economic history… and some people’s lived experience

I am currently doing some research on the economic history of medieval Europe and came across an interesting quote from one Francesco Guicciar commenting on 16th century Spain:

... poverty is great here, and I believe it is due not so much to the quality of the country as to the nature of the Spaniards, who do not exert themselves; they rather send to other nations the raw materials which grow in their Kingdom only to buy them back manufactured by others, as in the case of wool and silk which they sell to others in order to buy them back from them as cloths of silk and wool

The quote reminded me of the thoughts I have whenever I buy Nescafe in Kenyan supermarkets or read about Nigeria importing refined petroleum products.