Natural resources are always good to have. If rightly used, they are the basis not only for an economy’s path of growth, but also for its international identity.
Having said that, it is not always easy to recognise a valuable natural resource. Something that is an asset one day may not be so the next. It all depends on values, and these change over time, as we know. A piece of useless land can become desirable if some mineral for mining is found on it, or if it turns out that the soil is suitable for some newly introduced cash crop. Thus, tin and rubber were what defined Malaya for decades.
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