    oil and gas giant, with growing international investment; domestic economy hit hard by COVID-19 disruptions; reforming civil society and improving business confidence; legacy state controls and Russian influence inhibit growth and autonomy

  • Kenya

    one of the fastest growing Sub-Saharan economies; hard-hit by COVID-19 disruptions and locust infestation, somewhat offset by agricultural growth; environmentally fragile economy; persistent poverty; better financial confidence; significant remittances

  • Kiribati

    small, growing, environmentally fragile, Pacific island economy; major financial support from remittances, aid, and phosphate mining fund; tourism and fishing industries; poor business climate; inadequate anticorruption efforts; poor fiscal management

  • Korea, North

    one of the last centrally planned economies; hard hit by COVID-19, crop failures, international sanctions, and isolationist policies; declining growth and trade, and heavily reliant on China; poor exchange rate stability; economic data integrity issues

  • Korea, South

    strong export-driven East Asian economy; sustainable and social policy leader; foreign aid financier; automotive manufacturing; app-based developer and exporter; global healthcare technology leader; credit suffers due to tensions with North Korea

  • Kosovo

    small-but-growing European economy; non-EU member but unilateral euro user; very high unemployment, especially youth; vulnerable reliance on diaspora tourism services, curtailed by COVID-19 disruptions; unclear public loan portfolio health

  • Kuwait

    small, high-income, oil-based Middle East economy; renewable energy proponent; regional finance and investment leader; maintains oldest sovereign wealth fund; emerging space and tourism industries; mid-way through 25-year development program

  • Kyrgyzstan

    landlocked, lower-middle-income Central Asian economy; natural resource rich; growing hydroelectricity and tourism; high remittances; corruption limits investment; COVID-19 and political turmoil hurt GDP, limited public revenues, and increased spending

  • Laos

    lower middle-income, socialist Southeast Asian economy; one of the fastest growing economies; declining but still high poverty; natural resource rich; new anticorruption efforts; already high and growing public debt; service sector hit hard by COVID-19

  • Latvia

    high-income, EU-member Baltic economy; export-driven; major bribery and money-laundering scandals suggest widespread financial corruption; strong but gradual post COVID-19 recovery; regional tension with Belarus; highly developed transit services

  • Lebanon

    upper middle-income Middle Eastern economy; economic activity hurt by economic depression, COVID-19, and port explosion; hyperinflation and sharp poverty increases; banks have ceased lending; new financing facility helping with recovery

  • Lesotho

    lower middle-income economy surrounded by South Africa; environmentally fragile and politically unstable; key infrastructure and renewable energy investments; dire poverty; urban job and income losses due to COVID-19; systemic corruption

  • Liberia

    low-income West African economy; food scarcity, especially in rural areas; high poverty and inflation; bad recession prior to COVID-19 due to Ebola crisis; growing government debt; longest continuously operated rubber plantation; large informal economy

  • Libya

    upper middle-income, fossil fuel-based North African economy; 31% economic contraction due to COVID-19 and 2020 oil blockade; reduced government spending; central bank had to devalue currency; public wages are over 60% of expenditures

  • Liechtenstein

    high-income European economy; Schengen Area participant; key European financial leader; integrated with Swiss economy and franc currency user; one of the highest GDP per capita countries; relies on US and Eurozone markets for exports

  • Lithuania

    high-income, EU-member, largest Baltic economy; privatized most state-owned enterprises; unmoved youth emigration; systemic corruption; issued Europe’s first bank-backed digital coin (LBCOIN); highly educated workforce; lowest EU household debt

  • Luxembourg

    high-income, EU-member European economy; global financial and information storage leader; high government spending; one of highest GDP per capita countries; unique audit accountancy based on company sizing; aging labor force; hit by COVID-19

  • Macau

    high-income, Chinese special administrative region economy; known for apparel exports and gambling tourism; currency pegged to Hong Kong dollar; significant recession due to 2015 Chinese anticorruption campaign; COVID-19 further halved economic activity

  • Madagascar

    low-income East African island economy; natural resource rich; extreme poverty; return of political stability has helped growth; sharp tax revenue drop due to COVID-19; leading vanilla producer; environmentally fragile

  • Malawi

    low-income East African economy; primarily agrarian; investing in human capital; urban poverty increasing due to COVID-19; high public debt; endemic corruption and poor property rights; poor hydroelectric grid; localized pharmaceutical industry

  • Malaysia

    upper middle-income Southeast Asian economy; implementing key anticorruption policies; major electronics, oil, and chemicals exporter; trade sector employs over 40% of jobs; key economic equity initiative; high labor productivity

  • Maldives

    upper middle-income Indian Ocean island economy; major tourism, fishing, and shipping industries; high public debt; systemic corruption; crippled by COVID-19; ongoing deflation; poverty has tripled since pandemic began

  • Mali

    low-income Saharan economy; recession due to COVID-19 and political instability; extreme poverty; environmentally fragile; high public debt; agricultural and gold exporter; terrorism and warfare are common

  • Malta

    high-income, EU-member European economy; diversified portfolio; euro user; dependent on food and energy imports; strong tourism, trade, and manufacturing sectors; high North African immigration; large welfare system; educated workforce

  • Marshall Islands

    upper middle-income Pacific island economy; US aid reliance; large public sector workforce; produces coconut oil as a substitute to diesel fuel; becoming offshore banking locale; fishing rights seller; import-dependent

  • Mauritania

    lower middle-income West African economy; primarily agrarian; rising urbanization; poor property rights; systemic corruption; endemic social and workforce tensions; wide-scale terrorism; foreign over-fishing; environmentally fragile

  • Mauritius

    upper middle-income Indian Ocean island economy; diversified portfolio; investing in maritime security; strong tourism sector decimated by COVID-19; expanding in information and financial services; environmentally fragile

  • Mexico

    one of the world’s largest economies; USMCA buttresses its manufacturing sector; has underperformed growth targets for three decades; COVID-19 disrupted export-based economy; corruption and cartel-based violence undermine economic stability

  • Micronesia, Federated States of

    lower middle-income Pacific island economy; US aid reliance, sunsetting in 2024; low entrepreneurship; mostly fishing and farming; US dollar user; no patent laws; tourism remains underdeveloped; significant corruption

  • Moldova

    upper middle-income Eastern European economy; sustained growth reversed by COVID-19; significant remittances; Russian energy and regional dependence; agricultural exporter; declining workforce due to emigration and low fertility

  • Monaco

    high-income European economy; non-EU euro user; considered a tax haven; tourism and banking are largest sectors; negatively impacted by COVID-19; major oceanographic museum; among most expensive real estate; major state-owned enterprises

  • Mongolia

    lower middle-income East Asian economy; large human capital improvements over last 3 decades; agricultural and natural resource rich; Chinese border closures and COVID-19 hurt; growth and poverty decline mainly in rural areas

  • Montenegro

    upper middle-income Balkan economy; unsanctioned euro user; controversial religious property ownership law; persistent corruption; major infrastructure investments and high expenditures; growing offshore banking destination

  • Montserrat

    formerly high-income economy; volcanic activity destroyed much of original infrastructure and economy; new capital and port is being developed; key geothermal and solar power generation; key music recording operations

  • Morocco

    lower middle-income North African economy; COVID-19 brought first recession since 1995; reforming state-owned enterprises and expanding welfare system; large tourism, manufacturing, and aeronautics industries; managed debt

  • Mozambique

    low-income East African economy; mostly rural labor force; natural resource rich; strong South African ties; Islamist terrorism in north endangers newly discovered natural gas; currently in court over massive (possibly unauthorized) debt

  • Namibia

    upper middle-income Sub-Saharan economy; environmentally fragile but natural resource rich; struggling to recover from 2016 recession; pegged exchange rate to South African rand; ongoing post-apartheid land reforms; still high socioeconomic inequality

  • Nauru

    upper-middle-income Pacific island country; phosphate resource exhaustion made island interior uninhabitable; licenses fishing rights; houses Australia’s Regional Processing Centre; former known tax haven; largely dependent on foreign subsidies

  • Navassa Island

    Subsistence fishing and commercial trawling occur within refuge waters.

  • Nepal

    low-income South Asian economy; post-conflict fiscal federalism increasing stability; COVID-19 hurt trade and tourism; widening current account deficits; environmentally fragile economy from earthquakes; growing Chinese relations and investments

  • Netherlands

    high-income European economy; core EU member; chemical, oil, and machinery exporter; some age-based income inequality; substantial amount of independent contractor employees; manageable public debt; key international aid funder.

  • New Caledonia

    upper-middle-income French Pacific territorial economy; large tourism presence that was hit hard by COVID-19; nickel and other metals mining operations; continuing French subsidies; large exporter of nickel to China

  • New Zealand

    high-income Pacific island economy; strong agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and energy sectors; reliant on Chinese market for exports; sustained growth; low unemployment; high living standards; sharp growth post COVID-19 lockdown

  • Nicaragua

    low-income Central American economy; until 2018, nearly 20 years of sustained GDP growth; recent struggles due to COVID-19, political instability, and hurricanes; significant remittances; increasing poverty and food scarcity since 2005; sanctions limit investment

  • Niger

    low-income Sahel economy; major instability and humanitarian crises limit economic activity; COVID-19 eliminated recent antipoverty gains; economy rebounding since December 2020 Nigerian border reopening and new investments; uranium resource rich

  • Nigeria

    one of the largest West African economies; oil-dependent exports, revenues, and credit; COVID-19 and oil price shocks have resulted in slowing growth, high inflation, increasing unemployment; frequent disruptions due to political instability, especially in the north

  • Niue

    upper-middle-income self-governing New Zealand territorial economy; massive emigration; postage stamps, small-scale agricultural processing, and subsistence farming; depends on New Zealand subsidies; EU preferential market access not utilized

  • Norfolk Island

    high-income Australian territorial economy; key tourism and re-exportation industries; small labor force and declining participation creating more part-time jobs; former tax haven; increasing medical cannabis exporter; little transportation infrastructure

  • North Macedonia

    growing upper middle-income European economy; EU accession stalled due to Bulgarian dispute; new NATO member; private consumption-driven growth; investment declined due to COVID-19; regional economic power gains since Greek naming resolution

  • Northern Mariana Islands

    US Pacific island commonwealth economy; growing Chinese and Korean tourist destination; hit hard by 2018 typhoon; dependent on energy imports; exempt from some US labor and immigration laws; longstanding garment production

  • Norway

    high-income non-EU European economy; aging labor force; large state-owned energy company constrains budget and spending; largest oil sovereign wealth fund; major fishing, forestry, and extraction industries; large welfare system

  • Oman

    high-income, oil-based economy; large welfare system; growing government debt; citizenship-based labor force growth policy; US free trade agreement; diversifying portfolio; high female labor force participation

  • Pacific Ocean

    The Pacific Ocean is a major contributor to the world economy and particularly to those nations its waters directly touch. It provides low-cost sea transportation between East and West, extensive fishing grounds, offshore oil and gas fields, minerals, and sand and gravel for the construction industry. In 1996, over 60% of the world's fish catch came from the Pacific Ocean. Exploitation of offshore oil and gas reserves is playing an ever-increasing role in the energy supplies of the US, Australia, NZ, China, and Peru. The high cost of recovering offshore oil and gas, combined with the wide swings in world prices for oil since 1985, has led to fluctuations in new drillings.

  • Pakistan

    lower middle-income South Asian economy; extremely high debt; endemic corruption; major currency devaluation; major food insecurity and inflation; environmentally fragile agricultural sector; regional disputes with India and Afghanistan hinder investment

  • Palau

    high-income Pacific island economy; major subsistence agriculture and fishing industries; reliant on US aid; strong tourism has prompted sustainability oversight mechanism; severely disrupted by COVID-19

  • Panama

    upper middle-income Central American economy; increasing Chinese trade; US dollar user; canal expansion fueling broader infrastructure investment; services sector dominates economy; historic money-laundering and illegal drug hub

  • Papua New Guinea

    lower middle-income Pacific island economy; very diverse, primarily informal agricultural labor force; natural resource rich extraction account for export volume; growing youth population faces lack of formal employment; hit by COVID-19

  • Paracel Islands

    The islands have the potential for oil and gas development. Waters around the islands support commercial fishing, but the islands themselves are not populated on a permanent basis.

  • Paraguay

    upper middle-income South American economy; COVID-19 hit while still recovering from 2019 Argentina-driven recession; global hydroelectricity leader; major corruption and money-laundering locale; highly agrarian economy; significant income inequality

  • Peru

    upper middle-income South American economy; hit hard by political instability and COVID-19 but rebounding quickly; second-largest cocaine producer; current account balance improving; persistent income inequality; diversified exporter

  • Philippines

    diversified, growing East Asian economy; major semiconductor, ship-building, and electronics exporter; significant remittances; COVID-19 hit consumption and investments hard; regional tensions with China; major geothermal energy user

  • Pitcairn Islands

    small South Pacific British island territorial economy; exports primarily postage stamps, handicraft goods, honey, and tinctures; extremely limited infrastructure; dependent upon UK and EU aid; recent border reopening post-COVID-19

  • Poland

    diversified, high-growth European economy; COVID-19 led to first recession in nearly 3 decades, albeit small; EU and NATO member; bolstering US relations; economic concentration in western region; aging labor force; growing debt

  • Portugal

    high-income European economy; EU and NATO member; recently blocked Chinese utility takeover; major tourism, banking, and telecommunications sectors; very high public debt and bureaucracy; major renewable energy producer

  • Puerto Rico

    US Caribbean island territorial economy; hit hard by COVID-19 and hurricanes; declining labor force and job growth after a decade of continuous recession; capital-based industry and tourism; high poverty; energy import-dependent

  • Qatar

    high-income, oil-and-gas-based Middle Eastern economy; better regional integration after 2021 terrorism resolution; infrastructure investments ahead of 2022 World Cup; Islamic finance leader; citizenship-based labor force growth

  • Romania

    high-income, service- and industrial-based European economy; EU member but non-euro user until convergence criteria met; sustained growth prior to COVID-19; major FDI recipient; flat taxation structure; digital hub of Eastern Europe

  • Russia

    natural resource-rich Eurasian economy; leading energy exporter to Europe and Asia; decreased oil export reliance; endemic corruption, Ukrainian invasion, and lack of green infrastructure limit investment and have led to sanctions

  • Rwanda

    fast-growing Sub-Saharan economy; major public investments; trade and tourism hit hard by COVID-19; increasing poverty after 2 decades of declines; Ugandan competition for regional influence; major coffee exporter; contested GDP figures

  • Saint Barthelemy

    high-income French Caribbean territorial economy; duty-free luxury commerce and tourism industries; import-dependent for food, water, energy, and manufacturing; large Brazilian and Portuguese labor supply; environmentally fragile

  • Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha

    upper middle-income, British Atlantic Ocean territorial economy; native (but pegged to British pound) currency user on 2 of 3 islands; significant UK financial support; unique land/farming commune structure; military-related economic activity; sport fishing locale

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis

    high-income, tourism-based Caribbean island economy; better debt balancing; CARICOM member; growing offshore financial hub; environmentally fragile; unique citizenship-driven growth model; increased telecommunications focus

  • Saint Lucia

    upper middle-income, tourism-based Caribbean island economy; environmentally fragile; energy import-dependent; OECS host; major banana producer; well-educated labor force; key infrastructure improvements; investing in communications and IT

  • Saint Martin

    high-income French Caribbean territorial economy; extremely reliant on tourism, with severe COVID-19 impacts; near-total destruction from Hurricane Irma in 2017; some offshore banking; import-dependent; duty-free commerce; yachting destination

  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon

    high-income, French North American territorial economy; primarily fishing exports; substantial French Government support; highly seasonal labor force; euro user; increasing tourism and aquaculture investments

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    upper middle-income Caribbean island economy; key agriculture and tourism sectors; environmentally fragile; major banana and arrowroot exporter; CARICOM member and US Caribbean Basin Initiative beneficiary

  • Samoa

    ower middle-income Pacific island economy; enormous fishing and agriculture industries; significant remittances; growing offshore financial hub; recently hosted Pacific Games to drive tourism and infrastructure growth

  • San Marino

    high-income, non-EU European economy; surrounded by Italy, which is the dominant importer and exporter; open border to EU and a euro user; strong financial sector; high foreign investments; low taxation; increasingly high and risky debt

  • Sao Tome and Principe

    ower middle-income Central African island economy; falling cocoa production due to drought and mismanagement; joint oil venture with Nigeria; government owns 90% of land; high debt, partly from fuel subsidies; tourism gutted by COVID-19

  • Saudi Arabia

    high-income, oil-based Middle Eastern economy; OPEC leader; diversifying portfolio; declining per-capita incomes; young labor force; key human capital gaps; heavy bureaucracy and increasing corruption; substantial poverty; low innovation economy

  • Senegal

    lower middle-income, services-driven West African economy; key mining, construction, agriculture, and fishing industries; tourism and exports hit hard by COVID-19; large informal economy; developing offshore oil and gas fields; systemic corruption

  • Serbia

    upper middle-income Balkan economy; current EU accession candidate; hit by COVID-19; pursuing green growth development; manageable public debt; new anticorruption efforts; falling unemployment; historic Russian relations; energy import-dependent

  • Seychelles

    high-income Indian Ocean island economy; rapidly growing tourism sector; major tuna exporter; offshore financial hub; environmentally fragile and investing in ocean rise mitigation; recently discovered offshore oil potential; successful anticorruption efforts

  • Sierra Leone

    low-income West African economy; primarily subsistent agriculture; key iron and diamond mining activities suspended; slow recovery from 1990s civil war; systemic corruption; high-risk debt; high youth unemployment; natural resource rich

  • Singapore

    high-income, service-based Southeast Asian economy; renowned for financial markets and Asian Infrastructure Exchange; business-driven regulations; low unemployment; electronics, oil, and chemicals exporter; continuing education investment

  • Sint Maarten

    high-income, tourism-based Dutch autonomous constituent economy; severe hurricane- and COVID-19-related economic recessions; multilateral trust fund helping offset economic downturn; no property taxation; re-exporter to Saint Martin

  • Slovakia

    high-income, EU-member European economy; major electronics and automobile exporter; new anticorruption and judiciary reforms; low unemployment; low regional innovation; strong financial sector

  • Slovenia

    high-income, fast-growing EU-member economy; high human capital; key health infrastructure investments; high government spending; key Croatian investments; high-technology and manufacturing sectors; growing financial hub

  • Solomon Islands

    lower middle-income Pacific island economy; natural resource rich; primarily subsistent agriculture and fishing; land rights conflicts; fairly low public debt; underdeveloped financial sector; large, state-owned enterprise presence

  • Somalia

    low-income African Horn economy; 30 years of war and instability crippled economic potential; high remittances for basic survival; new fiscal federalism approach; cleared some unsustainable debt; environmentally fragile; digitally driven urbanization efforts

  • South Africa

    upper middle-income South African economy; hard hit by COVID-19; poor utilities management; key rare earth goods exporter; high income inequality; hosts Africa’s largest stock exchange; rising unemployment, especially youth; land rights changes

  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

    Some fishing takes place in adjacent waters. Harvesting finfish and krill are potential sources of income. The islands receive income from postage stamps produced in the UK, the sale of fishing licenses, and harbor and landing fees from tourist vessels. Tourism from specialized cruise ships is increasing rapidly.

  • South Sudan

    low-income, oil-based Sahelian economy; extreme poverty and food insecurity; COVID-19 and ongoing violence threaten socioeconomic potential; environmentally fragile; ongoing land and property rights issues; natural resource rich but lacks infrastructure

  • Southern Ocean

    Fisheries in 2013-14 landed 302,960 metric tons, of which 96% (291,370 tons-the highest reported catch since 1991) was krill and 4% (11,590 tons) Patagonian toothfish (also known as Chilean sea bass), compared to 15,330 tons in 2012-13 (estimated fishing from the area covered by the Convention of the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which extends slightly beyond the Southern Ocean area). International agreements were adopted in late 1999 to reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, which in the 2000-01 season landed, by one estimate, 8,376 metric tons of Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish. A total of 73,670 tourists visited the Antarctic Treaty area in the 2019-2020 Antarctic summer, 32 percent greater than the 55,489 visitors in 2018-2019. These estimates were provided to the Antarctic Treaty by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators and do not include passengers on overflights. Nearly all of the tourists were passengers on commercial ships and several yachts that make trips during the summer.

  • Spain

    high-income core EU economy; diversified trade portfolio; continental tourism locale; high government spending and debt; prone to political financing corruption; negatively impacted by COVID-19; important port and customs infrastructure; key clothing/footwear supplier

  • Spratly Islands

    Economic activity is limited to commercial fishing. The proximity to nearby oil- and gas-producing sedimentary basins indicate potential oil and gas deposits, but the region is largely unexplored. No reliable estimates of potential reserves are available. Commercial exploitation has yet to be developed.

  • Sri Lanka

    lower middle-income South Asian island economy; extremely high public debts; rapid inflation; facing domestic food, fuel, and medicine shortages; tourism industry disrupted by COVID-19; known garment and commodities exporter; low foreign exchange reserves

  • Sudan

    low-income Sahel economy; one of the world’s major agricultural exporters; shared oil pipeline exports with South Sudan; transitional government increasing human capital investment; food prices hit hard by COVID-19; ongoing Gezira Scheme irrigation project

  • Suriname

    upper middle-income South American economy; natural resource rich; foreign investments in oil field development; key aluminum goods exporter; central bank sets currency value and is experiencing devaluation; controversial hardwood industry

  • Svalbard

    high-income Norwegian island economy; major coal mining, tourism, and research sectors; recently established northernmost brewery; key whaling and fishing base; home to the Global Seed Vault

  • Sweden

    small, open, competitive, and thriving economy that remains outside of the euro zone; has achieved an enviable standard of living, with its combination of free-market capitalism and extensive welfare benefits

  • Switzerland

    high-income, non-EU European economy; renowned banking and financial hub; extremely low unemployment; highly skilled but aging workforce; key pharmaceutical and precision manufacturing exporter; fairly high public debt

  • Syria

    low-income Middle Eastern economy; prior infrastructure and economy devastated by 11-year civil war; ongoing US sanctions; sporadic trans-migration during conflict; currently being supported by World Bank trust fund; ongoing hyperinflation

  • Taiwan

    high-income East Asian economy; most technologically advanced computer microchip manufacturing; increasing Chinese interference threatens market capabilities; minimum wages rising; longstanding regional socioeconomic inequality

  • Tajikistan

    lower middle-income Central Asian economy; key gold, cotton, and aluminum exporter; declining poverty; sustained high growth; very limited private sector; substantial illicit drug trade; significant remittances; environmentally fragile

  • Tanzania

    lower middle-income East African economy; large agricultural sector; slowing growth; protectionism limits foreign investments; natural resource rich; strong tourism sector; systemic income inequality; political instability during COVID-19 and election cycle

  • Thailand

    upper middle-income Southeast Asian economy; substantial infrastructure; major electronics, food, and automobile parts exporter; globally used currency; extremely low unemployment, even amid COVID-19; ongoing Thailand 4.0 economic development

  • Timor-Leste

    lower middle-income Southeast Asian economy; government expenditures funded via oil fund drawdowns; endemic corruption undermines growth; foreign aid-dependent; wide-scale poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy

  • Togo

    low-income West African economy; primarily agrarian economy; has a deep-water port; growing international shipping locale; improving privatization and public budgeting transparency; key phosphate mining industry; extremely high rural poverty

  • Tokelau

    small New Zealand territorial island economy; labor force can work in New Zealand or Australia; significant remittances; largely solar-powered infrastructure; reliant on New Zealand funding; stamp, coin, and crafts producer

  • Tonga

    upper middle-income Pacific island economy; enormous diaspora and remittance reliance; key tourism and agricultural sectors; major fish exporter; rapidly growing Chinese infrastructure investments; rising methamphetamine hub

  • Trinidad and Tobago

    high-income Caribbean island economy; predominantly driven by oil and gas (80% of exports); growing Venezuelan relations threaten US support; growing tourism; key regional finance hub; rising drug-related crime; high public debt; systemic corruption

  • Tunisia

    lower middle-income North African economy; drafting reforms for foreign lenders; high unemployment, especially for youth and women; hit hard by COVID-19; high public sector wages; high public debt; protectionist austerity measures; key EU trade partner

  • Turkey (Turkiye)

    upper middle-income, diversified Middle Eastern economy; economic instability from 2016 attempted coup and 2018 currency recession; hit hard by COVID-19, increasing poverty and unemployment; endemic corruption; large agriculture labor force

  • Turkmenistan

    upper middle-income Central Asian economy; has 10% of global natural gas reserves, exporting to Russia and China; natural resource rich; authoritarian and dominated by state-owned enterprises; major central-south Asian pipeline development

  • Turks and Caicos Islands

    British Caribbean island territorial economy; GDP and its tourism industry hit hard by COVID-19 disruptions; major biodiversity locale; US dollar user; fossil fuel dependent; negative trade balance; increasing unemployment

  • Tuvalu

    upper middle-income but very fragile Pacific island economy; currency pegged to Australian dollar; public revenues from international aid, fishing licenses, and national trust fund; pursuing Te Kakeega sustainable development; significant remittances

  • Uganda

    low-income, primarily agrarian East African economy; COVID-19 hurt economic growth and poverty reduction; lower oil prices threaten prior sector investments; endemic corruption; natural resource rich; high female labor force participation but undervalued

  • Ukraine

    lower middle-income non-EU Eastern European economy; major wheat producer; industrial and energy exporter; big fiscal reallocations toward defenses; seeking $2 billion in monthly US wartime aid to combat Russia; mass war-related emigration and homelessness

  • United Arab Emirates

    historically oil-driven Middle Eastern economy; diversifying into a trade-oriented logistics and supply chain leader; weak domestic business growth; declining real estate sector; new Israeli technology trade improving resilience; key aid donor

  • United Kingdom

    high-income, diversified non-EU European economy; fifth-largest importer and exporter globally; after 2016 EU Brexit, increased quantitative easing avoided economic decline; 10% GDP contraction from COVID-19; global financial and diplomacy leader

  • United States

    high-income, diversified North American economy; NATO leader; largest importer and second-largest exporter; home to leading financial exchanges; high and growing public debt; rising socioeconomic inequalities; historically low interest rates; hit by COVID-19

  • United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges

    no economic activity

  • Uruguay

    high-income, export-oriented South American economy; South America’s largest middle class; low socioeconomic inequality; growing homicide rates; growing Chinese and EU relations; 2019 Argentine recession hurt; key milk, beef, rice, and wool exporter

  • Uzbekistan

    lower middle-income Central Asian economy; CIS Free Trade Area member but no intention of EAEU membership; key natural gas, cotton, and gold exporter; landlocked and environmentally fragile; positive growth through COVID-19, but poverty increasing

  • Vanuatu

    Pacific island agriculture- and tourism-based economy; environmentally vulnerable to cyclones; poor property rights administration; corruption-prone; subsidizing loss-prone state enterprises in agriculture, banking, and airports

  • Venezuela

    South American economy; ongoing hyperinflation since mid-2010s; chaotic economy due to political corruption, infrastructure cuts, and human rights abuses; in debt default; oil exporter; hydropower consumer; rising Chinese relations

  • Vietnam

    lower middle-income socialist East Asian economy; rapid economic growth since Đổi Mới reforms; strong investment and productivity growth; tourism and manufacturing hub; TPP signatory; declining poverty aside from ethnic minorities; systemic corruption

  • Virgin Islands

    high-income, tourism-based American territorial economy; severe COVID-19 economic disruptions; major rum distillery; high public debt; sluggish reopening of large oil refinery; environmentally susceptible to hurricanes; many informal industries

  • Wake Island

    Economic activity is limited to providing services to military personnel and contractors located on the island. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.

  • Wallis and Futuna

    lower-middle-income, agrarian French dependency economy; heavily reliant on French subsidies; licenses fishing rights to Japan and South Korea; major remittances from New Caledonia; aging workforce; import-dependent; deforestation-fueled fragility

  • West Bank

    In 2017, the economic outlook in the West Bank - the larger of the two areas comprising the Palestinian Territories – remained fragile, as security concerns and political friction slowed economic growth. Unemployment in the West Bank remained high at 19.0% in the third quarter of 2017, only slightly better than 19.6% at the same point the previous year, while the labor force participation rate remained flat, year-on-year.

    Longstanding Israeli restrictions on imports, exports, and movement of goods and people continue to disrupt labor and trade flows and the territory’s industrial capacity, and constrain private sector development. The PA’s budget benefited from an effort to improve tax collection, coupled with lower spending in 2017, but the PA for the foreseeable future will continue to rely heavily on donor aid for its budgetary needs and infrastructure development.

  • World

    The international financial crisis of 2008-09 led to the first downturn in global output since 1946 and presented the world with a major new challenge: determining what mix of fiscal and monetary policies to follow to restore growth and jobs, while keeping inflation and debt under control. Financial stabilization and stimulus programs that started in 2009-11, combined with lower tax revenues in 2009-10, required most countries to run large budget deficits. Treasuries issued new public debt - totaling $9.1 trillion since 2008 - to pay for the additional expenditures. To keep interest rates low, most central banks monetized that debt, injecting large sums of money into their economies - between December 2008 and December 2013 the global money supply increased by more than 35%. Governments are now faced with the difficult task of spurring current growth and employment without saddling their economies with so much debt that they sacrifice long-term growth and financial stability. When economic activity picks up, central banks will confront the difficult task of containing inflation without raising interest rates so high they snuff out further growth.

    Fiscal and monetary data for 2013 are currently available for 180 countries, which together account for 98.5% of world GDP. Of the 180 countries, 82 pursued unequivocally expansionary policies, boosting government spending while also expanding their money supply relatively rapidly - faster than the world average of 3.1%; 28 followed restrictive fiscal and monetary policies, reducing government spending and holding money growth to less than the 3.1% average; and the remaining 70 followed a mix of counterbalancing fiscal and monetary policies, either reducing government spending while accelerating money growth, or boosting spending while curtailing money growth.

    (For more information, see attached spreadsheet.)

    In 2013, for many countries the drive for fiscal austerity that began in 2011 abated. While 5 out of 6 countries slowed spending in 2012, only 1 in 2 countries slowed spending in 2013. About 1 in 3 countries actually lowered the level of their expenditures. The global growth rate for government expenditures increased from 1.6% in 2012 to 5.1% in 2013, after falling from a 10.1% growth rate in 2011. On the other hand, nearly 2 out of 3 central banks tightened monetary policy in 2013, decelerating the rate of growth of their money supply, compared with only 1 out of 3 in 2012. Roughly 1 of 4 central banks actually withdrew money from circulation, an increase from 1 out of 7 in 2012. Growth of the global money supply, as measured by the narrowly defined M1, slowed from 8.7% in 2009 and 10.4% in 2010 to 5.2% in 2011, 4.6% in 2012, and 3.1% in 2013. Several notable shifts occurred in 2013. By cutting government expenditures and expanding money supplies, the US and Canada moved against the trend in the rest of the world. France reversed course completely. Rather than reducing expenditures and money as it had in 2012, it expanded both. Germany reversed its fiscal policy, sharply expanding federal spending, while continuing to grow the money supply. South Korea shifted monetary policy into high gear, while maintaining a strongly expansionary fiscal policy. Japan, however, continued to pursue austere fiscal and monetary policies.

    Austere economic policies have significantly affected economic performance. The global budget deficit narrowed to roughly $2.7 trillion in 2012 and $2.1 trillion in 2013, or 3.8% and 2.5% of World GDP, respectively. But growth of the world economy slipped from 5.1% in 2010 and 3.7% in 2011, to just 3.1% in 2012, and 2.9% in 2013.

    Countries with expansionary fiscal and monetary policies achieved significantly higher rates of growth, higher growth of tax revenues, and greater success reducing the public debt burden than those countries that chose contractionary policies. In 2013, the 82 countries that followed a pro-growth approach achieved a median GDP growth rate of 4.7%, compared to 1.7% for the 28 countries with restrictive fiscal and monetary policies, a difference of 3 percentage points. Among the 82, China grew 7.7%, Philippines 6.8%, Malaysia 4.7%, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia 3.6%, Argentina 3.5%, South Korea 2.8%, and Russia 1.3%, while among the 28, Brazil grew 2.3%, Japan 2.0%, South Africa 2.0%, Netherlands -0.8%, Croatia -1.0%, Iran -1.5%, Portugal -1.8%, Greece -3.8%, and Cyprus -8.7%.

    Faster GDP growth and lower unemployment rates translated into increased tax revenues and a less cumbersome debt burden. Revenues for the 82 expansionary countries grew at a median rate of 10.7%, whereas tax revenues fell at a median rate of 6.8% for the 28 countries that chose austere economic policies. Budget balances improved for about three-quarters of the 28, but, for most, debt grew faster than GDP, and the median level of their public debt as a share of GDP increased 9.1 percentage points, to 59.2%. On the other hand, budget balances deteriorated for most of the 82 pro-growth countries, but GDP growth outpaced increases in debt, and the median level of public debt as a share of GDP increased just 1.9%, to 39.8%.

    The world recession has suppressed inflation rates - world inflation declined 1.0 percentage point in 2012 to about 4.1% and 0.2 percentage point to 3.9% in 2013. In 2013 the median inflation rate for the 82 pro-growth countries was 1.3 percentage points higher than that for the countries that followed more austere fiscal and monetary policies. Overall, the latter countries also improved their current account balances by shedding imports; as a result, current account balances deteriorated for most of the countries that pursued pro-growth policies. Slow growth of world income continued to hold import demand in check and crude oil prices fell. Consequently, the dollar value of world trade grew just 1.3% in 2013.

    Beyond the current global slowdown, the world faces several long standing economic challenges. The addition of 80 million people each year to an already overcrowded globe is exacerbating the problems of pollution, waste-disposal, epidemics, water-shortages, famine, over-fishing of oceans, deforestation, desertification, and depletion of non-renewable resources. The nation-state, as a bedrock economic-political institution, is steadily losing control over international flows of people, goods, services, funds, and technology. The introduction of the euro as the common currency of much of Western Europe in January 1999, while paving the way for an integrated economic powerhouse, has created economic risks because the participating nations have varying income levels and growth rates, and hence, require a different mix of monetary and fiscal policies. Governments, especially in Western Europe, face the difficult political problem of channeling resources away from welfare programs in order to increase investment and strengthen incentives to seek employment. Because of their own internal problems and priorities, the industrialized countries are unable to devote sufficient resources to deal effectively with the poorer areas of the world, which, at least from an economic point of view, are becoming further marginalized. The terrorist attacks on the US on 11 September 2001 accentuated a growing risk to global prosperity - the diversion of resources away from capital investments to counter-terrorism programs.

    Despite these vexing problems, the world economy also shows great promise. Technology has made possible further advances in a wide range of fields, from agriculture, to medicine, alternative energy, metallurgy, and transportation. Improved global communications have greatly reduced the costs of international trade, helping the world gain from the international division of labor, raise living standards, and reduce income disparities among nations. Much of the resilience of the world economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis resulted from government and central bank leaders around the globe working in concert to stem the financial onslaught, knowing well the lessons of past economic failures.

  • Yemen

    low-income Middle Eastern economy; infrastructure, trade, and economic institutions devastated by civil war; oil/gas-dependent but decreasing reserves; massive poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment; high inflation

  • Zambia

    lower middle-income Sub-Saharan economy; major copper exporter; high public debt is held mostly by China; systemic corruption; one of youngest and fastest growing labor forces; regional hydroelectricity exporter; extreme rural poverty

  • Zimbabwe

    low income Sub-Saharan economy; political instability, protest crackdowns, and COVID-19 have damaged economic potential; reliant on natural resource extraction and agriculture; endemic corruption; ongoing hyperinflation