Have you ever looked at satellite pictures of the Earth at night? The lights are concentrated in places where trade is easier, like ocean ports and highways. But geography isn’t the whole story.
Take North and South Korea for example. They have similar cultures, people, and geography. However, their political and economic systems are very different. Where the lights are brightest (or whether they are present at all) tells us something about trade.
Where people have freedom and are linked to circles of exchange, they have the opportunity to create wealth for themselves and their families.