The world fascinates me; the size of it, the differences from one continent to another, different cultures, different languages, different foods … you name it, I love it. Whilst some countries are renowned for the simple life, living a different way to the rest of the world, others are all about size and glamour.
The 2012 top 5 richest countries in the world, according to powerhouse Forbes magazine, might surprise you. The list is compiled based on economy, money and GDP, that’s gross domestic product, and is basically all down to the tools and ways these big-hitters make their money against the rest of the world.
1. Qatar – Persian Gulf
The theme of this list will soon become apparent, but it’s no surprise that the richest countries in the world are generally those also rich in oil and natural gas. It appears that if you want to make money, you need to find an oil field.
Qatar was rated as 2012’s richest country in the world because of this reason, and it’s because of this many international booming businesses have headquarters over there. The government aren’t missing a trick, developing the local area through top-class roads and rail links, all with the typical shiny, high rise, futuristic buildings you’d come to expect from a country dripping in money.
Proof that good things come in small packages, Luxembourg may be tiny (and home to just half a million people) compared to some places in the world, yet this is one hell of a tax haven for international business, and it’s because of that you’ll find the largest number of banks based here than anywhere else in the whole of Europe. This basically means money, money, money!
Futuristic, glistening … another word, expensive? That sums Singapore up completely. Famous for advances in technology and manufacturing, which brings in the big dollars, the whole country is ahead of its time, with an almost otherworldly appearance. Singapore is known for being a top place to develop a business, with help and advice on hand here more than anywhere else in the world – those businesses grow, make a huge profit and hello economic boom. It’s not rocket science.
This one surprised me, yet with one of the highest rates when it comes to cost of living, it shouldn’t really be that surprising. Thanks to its location, Norway is again rich is oil, which as we’ve established, brings in the moolah. Fish is also another reason Norway is consistently in the top 5, and again its proximity means nature gives Norway a helping hand.
5. Brunei, United Arab Emirates
This is getting a little predictable, but again it’s down to oil. Futuristic again, and renowned for expensive, man-made resorts, many celebrities head to the UAE to soak up the sun and relax amongst the glitterati. Tourism is booming and luxury is the name of the game, but they have the oil fields to thank.
The common theme of oil bringing in money is consistent throughout the whole of Forbes’ list, and it’s not to be argued with, given the history of wrangles for control where this money-making product is concerned.
Are you surprised the USA didn’t crack into the top five?