8. Zong Qinghou – $10.8 billion
Zong Qinghou is the richest Chinese politician.
The 71-year-old made his $10.8 billion fortune by selling fizzy soft drinks through his company – Hangzhou Wahaha Group. Wa-ha-ha not only sounds but also translates hilariously – “laughing child.” No need for further marketing here!
Zong Qinghou’s incredible influence on the Chinese consumer market made him an obvious pick for politics. He serves as a delegate to the Chinese National People’s Congress since 2002. His fellow countrymen granted him honorary titles like “Outstanding Builder of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.”
Zong is exactly the workaholic you would normally expect from a country known to deliver most of the consumer goods we use today, and aspiring to become the world’s largest economy. His only declared hobbies are drinking tea and smoking cigarettes.
Starting with the next page, monarchs that were born with a fortune of billions take over the list.
9. Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan – $19 billion
Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the current President of the United Arab Emirates and one of the wealthiest world leaders.
It’s hard to point out to him as a politician. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is an absolute monarchy, and Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan succeeded his father in November 2004. People there didn’t have a choice.
When your country is one of the leading oil exporters in the world, the definition of “rich” needs a serious upgrade. Al Nahyan might have a mere $19 billion in his name, but he has direct and absolute control over more than $600 billion as chair of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
Although wealthy enough to buy a medium-sized country and all its citizens, the emir of Abu Dhabi still feels the need to keep some of the money in offshore locations. The Panama Papers revealed Al Nahyan as part of the network of world leaders that like to stash their goodies for safe keeping.
Check out the next powerful women of politics and her incredibly vast estate!
10. Sonia Gandhi – $19.2 billion
Sonia Gandhi ranks as the wealthiest politician in India.
Don’t let the name fool. Sonia is not related to the leader of the Indian independence movement Mahatma Gandhi. Instead, she is part of a very influential family in politics that happens to have the same last name.
Political assassinations happening on the Indian subcontinent have no match. Sonia had the daunting task of continuing the work of two prime ministers that were killed while in office – mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi, and husband, Rajiv Gandhi.
The Gandhi name meant that Sonia was entitled to inherit the Prime Minister position. Although she declined, she will later join politics as president of the Congress Party. Forbes even included her amongst the world’s ten most influential figures in 2010.