Economic Geography

Topics: International trade, Comparative advantage, United States Pages: 5 (1326 words) Published: December 2, 2013
Permanent damage to landscape – With explosions and massive machines scraping into the earth’s crust like a bad case of scabies, its small wonder open cast mining has made what many see as an unpleasant impact on the planet’s surface. The face of the earth is beleaguered with giant scars, scoured out in our ongoing bid to the plunder the planet of its natural resources.

Chuquicamata in Chile is a colossus of a mine that has churned up a record total of 29 million tonnes of copper. Despite almost 100 years of intensive exploitation, it remains among the largest known copper resources, and its open pit is one of the biggest at a whopping great 4.3 km long, 3 km wide and over 850 m deep. Copper has been mined for centuries at Chuquicamata, as shown by the 1898 discovery of a mummy dated around 550 AD found trapped in an ancient mine shaft by a cave-in. A great influx of miners was sucked in by ‘Red Gold Fever’ after the War of the Pacific, when at one stage the area was covered with unruly mining camps where alcohol, gambling, prostitution and even murder were common.

Comparative advantage –
International Trade takes place because of the variations in productive factors in different countries. The variations of productive factors cause differences in price in different countries and the price differences are the main cause of international trade. There are numerous advantages of international trade accruing to all the participants of such trade. A few of such advantages are mentioned below: Efficient use of productive factors: The biggest advantage of international trade relates to the advantages accruing from territorial division of labour and international specialization. International trade enables a country to specialize in the production of those commodities in which it enjoys special advantages. All countries are not equally endowed with natural resources and other facilities for the production of goods and services of various kinds. Some countries are richly endowed with land and forest resources, which others happen to have abundant capital resources. Some others have abundant supplies of labour power. Without international trade, a country will have to produce all the goods it requires irrespective of the costs involved. But international trade enables a country to produce only those goods in which it has a comparative advantage or an absolute advantage and import the rest from other countries. This leads to international specialisation or division of labour, which, in turn, enables efficient use of the productive factors with minimum wastages. Specialisation would also lead to economies of scale and which, in turn, would lead to reduction of cost of products and services.

OECD member countries –
Origins date back to 1960, when 18 European countries plus the United States and Canada joined forces to create an organisation dedicated to global development. Today, 34 member countries span the globe, from North and South America to Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

United Kingdom
United States
New Zealand
Slovak Republic
Czech Republic

Rise of high technology industry –
On the innovation front, as measured by U.S. patents granted, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea now account for more than one-quarter of all patents awarded each year. Moreover, their growth rates have been rapid. Between 1980 and 2003, South Korea went from 0 to 2 percent of the total, Taiwan from 0 to 3 percent, and Japan from 12 to 21 percent. More than just a large number, citation data show these patents' utility, as both Taiwan and Singapore leapfrogged the United States in the overall...
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