Representatives from the world's most powerful economies met in September 2016 at the annual G20 Summit, held in China for the first time. The international forum includes 19 countries, plus the European Union. But interestingly, it does not include the nations with the world's fastest-growing economies.
As Trace Dominguez explains in today's Seeker Daily report, the countries with the highest GDP growth in a given year are typically not among the world's powerhouse economies. Growth rates are notoriously volatile and big swings are more likely for countries with smaller and less stable economies.
Here are your top three finishers in 2015 GDP growth rate, according to those dedicated number crunchers over at the CIA's World Factbook:
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The bronze medal goes to Papua New Guinea, a small independent state just north of Australia. Mineral deposits of copper, gold and especially natural gas have fueled economic growth in recent years, along with agricultural exports of palm oil and coffee. Papua New Guinea's GDP has averaged 8 percent growth over the past three years, but the wealth is trickling down to the little guy: Nearly 40 percent of the population lives in poverty.
The tiny nation of Palau -- not far from Papua New Guinea, actually -- takes second place in our GDP sweepstakes. Interestingly, it's tourism that's vaulted Palau onto the leaderboard. In 2014, China began offering charter flights to Palau, which is comprised of around 250 separate islands. Palau welcomed roughly 125,000 foreign tourists in 2014, and more than 160,000 in 2015 -- nearly half of whom were from China. If those numbers don't seem like much, consider that Papau's native population is around 18,000 people.
And now we present our winner: The fastest growing economy in the world, as of 2015, is Ethiopia, which has sustained an average GDP growth of 10 percent over the past decade. The influx in wealth is primarily a result of a growing manufacturing industry, investments in infrastructure, and a consistent demand for the country's agricultural exports. Unfortunately, much of the money ends up in the hands of corrupt officials, and the region's recent drought has worsened conditions for the poor.
-- Glenn McDonald
Wall Street Journal: G-20 Closes With Call for More Efforts to Boost Global Growth
CIA Factbook: GDP Comparison
ABC Online: Energy Companies Eyeing Papua New Guinea Expansion