Landlocked countries, as a rule, suffer from a number of problems. First of all, the process of marketing finished products on the world market is complicated at times. What modern states lack access to the World Ocean and how does this affect their economy and well-being?
Country and sea
The influence of various geographic factors on the economic development of the country was first described by Adam Smith in his famous work The Wealth of Nations. And it was the access to the sea, that is, to the most important trade routes, that the scientist noted as the most important prerequisite for the success and well-being of a particular state.
Of course, since 1776 (when Smith's book came out) much has changed in the world. Significant development has been achieved by land transport, railroads and pipelines have appeared, nevertheless the transportation of raw materials and goods across the ocean still play a big role in world trade. Therefore, countries of foreign Europe with access to the sea (such as France, Germany or the United Kingdom), have direct access to any world markets.
In turn, isolated states in this respect face a whole range of economic and transport problems. In addition, they are very vulnerable in the military-strategic plan, because neighboring countries can easily "cut off" them from reaching the ocean.
Landlocked countries on the map of the planet
To date, 44 states of the world are deprived of access to the ocean. It should be noted that this number does not include unrecognized or partially recognized countries of the world community. All of them are marked in green on the next map.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that the countries on the three continents do not have access to the sea: in Africa, Eurasia and South America. But in North America there is no state without access to the ocean. Most of the countries without access to the sea in Africa (16) and in Europe (14). About the mainland Australia is not talking, because it is entirely occupied by the same state.
The countries of the former USSR do not have access to the sea (at least, most of them). And modern states like Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are completely part of the drainless region of Eurasia.
Among the countries isolated from the sea, Kazakhstan is the largest in terms of area, and Ethiopia by population. In this African country there are over 90 million people who can not boast of having a sea coast in their homeland.
On our planet, there are also countries that are "lucky" doubly. So, Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan are surrounded on all sides only by states that also lack access to the ocean.
European countries that are landlocked
On the territory of Europe, there are 14 such states, plus two other unrecognized states (Kosovo and the Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublika). So, the countries of Europe do not have access to the sea:
- The so-called dwarf states (Andorra, Vatican, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and San Marino).
- The countries of Central and Eastern Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Hungary).
- Balkan states (Serbia and Macedonia).
- Countries of the former USSR (Belarus and Moldova).
A classic example of a state isolated from the sea in Europe is the Republic of Moldova. The country is literally "clamped" on both sides by two neighboring states - Romania (from the west) and Ukraine (from the north and east). From the Black Sea it is separated by at least forty kilometers.
Problems of landlocked countries
The main problem facing all countries isolated from the sea is the problematic delivery of their goods to world markets. According to the World Bank estimates, the cost of transporting goods from such a country is almost twice as expensive as shipping from a coastal state. Of course, transport costs are reflected both in the price of goods for the consumer, and in its competitiveness.
In addition, countries without direct access to the ocean are more vulnerable in the military-strategic plan. Thus, a neighboring state can simply block the exit of an isolated country to the open sea in the event of any regional or planetary armed conflict.
Part 10 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea guarantees every country access to the open sea. How does it come true? By concluding special interstate agreements permitting transit transport. That's why, for example, in the Polish port of Szczecin you can see a ship flying the Czech flag. In this case, the ships of all inland countries on the high seas enjoy the same rights as other ships.
So, there are 44 states on the planet that do not have a direct connection with the world's oceans. In Europe, there are no landlocked countries: Andorra, Vatican, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Belarus, Macedonia, Serbia and Moldova. True, many of these European states are quite successful and prosperous in their development.