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Geographical analysis of landlocked states

Landlocked states are countries which are geographically located at the interior of continent some kilometers away from the coast. They are nearly enclosed by land and they lack direct accessibility to maritime port facilities that involves the most exports as well as imports to transit through other foreign countries. There before landlocked states were regarded as being disadvantaged because they cut off country from sea resources like fishing and access to seaborne trade. Landlocked states compounds the disadvantages of distance through administrative practices which are both translated to comparatively high production and marketing costs.

For landlocked states to acquire global and regional competitive level which promotes significant economic growth there is efficient and cost effective transport and communication system which is not only necessary but significant ingredient (Glassner, 2000, p. 147). According to Glassner, 2000 global geographical distribution of landlocked states is wide. There are fifteen countries in Africa which are landlocked. They includes; Burkina Faso, Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Lesotho, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Malawi, Lesotho, Niger, Mali, Swaziland, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

In Asia there are twelve landlocked states. They include; Armenia, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Nepal, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In Europe there are thirteen landlocked states namely; Austria, Andorra, Czech Republic, Belarus, Hungary, the Holy Sea, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Luxembourg, Macedonia, San Marino, Switzerland and Slovakia. In 1957 there was only six independent developing land-locked States namely; Bhutan, Afghanistan, Laos, Bolivia, Bhutan, Paraguay and Nepal. The number of developing landlocked states increased to twenty eight states by the year 1992.

All together forty seven states are currently categorized as being at least developed and sixteen of the countries are landlocked (Glassner, 2000, p. 158). The nature and extent of challenges faced by landlocked states differ in terms of force among states and regions. Being a landlocked state comes along with many costs accompanied by political and economic constraints. This is because a part from distance sea ports there is combination of other factors which are independent of the national authorities like political situations, transit rules and regulations, stability and conditions of transport infrastructure in foreign countries.

Landlocked states face challenges due to difficulty of trade and geographically remote areas which have difficulty in realizing gains to specialized and associated benefits. Country like Lesotho is facing environmental degradation reducing socio-economic standing of the state. There is a decreased potential commercial agriculture with essential future economic growth associated with sustainable development (Glassner, 2000, p. 162). Challenges faced by landlocked nations are classified into internal and external factors.

Internal factors are the ones which require interventions at national level and external factors are beyond national government jurisdiction. Regardless of technological advancement, landlocked states continue to face structural challenges to access world markets. This makes landlocked countries lag behind their maritime neighbors in overall development and external trade. There is poor performance of landlocked states attributed to the distance from coast. Landlocked states depend on neighbors’ infrastructure, sound cross-border political relations, administrative practices, neighbor’s stability and peace.

Most landlocked states are classified as having low human development. High transportation typically costs place of landlocked countries is a distinct disadvantage relative to coastal neighbors when competing in global markets (Glassner, 2000, p. 163). Landlocked states face not only distance problems but they also face challenges resulting from dependence on passage through independent transit country in which trade from a landlocked country must pass for it to access international shipping market. They face structural challenges to access global markets.

Landlocked states frequently achieve lower average on development levels compared to their maritime neighbors. Landlocked countries have high average costs of trade which is nearly double that of maritime states. These countries don’t engage on important volumes of transoceanic trade but they export overwhelmingly to their immediate neighbors. Most landlocked states have narrow economic base with poor export performance. Most landlocked states depend on one commodity at least 50% of their exports by value. Insurance, freight and other related costs are a burden in relation to low value of their earnings (Glassner, 2000, p.

167). These challenges facing landlocked states can be overcome by mostly investing on human development with emphasis on various main policy priorities. Intervention from all corners is required for addressing the problems. Intervention should start at national level with government authorities getting their policy objective right from undertaking any commitments at both regional and multilateral level. National policy should target at establishing and maintaining efficient all weather and wide transport network that serves both business and social needs of the state.

Landlocked states need to put certain emphasis on establishing their internal transportation infrastructure because trade is important to a state and it is significantly affected by transportation infrastructure. Landlocked nations should invest on construction and maintenance of both roads and railways to keep the cost down (Glassner, 2000, p. 170). There should be integration of strategies required for establishing active trade routes and expansion of market access for landlocked states. Landlocked states like Rwanda and Burundi face tremendous challenges in trying to trade internationally because of weak road and rail.

Landlocked states have to invest on developing industries which are less affected by transport costs. These states should increase spillovers through regional cross-border trade. They have to improve on regional economic policy and investment in transport corridor to the coast. Landlocked states should take advantage of air and email to become refuge for services and nice markets. Landlocked states should encourage migration and investment of remittances and create transparent, investor-friendly environment for resource prospecting and attract assistance from donors (Glassner, 2000, p. 174).

Well coordinated and enhanced cooperation among border agencies will aid in reducing the tap and delay related with activity duplications internally and beyond. There should be electronic data sharing to reduce paper work and enhance efficiency by reducing lead time in border clearing. Official development assistance should be increased by cooperating partners to landlocked states. To overcome these challenges through the proposed measures require finances.

This can be achieved through integrated Frame work of Technical Assistance that can be used to draw attention and focus on both internal government and donor community required to address some challenges and facilitate trade. Aid for Trade is another way of addressing the challenge which should be adopted (Glassner, 2000, p. 177). Conclusion Landlocked states being enclosed by land and distant from coast face various challenges which need an immediate solution for better performance of the states. Not only distance which affects landlocked states but there are other internal and external factors that pose challenges.

Landlocked states have to deal with the challenges resulting from their geographical location; they require greater external resource support giving priority to official development help which flows than their counterparts who have direct access to sea ports to help them in mitigating structural barriers. This will help landlocked states to effectively participate in international trade. The responsibility is with landlocked states to set their priorities in direction and place measures to ensure effective and sufficient accountability. List of References Glassner, M. (2000), political geography, John Wiley & Sons Inc

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