The evolution of European countries such as Switzerland, the Vatican, Italy and Luxembourg (all of which are land-locked) to be centres of banking and valuables collections is attributable, at least in part, to singularities in their legal systems that make them havens, away from excessive governmental regulations, for certain kinds of transactions. Similarly, a number of island countries and territories, such as the USA Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Singapore and several others, have constitutions that favour entrepreneurs, investors and speculators. The service economies of finance, banking and legal representation may attract developing island and land-locked countries, but many, however, lack the professional infra-structure for this. Tourism and entertainment industries require less capital investment than energy, food, and resources development projects, and may be the only other alternative.
Small states, land-locked or island, (particularly those that are tropical), may be trapped into being 'happy natives' for the benefit of cruise ships, airlines, or holiday clubs. This may not satisfy national ambitions and there may be strong temptations to offer themselves either as military bases for larger and more aggressive countries; as corporate pawns of the transnationals who can exploit their resources, natural or legal; or as hosts for elements that are marginal to society and for whom lack of extradition treaties or imprisonment may be a boon. Inadequate assistance to these countries by the developed nations endangers world-wide standards for legal and fair international trade, and uniform civil and criminal codes.
Such havens also provide asylum for those fleeing from political or religious persecution under unjust laws, or from other forms of institutionalized discrimination.