Global groupings

HideShow resource information


  • Least developed countries are a group of countries of around 50 countries that are defined by very low income, poor health, low education, economic instability and their heavy debt to richer countries e.g Mozambique 
  • Their economies are usually based on agricultural, so crop failures can lead to economic disaster
  • Countries are moved out of the LDC group when conditions improve e.g Botswana
1 of 8


  • Newly Industrialised Countries aren't yet classified as developed countries (like the UK) but aren't thought of as LDCs either
  • Their economies are usually growing very fast, and there has been a
  • recent move from a mostly agricultural economy to one involving manufactoring and exporting 
  • The term was orginally used for the Asian 'Tiger' economies of Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. Although some people now argue that they're fully developed and so shouldn't be referred to as NICs anymore
  • There's no official list of NICs though China and India are currently thought of as NICs
2 of 8

Ex- Soviet states (Middle income countries)

  • Russia and some of the surrounding countries in central Asia and eastern Europe used to make up one larger state called the Soviet Union. A lot of independent countries have been created since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991- these are now mostly classed as middle income countries.e.g Estonia
  • Middle income countries have growing economies, but the growth isn't as rapid as the NICs and their development hasn't reached the same level e.g Ukraine 
  • Recent growth in some ex-Soviet states is due to the exploitation of natural resources e.g oil and gas in Kazakhstan
  • The privatisation of industries (state controlled in Soviet times to privately controlled now) has led to economic recovery and growth in many ex-Soviet states, e.g Belarus
3 of 8

Voluntary Groups - OPEC

  • The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is a group of 13 major oil producing countries. e.g Venezuela, Iran, Angola and Indonesia. OPEC countries control around 2/3 of global oil reserves
  • Because they're a large group in control of a large amount of oil, they can make sure they get a fair price from oil-consuming countries e.g the UK
  • Some members have left since the OPEC was founded because they wanted to produce more oil than the agreed OPEC quotas allowed e.g Gabon. Other countries have been invited to join e.g Bolivia and Sudan
4 of 8


  • The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is a group of around 30 of the richest and most powerful countries. The top eight are called the G8.
  • They meet to discuss and provide possible solutions to economic, environmental and social issues
  • Members of the OECD are always changing too, e.g potential new members include Brazil, China and India 
5 of 8

Trade blocs

Trade blocs are groups of countries that make agreements to reduce barriers to trade, e.g by removing tariffs. Blocs increase trade between members, and members can work together as an larger organisation to trade with non-members. Benefits:

  • Economies of scale - the advantage companies gain because of increased sales. There's a larger market for all companies within the trade bloc because it's easier to trade with all the member countries. This increases sales. More sales means more products need to be made, so companies can buy the raw materials for their products in greater numbers, saving money. Buying raw materials in bulk means each product costs less to make, so companies can make more profit
  • Comparative advatage - Countries can concentrate on developing specific industries. Being in a trade bloc means it's easier to trade for all the different goods and services a country needs, because trade is less restricted. So countries can specialise in producing the things they're good at making and trade for the they're not good at making. Production will increase in each member country because they're concentrating on what they do best, so production will increase in the trade bloc overall
6 of 8

Trade Bloc example - NAFTA

  • The North American Free Trade Agreement is an example of a trade bloc. It's called NAFTA because it's an agreement between USA, CANADA, and MEXICO
  • It's made trade between the members easier by removing things like imported taxes on some goods
  • Trade between all three countries has increased but there are other impacts e.g job losses in the USA because the manufactoring of some goods has been moved to Mexico, where labour is cheaper
7 of 8


  • These groupings highlight the inequalities of wealth and power around the world. Most of the wealth and power is in the hands of a few countries e.g the G8 have over 60% of the GWP, and control most of the miltary power, even though they are only 8 countries
  • They also show how wealth and power can change. For example, Russia didn't officialy join the G7 until 1997 because of the power issues of the cold war and economic problems in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union
  • Because Wealthy countries often form groups together, they become more closely integrated. This means they are likely to get even wealthier and develop solutions to their own economic, environmental and social problems at a faster rate. This can lead to a widening of the gap between poorer and wealthier countries
8 of 8


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all The economy and global superpowers resources »