Many developing countries possess a primary export industry which disproportionately contributes to their GDP and national wealth. Examples of these include the oil industry in Venezuela, precious minerals in Angola, columbite-tantalite (coltan) in the Congo, natural gas in Trinidad and Tobago, among others. Furthermore, these industries are many times based on non-renewable natural resources which will only sustain the economies linked to them, for a finite period as technological substitutes advance and reserves dwindle.
A prototypical feature of these economies is their unstable nature due to dependence on fluctuating world commodity prices, changes in preferential market access arrangements, depleting reserves and a host of other possible market structure shocks. These changes invariably have detrimental social and economic affects on the nations and societies in question.
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