Smaller countries' historical disadvantages have largely disappeared, and in terms of economic growth, there's actually a "triumph of the tiny," said Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland.
"The average economic performance of small countries has been better than that of larger countries," Salmond said Thursday at the Credit Suisse Megatrends conference in Singapore. He added that the optimum size for the population is probably around the 7-8 million mark. Scotland's population is a bit over 5 million.
"For most of the period of human existence, if you are a successful small country, what would happen is you were taken over by a larger country," Salmond said. "Although we still live in a very troubled world, by and large, in most areas of the planet, you can be a successful small country and still have security and not be taken over by a larger country."