Dependence on external resources

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Resource import dependence
Dependence of countries on imports of primary commodities
Longterm external dependency

[Industrialized countries] Industrialized countries depend increasingly on the import of of resources from developing countries. Fuel imports represented 16% of consumption in 1959-60 but rose to 43% in 1980-81. Dependence on other mineral imports rose from 19% of consumption to 30% over the same period. Non-renewable resources, such as fuel and minerals, as well as manufactured goods, are now far more important in the flow of primary products from developing to industrialized countries.

[Small island developing states] The economies of island developing countries cannot be balanced, nor can complex internal linkages be expected. There is, and will inevitably continue to be, a heavy dependence on imports and a corresponding requirement for the export of goods and services. Economic events overseas beyond the control of the island countries have immediate and widespread effects on the local economy, in particular with respect to sudden fluctuations in foreign exchange receipts.

[Former socialist countries] Growing reliance on Soviet raw materials and markets and on Western credit drove the East European countries into a position of external dependence and vulnerability. They became increasingly dependent on imported energy and raw materials. Much of their meat, grain and animal feedstuffs comes from the USA and other hard-currency sources. In addition, they imported so much Western plant equipment during the 1970s that the continued importation of components and spare parts remains a necessity. This does not yet mean, however, that they are technically equipped to provide exports that would earn them hard currency. Rather, there is a continuing dependence on Western international corporations, not only for technology, but also for marketing services. In addition, these East European countries are increasingly vulnerable to competition from the rapidly-industrializing developing countries, where low wages are still paid.




Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
16.10.2021 – 10:33 CEST