Future markets and consequently world politics will be greatly influenced by these 15 richest countries in the world by natural resources.
As natural resources become scarcer in the upcoming decades, countries that have the greatest reserves will be able to flex their muscles on the world stage and influence events in their favor. This is especially true for the countries with the state-controlled economy, like China, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. It wouldn’t be a first time that any of these use their supply of commodities to force other countries to agree to their point of view like Russia has been doing to Ukraine and Eastern Europe for years with their natural gas.
Holding countries hostages over resources in order to achieve political goals is nothing (the United States did it to Japan, trying to force them to abandon their war to China in 1938 and we all know how that ended), but as the resources become more scarce, this practice will only increase in the future.
The fact that country is rich in resources doesn’t necessarily mean that its citizens will be rich as well. Although there is some correlation between this list and the list of the richest countries in the world by 2017 GDP, many countries with most natural resources in Africa are struggling to capitalize their deposits. In fact, some of the richest countries in the world are countries with least natural resources. It also seems to be easier for countries with a small population to tap into their resources, something countries with most natural resources per capita seem to struggle with.
In order to rank richest countries in the world by natural resources, we have consulted several sources such as 247 Wall Street and Insider Monkey’s article on countries that produce the most crude oil in the world, for the information on oil, natural gas, and timber reserves, and Business Insider for metal and ore deposits. These cover almost all of the top 10 natural resources in the world. The important thing to bear in mind when reading the list is that prices of resources are constantly changing and that projections on deposits are also re-evaluated routinely. Add in the fact that new deposits are being discovered and it is easy to see why some figure may be outdated and why countries natural resources ranking can be tricky.
Metal & ore reserves: $296 billion
Total worth of natural resources: $296 billion
India’s natural resources wealth is mainly comprised of ores, iron, zinc, and bauxite, to be precise. It does have some oil reserves, but it isn’t among top 20 countries in that category.