GDP comparisons: Numbers don't lie(Read article summary)
The numbers are clear: some nations have a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) equal to that of nations with 10 or 100 times as many people. Why?
Illustration / Aristidis Tsinaroglou / www.smartmagna / Newscom / File
If you go to different national and international statistics bureaus and check GDP for different countries at current exchange rates, you will find some interesting facts. To take just a few examples:
----Many people would perhaps object to these comparisons as the general price level is a lot lower in the poor countries due to the Penn effect. And they've got a point in the sense that the difference in living standards isn't as big as these numbers suggests.
However, the numbers are still striking. And when it comes to economic influence, GDP at current exchange rates is what matters. Why these differences exists is a complex story usually involving differences in culture and current and/or past economic system that varies between the different cases. Only in the cases of Norway and Australia is it related to natural resources-but as Nigeria and India also has that, this only explains a small part of it. And in the cases of Singapore vs. Malaysia and to a lesser extent Israel vs. Egypt amd Japan vs. China, the richer country actually has less natural resources.
In the case of Singapore vs. Malaysia, former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad gave this explanation:
""""""Singapore will overtake Malaysia because its focus is just on economic growth. There is no social restructuring goal such as fair distribution of wealth between races as we have in Malaysia.
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