Gold is an extremely valuable commodity, and central banks around the world have stashed it away for various reasons. It’s a great way to diversify their foreign holdings, and is also immune to political changes.
China, for instance, mines more than three times as much gold as the next closest nation. But the country’s reserves are tiny by comparison.
As the world’s largest economy, China has also been known to have one of the largest gold reserves in the world. According to the World Gold Council, it is followed by the US, Germany, Italy and Russia.
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has been the primary driver of these purchases. However, it is possible that other state controlled entities are also stockpiling gold.
While it is impossible to confirm this exact number, a number of market analysts have been reporting that China has at least 30,000 tonnes of gold in reserve. This would represent a significant increase from its reported holdings of 1850 tonnes, and could be a sign of further State buying in the future.
India stands out among the Asian countries because of its distinctive geography, marked off by the Himalayas and the sea. It is also known for its kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage.
It has achieved all-round socio-economic development since its independence. A country of 1.2 billion people, it is a global player and has produced tech-savvy leaders like Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.
However, India is not a major gold producer. Output is largely limited to two large projects, the Deccan Gold Mines in Karnataka and Geomysore in Andhra Pradesh.
Japan, an archipelago located in the northeast Pacific Ocean, is one of the world’s most economically advanced countries. It also remains rooted in longstanding traditions that are reflected in its culture, which is known for tea ceremonies, calligraphy and flower arranging.
The country’s mineral resources include coal, iron ore, copper, lead and zinc. These deposits are primarily located in northern and western Honshu, along with the island of Hokkaido.
Taiwan, a semi-presidential democracy and a self-declared independent country, has one of the largest gold reserves in the world. The Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) holds 465.6 tonnes worth $21.7 billion at today’s prices.
Taiwan has to tackle a number of challenging issues, including maintaining its economic competitiveness, energy security, ensuring good jobs for young people, preserving the environment, and addressing food safety, among others. The most difficult challenge, however, is China and its ambitions regarding Taiwan.
Despite its poor economic performance and recent political transition, Mexico has a long history of mining and has plenty of geological potential. The country’s terrain is among the most tectonically active in the world, which has attracted more than 250 exploration companies.
Despite being a relatively small nation, Mexico’s gold reserves are surprisingly large. According to the World Gold Council, Mexico’s gold reserves amount to 3.9 percent of its total assets, and it is second only to Russia in terms of bullion holdings.
Australia has one of the world’s largest gold reserves with nearly one-fifth of global resources. Its mining industry is thriving, supported by the country’s abundant reserves of the precious metal.
A major contributor to Australian economies and communities, the industry has contributed $23 billion in royalties over the last decade. This support helps fund essential community services, infrastructure and jobs.
Switzerland is known for its monetary and political stability, as well as its neutrality in regional conflicts. Its federal system is based on a constitution that divides powers between the federal government and cantons.
The Swiss are also known for their strong electoral process, which is free from party financing opacity. During the last federal elections, voters elected a record-high number of members to Switzerland’s Council of States.
While Switzerland’s official gold reserves are small, its private population holds 920 tonnes of the metal in vaults and banks. This is likely the highest amount of gold per capita in the world, compared to GDP.