Countries That Developed Without Natural Resources

All countries of the world are not created equally, some possess more natural resources while others have less. A country that has more natural resources will not need to import them as the availability of many raw materials has the opportunity to increase the economic growth and development of the country.

They also gain more liquidity from the export of their raw materials, contrarily, countries with less natural resources seem to suffer from this process. Due to few, little or no resources in their country, they will have to import a lot of natural resources from other countries, this makes them spend more on importation.


While some of these countries have to spend more on natural resources, a lot of them still tend to thrive and perform well economically. Some of these countries that are well developed without natural resources are but not limited to:

Countries That Developed Without Natural Resources

Countries That Developed Without Natural Resources
Countries That Developed Without Natural Resources
  1. Japan

Due to the nature of their country- a volcanic island and mountainous country- Japan has a very less amount of natural resources to give adequate support to its economic growth and development. The country had to depend on the importation of raw materials to support its large population and growing economy. However, with exports of electronics, automobiles, semiconductors, conductors, steel, iron and copper, Japan was able to sustain economic growth. Other exports include processed foods, textiles, shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, bio-industry, and aerospace.

  1. South Korea

South Korea makes export of over $550 billion through massive industrialization. With very little natural resources and overpopulation, South Korea was able to survive its economy with core exportations in automotive, telecommunications equipment, computers, ships, steels, high tech electronics, petrochemicals, and information displays. South Korea still seems to be expanding economically while ranking as one of the best performers among developed countries of the world.

  1. Italy

Although Italy does not boast of beautiful and mindblowing skyscrapers, it remains one of the top world countries with a growing economy. While Italy lacks the power of natural resources, it remains a world-class industrial nation making over $530 billion in clothing and textiles, engineering products, transport equipment, automotive, chemicals, beverages and tobacco, food, refined metals as well as high-end luxuries consumer products.

  1. Hong Kong

Due to Hong Kong’s size, it has a very small land with less natural resources, therefore, it imports raw materials and most of its food from other countries. Even at this huge rate of importation, Hong Kong has been able to manage its own industrialization to make over $440 billion.

  1. Singapore

With no natural resources and having a very small population among other countries on this list, Singapore proves to the world how a tiny island can become one of the most prosperous nations across the globe. Aside from becoming prosperous, Singapore also becomes an advanced country raking in $420 billion from the exportation of machinery and equipment, food and beverages, electronics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and refined oil. Singapore has to import everything they needed including water from their neighboring country- Malaysia.

  1. Belgium

Except for coal, which is no longer economical for exploitation, Belgium has no natural resource that it can utilize to make some funds for the development and growth of her country. Thus, it imports raw materials from other countries of the countries, especially when it is surrounded with industrially powerful countries like France, Germany and the United Kingdom, Belgium has never had the opportunity to build a very strong manufacturing base. Instead, it focuses more on high tech and light industries; thereby becoming major exporters in finished diamonds, machinery, and equipment, foodstuffs as well as metal and metal equipment.

  1. Switzerland

Switzerland seems to be in a very different condition when compared with other countries on this list, this is due to the fact that the country is landlocked; however, Switzerland has proved that being landlocked is never a barrier to the growth and development of a comité I-economically- while raking in over $350 billion with no natural resources. Being around high power countries like France, Germany and the likes, Switzerland had fewer chances of thriving with technology and industrialization, instead, it engages in food processing and confectionary which earns her many multinational food companies like Nestle and the likes.

There you go! the countries above had to struggle with their natural resources to attain their present day status!

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