Four Countries Are Currently Debt-Free

-- macau skyline - dusk - one of four debt free countries in the world --If you had to guess as to which country on the planet had the least amount of debt, who would you choose?

China? Switzerland? Saudi Arabia?

According to the CIA Fact Book, there are four countries in the world who currently have no external debt. They are:

1. Palau
2. Macau (though Macau is a "special administrative region of China")
3. Brunei
4. Liechtenstein

Macau is a tourist hub that has exploded in popularity over the last couple of years.

The country has turned into an extremely popular gambling mecca ever since opening its casino industry to foreign competition in 2001.

There are billions upon billions of dollars in foreign investment pouring into the country on an annual basis. The Macau government's coffers are swelling with gaming revenue tax dollars, as Macau can boast of higher revenues than Las Vegas.

Palau is a tiny country that is located in the North Pacific Ocean, just southeast of the Philippines.

Palau has a miniscule population of just over 20,000 people.

The country relies heavily on two things - tourism and the US government.

The US government agreed to pay Palau up to $700 million dollars in return for having access to military facilities on the island. This, plus a thriving tourism industry, has allowed Palau to remain debt-free.

Liechtenstein is a tiny European country that is sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria.

The country has a population of just over 35,000 people.

According to the CIA Fact Book, Liechtenstein is a "highly industrialized" and "prosperous" country that is an important European business center due to their low taxes and "easy incorporation rules".

The last country on the list is Brunei.

Brunei is located in Southeast Asia and borders Malaysia.

Brunei generates a good deal of its revenues from the export of crude oil and natural gas. Japan, Indonesia and Australia are its three biggest trading partners.

Brunei also benefits from a "substantial" amount of foreign investment.

These numbers and estimates are taken directly from the CIA Fact Book - I would like to think that they are fairly accurate.

Source: CIA Fact Book

Filed under: General Knowledge

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