The oil and gas reserves under the Norwegian continental shelf are being transformed into financial reserves for future generations. No other government in Europe or North America is saving its petroleum wealth for future generations to nearly the same extent.
What kind of financing opportunities could result for infrastructure from the combination of natural resource abundance, governments' lack of capital market access, and weak governance environments? As it turns out, quite a few.
Say that your country is blessed with natural resources. Oil, gas, minerals -- it has it all. New technologies are leading to even more discoveries. The future looks good. But deep down you worry that the bonanza could turn into a bust -- how do you know that's not going to happen?
Most commentators were quite surprised that America's southern neighbor and economic partner did not play a greater role to the 2012 candidates' future plans. It can be explained by both the nature of the debate and the declining role of the United States in the region.
Here is a nation whose infrastructure was focused on pearl "hunting" and fishing, whose economy was virtually destroyed by the introduction of Japanese cultured pearls in the 1920's and 1930's. Then in the 1940's came the discovery of oil.