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Ranked: Resource Dependency Across 30 Major Economies



The following content is sponsored by The Hinrich Foundation

Ranked: Resource Dependency Across 30 Major Economies

Countries that rely heavily on non-renewable natural resources are typically more susceptible to market fluctuations (e.g. oil prices), diminishing reserves, and evolving consumer preferences.

On top of this, there’s also environmental considerations such as habitat destruction, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and the long-term impacts of pollution.

To learn more, the Hinrich Foundation has ranked 30 major economies by their share of natural resources in total trade. The analysis comes from the 2023 Sustainable Trade Index (STI), which was produced by the Hinrich Foundation in collaboration with the IMD World Competitiveness Center.

Data Overview

The figures in this graphic represent each economy’s share of total trade value that is based on natural resources. This includes ores and metals, fuels, lubricants, and other related materials.

The larger the percentage, the greater the economic dependence on natural resources.

RankEconomyShare of natural resources
in total trade (%)
1🇧🇩 Bangladesh1.0
2🇳🇿 New Zealand6.1
3🇱🇰 Sri Lanka6.5
4🇵🇰 Pakistan7.0
5🇻🇳 Vietnam8.0
6🇰🇭 Cambodia8.7
7🇭🇰 Hong Kong, SAR11.0
8🇨🇳 China11.3
9🇵🇭 Philippines11.5
10🇹🇼 Taiwan12.0
11🇹🇭 Thailand13.0
12🇲🇽 Mexico13.6
13🇯🇵 Japan13.9
14🇰🇷 South Korea18.2
15🇸🇬 Singapore21.5
16🇲🇾 Malaysia21.5
17🇺🇸 United States25.0
18🇱🇦 Laos25.2
19🇲🇲 Myanmar27.4
20🇬🇧 United Kingdom28.9
21🇮🇳 India35.0
22🇮🇩 Indonesia37.3
23🇨🇦 Canada40.5
24🇪🇨 Ecuador42.3
25🇨🇱 Chile64.9
26🇵🇪 Peru69.5
27🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea73.2
28🇷🇺 Russia74.7
29🇦🇺 Australia78.4
30🇧🇳 Brunei85.0

The three countries with the highest share of natural resources in trade are Brunei (85.0%), Australia (78.4%), and Russia (74.7%). 

Exports from all three are dominated by some combination of fossil fuels and minerals. For example, Australia’s top five exports in 2020/21 were:

  • Iron ore and concentrates (33.3% of total exports)
  • Coal (8.5%)
  • Natural gas (6.6%)
  • Education-related travel services (6.0%)
  • Gold (5.7%)

Russia, on the other hand, is the world’s third largest oil producer. In 2021, crude and refined petroleum represented 40.2% of the country’s exports.

To ensure long-term stability, it is important for economies dependent on natural resource trade to diversify their exports, invest in sustainable technologies, and develop sectors resilient to global market fluctuations.

Explore the Sustainable Trade Index

This infographic is a preview of the Sustainable Trade Index, which evaluates 30 major economies using 71 economic, societal, and environmental indicators. Download the free report from the Hinrich Foundation

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