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Title: The 2008 CIA World Factbook
Author: United States. Central Intelligence Agency
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The 2008 CIA World Factbook" ***

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THE CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2008



CONTENTS


Countries and Locations

Field Listings

Rank Orders

Appendixes

Notes and Definitions

History of the World Factbook

Contributors and Copyright Information

Purchasing Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



What's New

- Country information has been updated as of 18 December 2008.

- In the People category, two new fields provide information on
education in terms of opportunity and resources. "School Life
Expectancy" is an estimate of the total number of years of schooling
(primary to tertiary) that a child can expect to receive, assuming
that the probability of his or her being enrolled in school at any
particular future age is equal to the current enrollment ratio at
that age. "Education expenditures" provides an estimate of the public
expenditure on education as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

- In order to help policymakers understand the nature and global
dimensions of the current financial crisis, The World Factbook has
added five new fields to the Economy category. "Central bank discount
rate" provides the annualized interest rate a country's central bank
charges commercial, depository banks for loans to meet temporary
shortages of funds. "Commercial bank prime lending rate" provides a
simple average of annualized interest rates commercial banks charge
on new loans, denominated in the national currency, to their most
credit-worthy customers. "Stock of money" also known as "M1," comprises
the total quantity of currency in circulation (notes and coins) plus
demand deposits denominated in the national currency, held by nonbank
financial institutions, state and local governments, nonfinancial
public enterprises, and the private sector of the economy. "Stock of
quasi money" comprises the total quantity of time and savings deposits
denominated in the national currency, held by nonbank financial
institutions, state and local governments, nonfinancial public
enterprises, and the private sector of the economy. When added together
with "M1" the total money supply is known as "M2." "Stock of domestic
credit" is the total quantity of credit, denominated in the domestic
currency, provided by banks to nonbanking institutions.

- In the Geography category, two new fields focus on the increasingly
vital resource of water: "Total renewable water resources" and
"Freshwater withdrawal."

- Revision of some individual country maps, first introduced in the
2001 edition, is continued in this edition. Several regional maps have
also been updated to reflect boundary changes and place name spelling
changes.



======================================================================



The World Factbook (2008) - Country Listing


[Transcriber's note: To search on a country in this file, prefix the
country's name with "@", e.g. "@Afghanistan".  "Afghanistan" will find
all occurrences; prefixing it with "@" will find the correct location.]



World


A

Afghanistan
Akrotiri
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Andorra
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua and Barbuda
Arctic Ocean
Argentina
Armenia
Aruba
Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Atlantic Ocean
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan


B

Bahamas, The
Bahrain
Baker Island description under United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bermuda
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Bouvet Island
Brazil
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burma
Burundi


C


Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Clipperton Island
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Colombia
Comoros
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Republic of the
Cook Islands
Coral Sea Islands
Costa Rica
Cote d'Ivoire
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic


D


Denmark
Dhekelia
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic


E


Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
European Union entry follows Taiwan


F


Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Faroe Islands
Fiji
Finland
France
French Polynesia
French Southern and Antarctic Lands


G


Gabon
Gambia, The
Gaza Strip
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guam
Guatemala
Guernsey
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana


H


Haiti
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Holy See (Vatican City)
Honduras
Hong Kong
Howland Island description under United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges
Hungary


I


Iceland
India
Indian Ocean
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Isle of Man
Israel
Italy


J


Jamaica
Jan Mayen
Japan
Jarvis Island description under United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges
Jersey
Johnston Atoll description under United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges
Jordan


K


Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kingman Reef description under United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges
Kiribati
Korea, North
Korea, South
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan


L


Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg


M


Macau
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Micronesia, Federated States of
Midway Islands description under United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique


N


Namibia
Nauru
Navassa Island
Nepal
Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Mariana Islands
Norway


O


Oman


P


Pacific Ocean
Pakistan
Palau
Palmyra Atoll description under United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paracel Islands
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Islands
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico


Q


Qatar


R


Romania
Russia
Rwanda


S


Saint Helena
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Southern Ocean
Spain
Spratly Islands
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Svalbard
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria


T


Taiwan entry follows Zimbabwe
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Turks and Caicos Islands
Tuvalu


U


Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges
Uruguay
Uzbekistan


V


Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Virgin Islands


W


Wake Island
Wallis and Futuna
West Bank
Western Sahara


Y


Yemen


Z


Zambia
Zimbabwe



Taiwan
European Union



=====================================================================



Code  Field Description

2001  GDP (purchasing power parity)
2002  Population growth rate (%)
2003  GDP - real growth rate (%)
2004  GDP - per capita (PPP)
2006  Dependency status
2007  Diplomatic representation from the US
2008  Transportation - note
2010  Age structure (%)
2011  Geographic coordinates
2012  GDP - composition by sector (%)
2013  Radio broadcast stations
2015  Television broadcast stations
2018  Sex ratio (male(s)/female)
2019  Heliports
2020  Elevation extremes (m)
2021  Natural hazards
2022  People - note
2023  Area - comparative
2024  Military service age and obligation (years of age)
2025  Manpower fit for military service
2026  Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
2028  Background
2030  Airports - with paved runways
2031  Airports - with unpaved runways
2032  Environment - current issues
2033  Environment - international agreements
2034  Military expenditures (% of GDP)
2038  Electricity - production (kWh)
2042  Electricity - consumption (kWh)
2043  Electricity - imports (kWh)
2044  Electricity - exports (kWh)
2046  Population below poverty line (%)
2047  Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)
2048  Labor force - by occupation (%)
2049  Exports - commodities (%)
2050  Exports - partners (%)
2051  Administrative divisions
2052  Agriculture - products
2053  Airports
2054  Birth rate (births/1,000 population)
2055  Military branches
2056  Budget
2057  Capital
2058  Imports - commodities (%)
2059  Climate
2060  Coastline (km)
2061  Imports - partners (%)
2062  Economic aid - donor
2063  Constitution
2064  Economic aid - recipient
2065  Currency (code)
2066  Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)
2068  Dependent areas
2070  Disputes - international
2075  Ethnic groups (%)
2076  Exchange rates
2077  Executive branch
2078  Exports
2079  Debt - external
2080  Fiscal year
2081  Flag description
2085  Roadways (km)
2086  Illicit drugs
2087  Imports
2088  Independence
2089  Industrial production growth rate (%)
2090  Industries
2091  Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)
2092  Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)
2093  Waterways (km)
2094  Judicial branch
2095  Labor force
2096  Land boundaries (km)
2097  Land use (%)
2098  Languages (%)
2100  Legal system
2101  Legislative branch
2102  Life expectancy at birth (years)
2103  Literacy (%)
2105  Manpower available for military service
2106  Maritime claims
2107  International organization participation
2108  Merchant marine
2109  National holiday
2110  Nationality
2111  Natural resources
2112  Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)
2113  Geography - note
2115  Political pressure groups and leaders
2116  Economy - overview
2117  Pipelines (km)
2118  Political parties and leaders
2119  Population
2120  Ports and terminals
2121  Railways (km)
2122  Religions (%)
2123  Suffrage
2124  Telephone system
2125  Terrain
2127  Total fertility rate (children born/woman)
2128  Government type
2129  Unemployment rate (%)
2137  Military - note
2138  Communications - note
2140  Government - note
2142  Country name
2144  Location
2145  Map references
2146  Irrigated land (sq km)
2147  Area (sq km)
2149  Diplomatic representation in the US
2150  Telephones - main lines in use
2151  Telephones - mobile cellular
2153  Internet users
2154  Internet country code
2155  HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)
2156  HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
2157  HIV/AIDS - deaths
2172  Distribution of family income - Gini index
2173  Oil - production (bbl/day)
2174  Oil - consumption (bbl/day)
2175  Oil - imports (bbl/day)
2176  Oil - exports (bbl/day)
2177  Median age (years)
2178  Oil - proved reserves (bbl)
2179  Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)
2180  Natural gas - production (cu m)
2181  Natural gas - consumption (cu m)
2182  Natural gas - imports (cu m)
2183  Natural gas - exports (cu m)
2184  Internet hosts
2185  Investment (gross fixed) (% of GDP)
2186  Public debt (% of GDP)
2187  Current account balance
2188  Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
2193  Major infectious diseases
2194  Refugees and internally displaced persons
2195  GDP (official exchange rate)
2196  Trafficking in persons
2198  Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
2199  Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
2200  Market value of publicly traded shares
2201  Total renewable water resources (cu km)
2202  Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()
2203  Geographic overview
2204  Economy of the area administered by Turkish Cypriots
2205  School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) (years)
2206  Education expenditures (% of GDP)
2207  Central bank discount rate (%)
2208  Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)
2209  Stock of money
2210  Stock of quasi money
2211  Stock of domestic credit



======================================================================



Rank Orders


[Transcriber's note: To search on a rank order in this file, prefix
the rank's name with "@", e.g. "@Population".  "Population" will find
all occurrences; prefixing it with "@" will find the correct location.]


Rank Order pages are presorted lists of data from selected Factbook
data fields. Rank Order pages are generally given in descending order -
highest to lowest - such as Population and Area. The two exceptions are
Unemployment Rate and Inflation Rate, which are in ascending - lowest
to highest - order. Rank Order pages are available for the following 55
fields in six of the nine Factbook categories.


Geography

Area - total


People

Population
Population growth rate
Birth rate
Death rate
Infant mortality rate
Life expectancy at birth - total
Total fertility rate
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS - deaths


Economy

GDP (purchasing power parity)
GDP - real growth rate
GDP - per capita
Labor force
Unemployment rate
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
Central bank discount rate
Commercial bank prime lending rate
Stock of money
Stock of quasi money
Stock of domestic credit
Investment (gross fixed)
Public debt
Industrial production growth rate
Electricity - production
Electricity - consumption
Oil - production
Oil - consumption
Oil - exports
Oil - imports
Oil - proved reserves
Natural Gas - production
Natural Gas - consumption
Natural Gas - exports
Natural Gas - imports
Natural Gas - proved reserves
Current account balance
Exports
Imports
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
Debt - external
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
Market value of publicly traded shares


Communications

Telephones - main lines in use
Telephones - mobile cellular
Internet hosts
Internet users


Transportation

Airports
Railways - total
Roadways - total
Waterways
Merchant marine - total


Military

Military expenditures - percent of GDP



Factbook fields with Rank Order pages are easily identified with a
small bar chart icon to the right of the data field title.

Not all Rank Order pages include the same number of entries because
information for a particular field is not available for all countries.
In addition, not all data fields are suitable for displaying as Rank
Order pages, such as those containing textual information. Textual
information is more readily viewed by clicking on the Field Listing
icon  next to the Data field title. The other icon next to the data
field title provides the definition of the field.

All of the 'Rank Order' pages can be downloaded as tab-delimited data
files and can be opened in other applications such as spreadsheets and
databases. To save a Rank Order page in a spreadsheet, first click on
the 'Download Datafile' choice above the Rank Order page you selected;
then, at the top of your browser window, click on 'File' and 'Save As'.
After saving the file, open the spreadsheet, find the saved file, and
'Open' it.

Additional Rank Order pages being considered for future updates of the
Factbook Web site include:

  Median age
  Literacy
  Population below the poverty line


This page was last updated on 20 November, 2008



=====================================================================



Appendixes


Appendix A - Abbreviations

Appendix B - International Organizations and Groups

Appendix C - Selected International Environmental Agreements

Appendix D - Cross-Reference list of Country Data Codes

Appendix E - Cross-Reference List of Hydrographic Data Codes

Appendix F - Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names

Appendix G - Weights and Measures


======================================================================



Notes and Definitions


In addition to the regular information updates, The World Factbook 2008
features several new additions. In the Geography category, two new
fields focus on the increasingly vital resource of water: "Total
renewable water resources" and "Freshwater withdrawal."

In the Economy category, the Factbook has added three fields: "Stock of
direct foreign investment - at home", "Stock of direct foreign
investment - abroad", and "Market value of publicly traded shares."
Additionally, the data for GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) has
been rebased using new PPP conversion rates, benchmarked to the year
2005, which were released on 17 December 2007 by the International
Comparison Program (ICP). The 2005 PPP data replace previous estimates,
many from studies dating to 1993 or earlier. The preliminary ICP report
provides estimates of internationally comparable price levels and the
relative purchasing power of currencies for 146 countries. The 2005
benchmark revises downward the size of the world economy in PPP terms
from the previous estimates, and changes the relative sizes of many of
the world's economies.

Concise descriptions of the major religions mentioned in the Factbook
have been added to the Notes and Definitions. France 's redesignation
of some of its overseas possessions caused the five former Indian Ocean
island possessions making up Iles Eparses to be incorporated into the
French Southern and Antarctic Lands, while two new Caribbean entities,
St. Barthelemy and St. Martin, were created.

Revision of some individual country maps, first introduced in the 2001
edition, is continued in this edition. The revised maps include
elevation extremes and a partial geographic grid. Several regional maps
have also been updated to reflect boundary changes and place name
spelling changes.

Abbreviations:  This information is included in Appendix A:
Abbreviations, which includes all abbreviations and acronyms used in
the Factbook, with their expansions.

Acronyms:  An acronym is an abbreviation coined from the initial letter
of each successive word in a term or phrase. In general, an acronym
made up solely from the first letter of the major words in the expanded
form is rendered in all capital letters (NATO from North Atlantic
Treaty Organization; an exception would be ASEAN for Association of
Southeast Asian Nations). In general, an acronym made up of more than
the first letter of the major words in the expanded form is rendered
with only an initial capital letter (Comsat from Communications
Satellite Corporation; an exception would be NAM from Nonaligned
Movement). Hybrid forms are sometimes used to distinguish between
initially identical terms (ICC for International Chamber of Commerce
and ICCt for International Criminal Court).

Administrative divisions:  This entry generally gives the numbers,
designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved
by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been
reported but not yet acted on by the BGN are noted.

Age structure:  This entry provides the distribution of the population
according to age. Information is included by sex and age group (0-14
years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over). The age structure of a
population affects a nation's key socioeconomic issues. Countries with
young populations (high percentage under age 15) need to invest more in
schools, while countries with older populations (high percentage ages
65 and over) need to invest more in the health sector. The age
structure can also be used to help predict potential political issues.
For example, the rapid growth of a young adult population unable to
find employment can lead to unrest.

Agriculture - products:  This entry is an ordered listing of major
crops and products starting with the most important.

Airports:  This entry gives the total number of airports or airfields
recognizable from the air. The runway(s) may be paved (concrete or
asphalt surfaces) or unpaved (grass, earth, sand, or gravel surfaces)
but may include closed or abandoned installations. Airports or
airfields that are no longer recognizable (overgrown, no facilities,
etc.) are not included. Note that not all airports have accommodations
for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control.

Airports - with paved runways:  This entry gives the total number of
airports with paved runways (concrete or asphalt surfaces) by length.
For airports with more than one runway, only the longest runway is
included according to the following five groups - (1) over 3,047 m, (2)
2,438 to 3,047 m, (3) 1,524 to 2,437 m, (4) 914 to 1,523 m, and (5)
under 914 m. Only airports with usable runways are included in this
listing. Not all airports have facilities for refueling, maintenance,
or air traffic control.

Airports - with unpaved runways:  This entry gives the total number of
airports with unpaved runways (grass, dirt, sand, or gravel surfaces)
by length. For airports with more than one runway, only the longest
runway is included according to the following five groups - (1) over
3,047 m, (2) 2,438 to 3,047 m, (3) 1,524 to 2,437 m, (4) 914 to 1,523
m, and (5) under 914 m. Only airports with usable runways are included
in this listing. Not all airports have facilities for refueling,
maintenance, or air traffic control.

Appendixes:  This section includes Factbook-related material by topic.

Area:  This entry includes three subfields. Total area is the sum of
all land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or
coastlines. Land area is the aggregate of all surfaces delimited by
international boundaries and/or coastlines, excluding inland water
bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers). Water area is the sum of the
surfaces of all inland water bodies, such as lakes, reservoirs, or
rivers, as delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines.

Area - comparative:  This entry provides an area comparison based on
total area equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US
or one of the 50 states based on area measurements (1990 revised)
provided by the US Bureau of the Census. The smaller entities are
compared with Washington, DC (178 sq km, 69 sq mi) or The Mall in
Washington, DC (0.59 sq km, 0.23 sq mi, 146 acres).

Background:  This entry usually highlights major historic events and
current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future
trends.

Birth rate:  This entry gives the average annual number of births
during a year per 1,000 persons in the population at midyear; also
known as crude birth rate. The birth rate is usually the dominant
factor in determining the rate of population growth. It depends on both
the level of fertility and the age structure of the population.

Budget:  This entry includes revenues, expenditures, and capital
expenditures. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis,
i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

Capital:  This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its
geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated
Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if
applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where
appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries
that have multiple time zones.

Central bank discount rate:  This entry provides the annualized
interest rate a country's central bank charges commercial, depository
banks for loans to meet temporary shortages of funds.

Climate:  This entry includes a brief description of typical weather
regimes throughout the year.

Coastline:  This entry gives the total length of the boundary between
the land area (including islands) and the sea.

Commercial bank prime lending rate:  This entry provides a simple
average of annualized interest rates commercial banks charge on new
loans, denominated in the national currency, to their most credit-
worthy customers.

Communications:  This category deals with the means of exchanging
information and includes the telephone, radio, television, and Internet
host entries.

Communications - note:  This entry includes miscellaneous
communications information of significance not included elsewhere.

Constitution:  This entry includes the dates of adoption, revisions,
and major amendments.

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC):  UTC is the international atomic time
scale that serves as the basis of timekeeping for most of the world.
The hours, minutes, and seconds expressed by UTC represent the time of
day at the Prime Meridian (0 deg. longitude) located near Greenwich,
England as reckoned from midnight. UTC is calculated by the Bureau
International des Poids et Measures (BIPM) in Sevres, France. The BIPM
averages data collected from more than 200 atomic time and frequency
standards located at about 50 laboratories worldwide. UTC is the basis
for all civil time with the Earth divided into time zones expressed as
positive or negative differences from UTC. UTC is also referred to as
"Zulu time." See the Standard Time Zones of the World map included with
the Reference Maps.

Country data codes:  see Data codes.

Country map:  Most versions of the Factbook provide a country map in
color. The maps were produced from the best information available at
the time of preparation. Names and/or boundaries may have changed
subsequently.

Country name:  This entry includes all forms of the country's name
approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an
example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short
form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form
(Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also
see the Terminology note.

Crude oil:  See entry for oil.

Current account balance:  This entry records a country's net trade in
goods and services, plus net earnings from rents, interest, profits,
and dividends, and net transfer payments (such as pension funds and
worker remittances) to and from the rest of the world during the period
specified. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis,
i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

Data codes:  This information is presented in Appendix D: Cross-
Reference List of Country Data Codes and Appendix E: Cross-Reference
List of Hydrographic Data Codes.

Date of information:  In general, information available as of 1 January
2007 was used in the preparation of this edition.

Daylight Saving Time (DST):  This entry is included for those entities
that have adopted a policy of adjusting the official local time
forward, usually one hour, from Standard Time during summer months.
Such policies are most common in mid-latitude regions.

Death rate:  This entry gives the average annual number of deaths
during a year per 1,000 population at midyear; also known as crude
death rate. The death rate, while only a rough indicator of the
mortality situation in a country, accurately indicates the current
mortality impact on population growth. This indicator is significantly
affected by age distribution, and most countries will eventually show a
rise in the overall death rate, in spite of continued decline in
mortality at all ages, as declining fertility results in an aging
population.

Debt - external:  This entry gives the total public and private debt
owed to nonresidents repayable in foreign currency, goods, or services.
These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in
purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

Dependency status:  This entry describes the formal relationship
between a particular nonindependent entity and an independent state.

Dependent areas:  This entry contains an alphabetical listing of all
nonindependent entities associated in some way with a particular
independent state.

Diplomatic representation:  The US Government has diplomatic relations
with 189 independent states, including 187 of the 192 UN members
(excluded UN members are Bhutan, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and the US
itself). In addition, the US has diplomatic relations with 2
independent states that are not in the UN, the Holy See and Kosovo, as
well as with the EU.

Diplomatic representation from the US:  This entry includes the chief
of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX
number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and
consulate locations.

Diplomatic representation in the US:  This entry includes the chief of
mission, chancery, telephone, FAX, consulate general locations, and
consulate locations.

Disputes - international:  This entry includes a wide variety of
situations that range from traditional bilateral boundary disputes to
unilateral claims of one sort or another. Information regarding
disputes over international terrestrial and maritime boundaries has
been reviewed by the US Department of State. References to other
situations involving borders or frontiers may also be included, such as
resource disputes, geopolitical questions, or irredentist issues;
however, inclusion does not necessarily constitute official acceptance
or recognition by the US Government.

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  This index measures the
degree of inequality in the distribution of family income in a country.
The index is calculated from the Lorenz curve, in which cumulative
family income is plotted against the number of families arranged from
the poorest to the richest. The index is the ratio of (a) the area
between a country's Lorenz curve and the 45 degree helping line to (b)
the entire triangular area under the 45 degree line. The more nearly
equal a country's income distribution, the closer its Lorenz curve to
the 45 degree line and the lower its Gini index, e.g., a Scandinavian
country with an index of 25. The more unequal a country's income
distribution, the farther its Lorenz curve from the 45 degree line and
the higher its Gini index, e.g., a Sub-Saharan country with an index of
50. If income were distributed with perfect equality, the Lorenz curve
would coincide with the 45 degree line and the index would be zero; if
income were distributed with perfect inequality, the Lorenz curve would
coincide with the horizontal axis and the right vertical axis and the
index would be 100.

Economy:  This category includes the entries dealing with the size,
development, and management of productive resources, i.e., land, labor,
and capital.

Economy - overview:  This entry briefly describes the type of economy,
including the degree of market orientation, the level of economic
development, the most important natural resources, and the unique areas
of specialization. It also characterizes major economic events and
policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a statement
about one or two key future macroeconomic trends.

Education expenditures:  This entry provides the public expenditure on
education as a percent of GDP

Electricity - consumption:  This entry consists of total electricity
generated annually plus imports and minus exports, expressed in
kilowatt-hours. The discrepancy between the amount of electricity
generated and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is
accounted for as loss in transmission and distribution.

Electricity - exports:  This entry is the total exported electricity in
kilowatt-hours.

Electricity - imports:  This entry is the total imported electricity in
kilowatt-hours.

Electricity - production:  This entry is the annual electricity
generated expressed in kilowatt-hours. The discrepancy between the
amount of electricity generated and/or imported and the amount consumed
and/or exported is accounted for as loss in transmission and
distribution.

Elevation extremes:  This entry includes both the highest point and the
lowest point.

Entities:  Some of the independent states, dependencies, areas of
special sovereignty, and governments included in this publication are
not independent, and others are not officially recognized by the US
Government. "Independent state" refers to a people politically
organized into a sovereign state with a definite territory.
"Dependencies" and "areas of special sovereignty" refer to a broad
category of political entities that are associated in some way with an
independent state. "Country" names used in the table of contents or for
page headings are usually the short-form names as approved by the US
Board on Geographic Names and may include independent states,
dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty, or other geographic
entities. There are a total of 266 separate geographic entities in The
World Factbook that may be categorized as follows:

INDEPENDENT STATES

194 Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and
Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, The
Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize,
Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil,
Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon,
Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China,
Colombia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the
Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador,
Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia,
Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana,
Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Holy
See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland,
Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati,
North Korea, South Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia,
Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta,
Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Federated States of
Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique,
Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, NZ, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria,
Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay,
Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda,
Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal,
Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan,
Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania,
Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia,
Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, UAE, UK, US, Uruguay,
Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

OTHER

2 Taiwan, European Union

DEPENDENCIES AND AREAS OF SPECIAL SOVEREIGNTY

6 Australia - Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos
(Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald
Islands, Norfolk Island

2 China - Hong Kong, Macau

2 Denmark - Faroe Islands, Greenland

9 France - Clipperton Island, French Polynesia, French Southern and
Antarctic Lands, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint
Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna

2 Netherlands - Aruba, Netherlands Antilles

3 New Zealand - Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau

3 Norway - Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, Svalbard

17 UK - Akrotiri, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory,
British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dhekelia, Falkland Islands,
Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands,
Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and
Caicos Islands

14 US - American Samoa, Baker Island*, Guam, Howland Island*, Jarvis
Island*, Johnston Atoll*, Kingman Reef*, Midway Islands*, Navassa
Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll*, Puerto Rico, Virgin
Islands, Wake Island (* consolidated in United States Pacific Island
Wildlife Refuges entry)

MISCELLANEOUS

6 Antarctica, Gaza Strip, Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands, West Bank,
Western Sahara

OTHER ENTITIES

5 oceans - Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean,
Southern Ocean

1 World



266 total

Environment - current issues:  This entry lists the most pressing and
important environmental problems. The following terms and abbreviations
are used throughout the entry:

Acidification - the lowering of soil and water pH due to acid
precipitation and deposition usually through precipitation; this
process disrupts ecosystem nutrient flows and may kill freshwater fish
and plants dependent on more neutral or alkaline conditions (see acid
rain).

Acid rain - characterized as containing harmful levels of sulfur
dioxide or nitrogen oxide; acid rain is damaging and potentially deadly
to the earth's fragile ecosystems; acidity is measured using the pH
scale where 7 is neutral, values greater than 7 are considered
alkaline, and values below 5.6 are considered acid precipitation; note
- a pH of 2.4 (the acidity of vinegar) has been measured in rainfall in
New England.

Aerosol - a collection of airborne particles dispersed in a gas, smoke,
or fog.

Afforestation - converting a bare or agricultural space by planting
trees and plants; reforestation involves replanting trees on areas that
have been cut or destroyed by fire.

Asbestos - a naturally occurring soft fibrous mineral commonly used in
fireproofing materials and considered to be highly carcinogenic in
particulate form.

Biodiversity - also biological diversity; the relative number of
species, diverse in form and function, at the genetic, organism,
community, and ecosystem level; loss of biodiversity reduces an
ecosystem's ability to recover from natural or man-induced disruption.

Bio-indicators - a plant or animal species whose presence, abundance,
and health reveal the general condition of its habitat.

Biomass - the total weight or volume of living matter in a given area
or volume.

Carbon cycle - the term used to describe the exchange of carbon (in
various forms, e.g., as carbon dioxide) between the atmosphere, ocean,
terrestrial biosphere, and geological deposits.

Catchments - assemblages used to capture and retain rainwater and
runoff; an important water management technique in areas with limited
freshwater resources, such as Gibraltar.

DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane) - a colorless, odorless
insecticide that has toxic effects on most animals; the use of DDT was
banned in the US in 1972.

Defoliants - chemicals which cause plants to lose their leaves
artificially; often used in agricultural practices for weed control,
and may have detrimental impacts on human and ecosystem health.

Deforestation - the destruction of vast areas of forest (e.g.,
unsustainable forestry practices, agricultural and range land clearing,
and the over exploitation of wood products for use as fuel) without
planting new growth.

Desertification - the spread of desert-like conditions in arid or semi-
arid areas, due to overgrazing, loss of agriculturally productive
soils, or climate change.

Dredging - the practice of deepening an existing waterway; also, a
technique used for collecting bottom-dwelling marine organisms (e.g.,
shellfish) or harvesting coral, often causing significant destruction
of reef and ocean-floor ecosystems.

Drift-net fishing - done with a net, miles in extent, that is generally
anchored to a boat and left to float with the tide; often results in an
over harvesting and waste of large populations of non-commercial marine
species (by-catch) by its effect of "sweeping the ocean clean."

Ecosystems - ecological units comprised of complex communities of
organisms and their specific environments.

Effluents - waste materials, such as smoke, sewage, or industrial waste
which are released into the environment, subsequently polluting it.

Endangered species - a species that is threatened with extinction
either by direct hunting or habitat destruction.

Freshwater - water with very low soluble mineral content; sources
include lakes, streams, rivers, glaciers, and underground aquifers.

Greenhouse gas - a gas that "traps" infrared radiation in the lower
atmosphere causing surface warming; water vapor, carbon dioxide,
nitrous oxide, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and ozone are the primary
greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere.

Groundwater - water sources found below the surface of the earth often
in naturally occurring reservoirs in permeable rock strata; the source
for wells and natural springs.

Highlands Water Project - a series of dams constructed jointly by
Lesotho and South Africa to redirect Lesotho's abundant water supply
into a rapidly growing area in South Africa; while it is the largest
infrastructure project in southern Africa, it is also the most costly
and controversial; objections to the project include claims that it
forces people from their homes, submerges farmlands, and squanders
economic resources.

Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) - represents the 145,000 Inuits of
Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland in international environmental
issues; a General Assembly convenes every three years to determine the
focus of the ICC; the most current concerns are long-range transport of
pollutants, sustainable development, and climate change.

Metallurgical plants - industries which specialize in the science,
technology, and processing of metals; these plants produce highly
concentrated and toxic wastes which can contribute to pollution of
ground water and air when not properly disposed.

Noxious substances - injurious, very harmful to living beings.

Overgrazing - the grazing of animals on plant material faster than it
can naturally regrow leading to the permanent loss of plant cover, a
common effect of too many animals grazing limited range land.

Ozone shield - a layer of the atmosphere composed of ozone gas (O3)
that resides approximately 25 miles above the Earth's surface and
absorbs solar ultraviolet radiation that can be harmful to living
organisms.

Poaching - the illegal killing of animals or fish, a great concern with
respect to endangered or threatened species.

Pollution - the contamination of a healthy environment by man-made
waste.

Potable water - water that is drinkable, safe to be consumed.

Salination - the process through which fresh (drinkable) water becomes
salt (undrinkable) water; hence, desalination is the reverse process;
also involves the accumulation of salts in topsoil caused by
evaporation of excessive irrigation water, a process that can
eventually render soil incapable of supporting crops.

Siltation - occurs when water channels and reservoirs become clotted
with silt and mud, a side effect of deforestation and soil erosion.

Slash-and-burn agriculture - a rotating cultivation technique in which
trees are cut down and burned in order to clear land for temporary
agriculture; the land is used until its productivity declines at which
point a new plot is selected and the process repeats; this practice is
sustainable while population levels are low and time is permitted for
regrowth of natural vegetation; conversely, where these conditions do
not exist, the practice can have disastrous consequences for the
environment.

Soil degradation - damage to the land's productive capacity because of
poor agricultural practices such as the excessive use of pesticides or
fertilizers, soil compaction from heavy equipment, or erosion of
topsoil, eventually resulting in reduced ability to produce
agricultural products.

Soil erosion - the removal of soil by the action of water or wind,
compounded by poor agricultural practices, deforestation, overgrazing,
and desertification.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation - a portion of the electromagnetic energy
emitted by the sun and naturally filtered in the upper atmosphere by
the ozone layer; UV radiation can be harmful to living organisms and
has been linked to increasing rates of skin cancer in humans.

Waterborne diseases - those in which bacteria survive in, and are
transmitted through, water; always a serious threat in areas with an
untreated water supply.

Environment - international agreements:  This entry separates country
participation in international environmental agreements into two levels
- party to and signed, but not ratified. Agreements are listed in
alphabetical order by the abbreviated form of the full name.

Environmental agreements:  This information is presented in Appendix C:
Selected International Environmental Agreements, which includes the
name, abbreviation, date opened for signature, date entered into force,
objective, and parties by category.

Ethnic groups:  This entry provides an ordered listing of ethnic groups
starting with the largest and normally includes the percent of total
population.

Exchange rates:  This entry provides the official value of a country's
monetary unit at a given date or over a given period of time, as
expressed in units of local currency per US dollar and as determined by
international market forces or official fiat. The International
Organization for Standardization (ISO) 4217 alphabetic currency code
for the national medium of exchange is presented in parenthesis.

Executive branch:  This entry includes several subfields. Chief of
state includes the name and title of the titular leader of the country
who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may
not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the government. Head
of government includes the name and title of the top administrative
leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the
government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state,
and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the
president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
Cabinet includes the official name for this body of high-ranking
advisers and the method for selection of members. Elections include the
nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last
election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the
percent of vote for each candidate in the last election.

Exports:  This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise
exports on an f.o.b. (free on board) basis. These figures are
calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power
parity (PPP) terms.

Exports - commodities:  This entry provides a listing of the highest-
valued exported products; it sometimes includes the percent of total
dollar value.

Exports - partners:  This entry provides a rank ordering of trading
partners starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the
percent of total dollar value.

Flag description:  This entry provides a written flag description
produced from actual flags or the best information available at the
time the entry was written. The flags of independent states are used by
their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag.
Some disputed and other areas do not have flags.

Flag graphic:  Most versions of the Factbook include a color flag at
the beginning of the country profile. The flag graphics were produced
from actual flags or the best information available at the time of
preparation. The flags of independent states are used by their
dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag. Some
disputed and other areas do not have flags.

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):  This entry
provides the annual quantity of water in cubic kilometers removed from
available sources for use in any purpose. Water drawn-off is not
necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for
further use downstream. Domestic sector use refers to water supplied by
public distribution systems. Note that some of this total may be used
for small industrial and/or limited agricultural purposes. Industrial
sector use is the quantity of water used by self-supplied industries
not connected to a public distribution system. Agricultural sector use
includes water used for irrigation and livestock watering, and does not
account for agriculture directly dependent on rainfall. Included are
figures for total annual water withdrawal and per capita water
withdrawal.

GDP (official exchange rate):  This entry gives the gross domestic
product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within
a nation in a given year. A nation's GDP at official exchange rates
(OER) is the home-currency-denominated annual GDP figure divided by the
bilateral average US exchange rate with that country in that year. The
measure is simple to compute and gives a precise measure of the value
of output. Many economists prefer this measure when gauging the
economic power an economy maintains vis-à-vis its neighbors, judging
that an exchange rate captures the purchasing power a nation enjoys in
the international marketplace. Official exchange rates, however, can be
artificially fixed and/or subject to manipulation - resulting in claims
of the country having an under- or over-valued currency - and are not
necessarily the equivalent of a market-determined exchange rate.
Moreover, even if the official exchange rate is market-determined,
market exchange rates are frequently established by a relatively small
set of goods and services (the ones the country trades) and may not
capture the value of the larger set of goods the country produces.
Furthermore, OER-converted GDP is not well suited to comparing domestic
GDP over time, since appreciation/depreciation from one year to the
next will make the OER GDP value rise/fall regardless of whether home-
currency-denominated GDP changed.

GDP (purchasing power parity):  This entry gives the gross domestic
product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within
a nation in a given year. A nation's GDP at purchasing power parity
(PPP) exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services
produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United
States. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-
capita welfare and when comparing living conditions or use of resources
across countries. The measure is difficult to compute, as a US dollar
value has to be assigned to all goods and services in the country
regardless of whether these goods and services have a direct equivalent
in the United States (for example, the value of an ox-cart or non-US
military equipment); as a result, PPP estimates for some countries are
based on a small and sometimes different set of goods and services. In
addition, many countries do not formally participate in the World
Bank's PPP project that calculates these measures, so the resulting GDP
estimates for these countries may lack precision. For many developing
countries, PPP-based GDP measures are multiples of the official
exchange rate (OER) measure. The difference between the OER- and PPP-
denominated GDP values for most of the wealthy industrialized countries
are generally much smaller.

GDP - composition by sector:  This entry gives the percentage
contribution of agriculture, industry, and services to total GDP. The
distribution will total less than 100 percent if the data are
incomplete.

GDP - per capita (PPP):  This entry shows GDP on a purchasing power
parity basis divided by population as of 1 July for the same year.

GDP - real growth rate:  This entry gives GDP growth on an annual basis
adjusted for inflation and expressed as a percent.

GDP methodology:  In the Economy category, GDP dollar estimates for
countries are reported both on an official exchange rate (OER) and a
purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. Both measures contain information
that is useful to the reader. The PPP method involves the use of
standardized international dollar price weights, which are applied to
the quantities of final goods and services produced in a given economy.
The data derived from the PPP method probably provide the best
available starting point for comparisons of economic strength and well-
being between countries. In contrast, the currency exchange rate method
involves a variety of international and domestic financial forces that
may not capture the value of domestic output. Whereas PPP estimates for
OECD countries are quite reliable, PPP estimates for developing
countries are often rough approximations. In developing countries with
weak currencies, the exchange rate estimate of GDP in dollars is
typically one-fourth to one-half the PPP estimate. Most of the GDP
estimates for developing countries are based on extrapolation of PPP
numbers published by the UN International Comparison Program (UNICP)
and by Professors Robert Summers and Alan Heston of the University of
Pennsylvania and their colleagues. GDP derived using the OER method
should be used for the purpose of calculating the share of items such
as exports, imports, military expenditures, external debt, or the
current account balance, because the dollar values presented in the
Factbook for these items have been converted at official exchange
rates, not at PPP. One should use the OER GDP figure to calculate the
proportion of, say, Chinese defense expenditures in GDP, because that
share will be the same as one calculated in local currency units.
Comparison of OER GDP with PPP GDP may also indicate whether a currency
is over- or under-valued. If OER GDP is smaller than PPP GDP, the
official exchange rate may be undervalued, and vice versa. However,
there is no strong historical evidence that market exchange rates move
in the direction implied by the PPP rate, at least not in the short- or
medium-term. Note: the numbers for GDP and other economic data should
not be chained together from successive volumes of the Factbook because
of changes in the US dollar measuring rod, revisions of data by
statistical agencies, use of new or different sources of information,
and changes in national statistical methods and practices.

GNP:  Gross national product (GNP) is the value of all final goods and
services produced within a nation in a given year, plus income earned
by its citizens abroad, minus income earned by foreigners from domestic
production. The Factbook, following current practice, uses GDP rather
than GNP to measure national production. However, the user must realize
that in certain countries net remittances from citizens working abroad
may be important to national well-being.

GWP:  This entry gives the gross world product (GWP) or aggregate value
of all final goods and services produced worldwide in a given year.

Geographic coordinates:  This entry includes rounded latitude and
longitude figures for the purpose of finding the approximate geographic
center of an entity and is based on the locations provided in the
Geographic Names Server (GNS), maintained by the National Geospatial-
Intelligence Agency on behalf of the US Board on Geographic Names.

Geographic names:  This information is presented in Appendix F: Cross-
Reference List of Geographic Names. It includes a listing of various
alternate names, former names, local names, and regional names
referenced to one or more related Factbook entries. Spellings are
normally, but not always, those approved by the US Board on Geographic
Names (BGN). Alternate names and additional information are included in
parentheses.

Geography:  This category includes the entries dealing with the natural
environment and the effects of human activity.

Geography - note:  This entry includes miscellaneous geographic
information of significance not included elsewhere.

Gini index:  See entry for Distribution of family income - Gini index

Government:  This category includes the entries dealing with the system
for the adoption and administration of public policy.

Government - note:  This entry includes miscellaneous government
information of significance not included elsewhere.

Government type:  This entry gives the basic form of government.
Definitions of the major governmental terms are as follows. (Note that
for some countries more than one definition applies.):

Absolute monarchy - a form of government where the monarch rules
unhindered, i.e., without any laws, constitution, or legally organized
opposition.

Anarchy - a condition of lawlessness or political disorder brought
about by the absence of governmental authority.

Authoritarian - a form of government in which state authority is
imposed onto many aspects of citizens' lives.

Commonwealth - a nation, state, or other political entity founded on
law and united by a compact of the people for the common good.

Communist - a system of government in which the state plans and
controls the economy and a single - often authoritarian - party holds
power; state controls are imposed with the elimination of private
ownership of property or capital while claiming to make progress toward
a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the
people (i.e., a classless society).

Confederacy (Confederation) - a union by compact or treaty between
states, provinces, or territories, that creates a central government
with limited powers; the constituent entities retain supreme authority
over all matters except those delegated to the central government.

Constitutional - a government by or operating under an authoritative
document (constitution) that sets forth the system of fundamental laws
and principles that determines the nature, functions, and limits of
that government.

Constitutional democracy - a form of government in which the sovereign
power of the people is spelled out in a governing constitution.

Constitutional monarchy - a system of government in which a monarch is
guided by a constitution whereby his/her rights, duties, and
responsibilities are spelled out in written law or by custom.

Democracy - a form of government in which the supreme power is retained
by the people, but which is usually exercised indirectly through a
system of representation and delegated authority periodically renewed.

Democratic republic - a state in which the supreme power rests in the
body of citizens entitled to vote for officers and representatives
responsible to them.

Dictatorship - a form of government in which a ruler or small clique
wield absolute power (not restricted by a constitution or laws).

Ecclesiastical - a government administrated by a church.

Emirate - similar to a monarchy or sultanate, but a government in which
the supreme power is in the hands of an emir (the ruler of a Muslim
state); the emir may be an absolute overlord or a sovereign with
constitutionally limited authority.

Federal (Federation) - a form of government in which sovereign power is
formally divided - usually by means of a constitution - between a
central authority and a number of constituent regions (states,
colonies, or provinces) so that each region retains some management of
its internal affairs; differs from a confederacy in that the central
government exerts influence directly upon both individuals as well as
upon the regional units.

Federal republic - a state in which the powers of the central
government are restricted and in which the component parts (states,
colonies, or provinces) retain a degree of self-government; ultimate
sovereign power rests with the voters who chose their governmental
representatives.

Islamic republic - a particular form of government adopted by some
Muslim states; although such a state is, in theory, a theocracy, it
remains a republic, but its laws are required to be compatible with the
laws of Islam.

Maoism - the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism developed in China
by Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung), which states that a continuous revolution
is necessary if the leaders of a communist state are to keep in touch
with the people.

Marxism - the political, economic, and social principles espoused by
19th century economist Karl Marx; he viewed the struggle of workers as
a progression of historical forces that would proceed from a class
struggle of the proletariat (workers) exploited by capitalists
(business owners), to a socialist "dictatorship of the proletariat,"
to, finally, a classless society - Communism.

Marxism-Leninism - an expanded form of communism developed by Lenin
from doctrines of Karl Marx; Lenin saw imperialism as the final stage
of capitalism and shifted the focus of workers' struggle from developed
to underdeveloped countries.

Monarchy - a government in which the supreme power is lodged in the
hands of a monarch who reigns over a state or territory, usually for
life and by hereditary right; the monarch may be either a sole absolute
ruler or a sovereign - such as a king, queen, or prince - with
constitutionally limited authority.

Oligarchy - a government in which control is exercised by a small group
of individuals whose authority generally is based on wealth or power.

Parliamentary democracy - a political system in which the legislature
(parliament) selects the government - a prime minister, premier, or
chancellor along with the cabinet ministers - according to party
strength as expressed in elections; by this system, the government
acquires a dual responsibility: to the people as well as to the
parliament.

Parliamentary government (Cabinet-Parliamentary government) - a
government in which members of an executive branch (the cabinet and its
leader - a prime minister, premier, or chancellor) are nominated to
their positions by a legislature or parliament, and are directly
responsible to it; this type of government can be dissolved at will by
the parliament (legislature) by means of a no confidence vote or the
leader of the cabinet may dissolve the parliament if it can no longer
function.

Parliamentary monarchy - a state headed by a monarch who is not
actively involved in policy formation or implementation (i.e., the
exercise of sovereign powers by a monarch in a ceremonial capacity);
true governmental leadership is carried out by a cabinet and its head -
a prime minister, premier, or chancellor - who are drawn from a
legislature (parliament).

Presidential - a system of government where the executive branch exists
separately from a legislature (to which it is generally not
accountable).

Republic - a representative democracy in which the people's elected
deputies (representatives), not the people themselves, vote on
legislation.

Socialism - a government in which the means of planning, producing, and
distributing goods is controlled by a central government that
theoretically seeks a more just and equitable distribution of property
and labor; in actuality, most socialist governments have ended up being
no more than dictatorships over workers by a ruling elite.

Sultanate - similar to a monarchy, but a government in which the
supreme power is in the hands of a sultan (the head of a Muslim state);
the sultan may be an absolute ruler or a sovereign with
constitutionally limited authority.

Theocracy - a form of government in which a Deity is recognized as the
supreme civil ruler, but the Deity's laws are interpreted by
ecclesiastical authorities (bishops, mullahs, etc.); a government
subject to religious authority.

Totalitarian - a government that seeks to subordinate the individual to
the state by controlling not only all political and economic matters,
but also the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population.

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT):  The mean solar time at the Greenwich
Meridian, Greenwich, England, with the hours and days, since 1925,
reckoned from midnight. GMT is now a historical term having been
replaced by UTC on 1 January 1972. See Coordinated Universal Time.

Gross domestic product:  see GDP

Gross national product:  see GNP

Gross world product:  see GWP

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  This entry gives an estimate of the
percentage of adults (aged 15-49) living with HIV/AIDS. The adult
prevalence rate is calculated by dividing the estimated number of
adults living with HIV/AIDS at yearend by the total adult population at
yearend.

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  This entry gives an estimate of the number of
adults and children who died of AIDS during a given calendar year.

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  This entry gives an estimate
of all people (adults and children) alive at yearend with HIV
infection, whether or not they have developed symptoms of AIDS.

Heliports:  This entry gives the total number of heliports with hard-
surface runways, helipads, or landing areas that support routine
sustained helicopter operations exclusively and have support facilities
including one or more of the following facilities: lighting, fuel,
passenger handling, or maintenance. It includes former airports used
exclusively for helicopter operations but excludes heliports limited to
day operations and natural clearings that could support helicopter
landings and takeoffs.

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  Data on household
income or consumption come from household surveys, the results adjusted
for household size. Nations use different standards and procedures in
collecting and adjusting the data. Surveys based on income will
normally show a more unequal distribution than surveys based on
consumption. The quality of surveys is improving with time, yet caution
is still necessary in making inter-country comparisons.

Hydrographic data codes:  see Data codes

Illicit drugs:  This entry gives information on the five categories of
illicit drugs - narcotics, stimulants, depressants (sedatives),
hallucinogens, and cannabis. These categories include many drugs
legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally
produced and sold outside of medical channels.

Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the common hemp plant, which provides
hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana
(pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC,
Marinol), hashish (hash), and hashish oil (hash oil).

Coca (mostly Erythroxylum coca) is a bush with leaves that contain the
stimulant used to make cocaine. Coca is not to be confused with cocoa,
which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate, cocoa,
and cocoa butter.

Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush.

Depressants (sedatives) are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety and
include chloral hydrate, barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal,
phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Librium, Valium), methaqualone
(Quaalude), glutethimide (Doriden), and others (Equanil, Placidyl,
Valmid).

Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, mental,
emotional, or behavioral change in an individual.

Drug abuse is the use of any licit or illicit chemical substance that
results in physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral impairment in an
individual.

Hallucinogens are drugs that affect sensation, thinking, self-
awareness, and emotion. Hallucinogens include LSD (acid, microdot),
mescaline and peyote (mexc, buttons, cactus), amphetamine variants
(PMA, STP, DOB), phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust, hog), phencyclidine
analogues (PCE, PCPy, TCP), and others (psilocybin, psilocyn).

Hashish is the resinous exudate of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis
sativa).

Heroin is a semisynthetic derivative of morphine.

Mandrax is a trade name for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.

Marijuana is the dried leaf of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis
sativa).

Methaqualone is a pharmaceutical depressant, referred to as mandrax in
Southwest Asia and Africa.

Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer to
opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes. Natural narcotics
include opium (paregoric, parepectolin), morphine (MS-Contin, Roxanol),
codeine (Tylenol with codeine, Empirin with codeine, Robitussin AC),
and thebaine. Semisynthetic narcotics include heroin (horse, smack),
and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Synthetic narcotics include meperidine or
Pethidine (Demerol, Mepergan), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), and
others (Darvon, Lomotil).

Opium is the brown, gummy exudate of the incised, unripe seedpod of the
opium poppy.

Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is the source for the natural and
semisynthetic narcotics.

Poppy straw is the entire cut and dried opium poppy-plant material,
other than the seeds. Opium is extracted from poppy straw in commercial
operations that produce the drug for medical use.

Qat (kat, khat) is a stimulant from the buds or leaves of Catha edulis
that is chewed or drunk as tea.

Quaaludes is the North American slang term for methaqualone, a
pharmaceutical depressant.

Stimulants are drugs that relieve mild depression, increase energy and
activity, and include cocaine (coke, snow, crack), amphetamines
(Desoxyn, Dexedrine), ephedrine, ecstasy (clarity, essence, doctor,
Adam), phenmetrazine (Preludin), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and others
(Cylert, Sanorex, Tenuate).

Imports:  This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise
imports on a c.i.f. (cost, insurance, and freight) or f.o.b. (free on
board) basis. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis,
i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

Imports - commodities:  This entry provides a listing of the highest-
valued imported products; it sometimes includes the percent of total
dollar value.

Imports - partners:  This entry provides a rank ordering of trading
partners starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the
percent of total dollar value.

Independence:  For most countries, this entry gives the date that
sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship.
For the other countries, the date given may not represent
"independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant
nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of
unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental
change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas
include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency
status. Also see the Terminology note.

Industrial production growth rate:  This entry gives the annual
percentage increase in industrial production (includes manufacturing,
mining, and construction).

Industries:  This entry provides a rank ordering of industries starting
with the largest by value of annual output.

Infant mortality rate:  This entry gives the number of deaths of
infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the
same year; included is the total death rate, and deaths by sex, male
and female. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of
health in a country.

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  This entry furnishes the annual
percent change in consumer prices compared with the previous year's
consumer prices.

International disputes:  see Disputes - international

International organization participation:  This entry lists in
alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in
which the subject country is a member or participates in some other
way.

International organizations:  This information is presented in Appendix
B: International Organizations and Groups which includes the name,
abbreviation, date established, aim, and members by category.

Internet country code:  This entry includes the two-letter codes
maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
in the ISO 3166 Alpha-2 list and used by the Internet Assigned Numbers
Authority (IANA) to establish country-coded top-level domains (ccTLDs).

Internet hosts:  This entry lists the number of Internet hosts
available within a country. An Internet host is a computer connected
directly to the Internet; normally an Internet Service Provider's (ISP)
computer is a host. Internet users may use either a hard-wired
terminal, at an institution with a mainframe computer connected
directly to the Internet, or may connect remotely by way of a modem via
telephone line, cable, or satellite to the Internet Service Provider's
host computer. The number of hosts is one indicator of the extent of
Internet connectivity.

Internet users:  This entry gives the number of users within a country
that access the Internet. Statistics vary from country to country and
may include users who access the Internet at least several times a week
to those who access it only once within a period of several months.

Introduction:  This category includes one entry, Background.

Investment (gross fixed):  This entry records total business spending
on fixed assets, such as factories, machinery, equipment, dwellings,
and inventories of raw materials, which provide the basis for future
production. It is measured gross of the depreciation of the assets,
i.e., it includes investment that merely replaces worn-out or scrapped
capital.

Irrigated land:  This entry gives the number of square kilometers of
land area that is artificially supplied with water.

Judicial branch:  This entry contains the name(s) of the highest
court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.

Labor force:  This entry contains the total labor force figure.

Labor force - by occupation:  This entry lists the percentage
distribution of the labor force by occupation. The distribution will
total less than 100 percent if the data are incomplete.

Land boundaries:  This entry contains the total length of all land
boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous border
countries. When available, official lengths published by national
statistical agencies are used. Because surveying methods may differ,
country border lengths reported by contiguous countries may differ.

Land use:  This entry contains the percentage shares of total land area
for three different types of land use: arable land - land cultivated
for crops like wheat, maize, and rice that are replanted after each
harvest; permanent crops - land cultivated for crops like citrus,
coffee, and rubber that are not replanted after each harvest; includes
land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and vines, but
excludes land under trees grown for wood or timber; other - any land
not arable or under permanent crops; includes permanent meadows and
pastures, forests and woodlands, built-on areas, roads, barren land,
etc.

Languages:  This entry provides a rank ordering of languages starting
with the largest and sometimes includes the percent of total population
speaking that language.

Legal system:  This entry contains a brief description of the legal
system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of
International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.

Legislative branch:  This entry contains information on the structure
(unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and
term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or
accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next
election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number
of seats held by each party in the last election.

Life expectancy at birth:  This entry contains the average number of
years to be lived by a group of people born in the same year, if
mortality at each age remains constant in the future. The entry
includes total population as well as the male and female components.
Life expectancy at birth is also a measure of overall quality of life
in a country and summarizes the mortality at all ages. It can also be
thought of as indicating the potential return on investment in human
capital and is necessary for the calculation of various actuarial
measures.

Literacy:  This entry includes a definition of literacy and Census
Bureau percentages for the total population, males, and females. There
are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless
otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common definition
- the ability to read and write at a specified age. Detailing the
standards that individual countries use to assess the ability to read
and write is beyond the scope of the Factbook. Information on literacy,
while not a perfect measure of educational results, is probably the
most easily available and valid for international comparisons. Low
levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic
development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-
driven world.

Location:  This entry identifies the country's regional location,
neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water.

Major infectious diseases:  This entry lists major infectious diseases
likely to be encountered in countries where the risk of such diseases
is assessed to be very high as compared to the United States. These
infectious diseases represent risks to US government personnel
traveling to the specified country for a period of less than three
years. The degree of risk is assessed by considering the foreign nature
of these infectious diseases, their severity, and the probability of
being affected by the diseases present. The diseases listed do not
necessarily represent the total disease burden experienced by the local
population.

The risk to an individual traveler varies considerably by the specific
location, visit duration, type of activities, type of accommodations,
time of year, and other factors. Consultation with a travel medicine
physician is needed to evaluate individual risk and recommend
appropriate preventive measures such as vaccines.

Diseases are organized into the following six exposure categories shown
in italics and listed in typical descending order of risk. Note: The
sequence of exposure categories listed in individual country entries
may vary according to local conditions.

food or waterborne diseases acquired through eating or drinking on the
local economy:

Hepatitis A - viral disease that interferes with the functioning of the
liver; spread through consumption of food or water contaminated with
fecal matter, principally in areas of poor sanitation; victims exhibit
fever, jaundice, and diarrhea; 15% of victims will experience prolonged
symptoms over 6-9 months; vaccine available.

Hepatitis E - water-borne viral disease that interferes with the
functioning of the liver; most commonly spread through fecal
contamination of drinking water; victims exhibit jaundice, fatigue,
abdominal pain, and dark colored urine.

Typhoid fever - bacterial disease spread through contact with food or
water contaminated by fecal matter or sewage; victims exhibit sustained
high fevers; left untreated, mortality rates can reach 20%.

vectorborne diseases acquired through the bite of an infected
arthropod:

Malaria - caused by single-cell parasitic protozoa Plasmodium;
transmitted to humans via the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito;
parasites multiply in the liver attacking red blood cells resulting in
cycles of fever, chills, and sweats accompanied by anemia; death due to
damage to vital organs and interruption of blood supply to the brain;
endemic in 100, mostly tropical, countries with 90% of cases and the
majority of 1.5-2.5 million estimated annual deaths occurring in sub-
Saharan Africa.

Dengue fever - mosquito-borne (Aedes aegypti) viral disease associated
with urban environments; manifests as sudden onset of fever and severe
headache; occasionally produces shock and hemorrhage leading to death
in 5% of cases.

Yellow fever - mosquito-borne viral disease; severity ranges from
influenza-like symptoms to severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever;
occurs only in tropical South America and sub-Saharan Africa, where
most cases are reported; fatality rate is less than 20%.

Japanese Encephalitis - mosquito-borne (Culex tritaeniorhynchus) viral
disease associated with rural areas in Asia; acute encephalitis can
progress to paralysis, coma, and death; fatality rates 30%.

African Trypanosomiasis - caused by the parasitic protozoa Trypanosoma;
transmitted to humans via the bite of bloodsucking Tsetse flies;
infection leads to malaise and irregular fevers and, in advanced cases
when the parasites invade the central nervous system, coma and death;
endemic in 36 countries of sub-Saharan Africa; cattle and wild animals
act as reservoir hosts for the parasites.

Cutaneous Leishmaniasis - caused by the parasitic protozoa leishmania;
transmitted to humans via the bite of sandflies; results in skin
lesions that may become chronic; endemic in 88 countries; 90% of cases
occur in Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Peru; wild
and domesticated animals as well as humans can act as reservoirs of
infection.

Plague - bacterial disease transmitted by fleas normally associated
with rats; person-to-person airborne transmission also possible; recent
plague epidemics occurred in areas of Asia, Africa, and South America
associated with rural areas or small towns and villages; manifests as
fever, headache, and painfully swollen lymph nodes; disease progresses
rapidly and without antibiotic treatment leads to pneumonic form with a
death rate in excess of 50%.

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever - tick-borne viral disease; infection
may also result from exposure to infected animal blood or tissue;
geographic distribution includes Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and
Eastern Europe; sudden onset of fever, headache, and muscle aches
followed by hemorrhaging in the bowels, urine, nose, and gums;
mortality rate is approximately 30%.

Rift Valley fever - viral disease affecting domesticated animals and
humans; transmission is by mosquito and other biting insects; infection
may also occur through handling of infected meat or contact with blood;
geographic distribution includes eastern and southern Africa where
cattle and sheep are raised; symptoms are generally mild with fever and
some liver abnormalities, but the disease may progress to hemorrhagic
fever, encephalitis, or ocular disease; fatality rates are low at about
1% of cases.

Chikungunya - mosquito-borne (Aedes aegypti) viral disease associated
with urban environments, similar to Dengue Fever; characterized by
sudden onset of fever, rash, and severe joint pain usually lasting 3-7
days, some cases result in persistent arthritis.

water contact diseases acquired through swimming or wading in
freshwater lakes, streams, and rivers:

Leptospirosis - bacterial disease that affects animals and humans;
infection occurs through contact with water, food, or soil contaminated
by animal urine; symptoms include high fever, severe headache,
vomiting, jaundice, and diarrhea; untreated, the disease can result in
kidney damage, liver failure, meningitis, or respiratory distress;
fatality rates are low but left untreated recovery can take months.

Schistosomiasis - caused by parasitic trematode flatworm Schistosoma;
fresh water snails act as intermediate host and release larval form of
parasite that penetrates the skin of people exposed to contaminated
water; worms mature and reproduce in the blood vessels, liver, kidneys,
and intestines releasing eggs, which become trapped in tissues
triggering an immune response; may manifest as either urinary or
intestinal disease resulting in decreased work or learning capacity;
mortality, while generally low, may occur in advanced cases usually due
to bladder cancer; endemic in 74 developing countries with 80% of
infected people living in sub-Saharan Africa; humans act as the
reservoir for this parasite.

aerosolized dust or soil contact disease acquired through inhalation of
aerosols contaminated with rodent urine:

Lassa fever - viral disease carried by rats of the genus Mastomys;
endemic in portions of West Africa; infection occurs through direct
contact with or consumption of food contaminated by rodent urine or
fecal matter containing virus particles; fatality rate can reach 50% in
epidemic outbreaks.

respiratory disease acquired through close contact with an infectious
person:

Meningococcal meningitis - bacterial disease causing an inflammation of
the lining of the brain and spinal cord; one of the most important
bacterial pathogens is Neisseria meningitidis because of its potential
to cause epidemics; symptoms include stiff neck, high fever, headaches,
and vomiting; bacteria are transmitted from person to person by
respiratory droplets and facilitated by close and prolonged contact
resulting from crowded living conditions, often with a seasonal
distribution; death occurs in 5-15% of cases, typically within 24-48
hours of onset of symptoms; highest burden of meningococcal disease
occurs in the hyperendemic region of sub-Saharan Africa known as the
"Meningitis Belt" which stretches from Senegal east to Ethiopia.

animal contact disease acquired through direct contact with local
animals:

Rabies - viral disease of mammals usually transmitted through the bite
of an infected animal, most commonly dogs; virus affects the central
nervous system causing brain alteration and death; symptoms initially
are non-specific fever and headache progressing to neurological
symptoms; death occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.

Manpower available for military service:  This entry gives the number
of males and females falling in the military age range for a country
(defined as being ages 16-49) and assumes that every individual is fit
to serve.

Manpower fit for military service:  This entry gives the number of
males and females falling in the military age range for a country
(defined as being ages 16-49) and who are not otherwise disqualified
for health reasons; accounts for the health situation in the country
and provides a more realistic estimate of the actual number fit to
serve.

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:  This entry
gives the number of males and females entering the military manpower
pool (i.e., reaching age 16) in any given year and is a measure of the
availability of military-age young adults.

Map references:  This entry includes the name of the Factbook reference
map on which a country may be found. Note that boundary representations
on these maps are not necessarily authoritative. The entry on
Geographic coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller
countries.

Maritime claims:  This entry includes the following claims, the
definitions of which are excerpted from the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which alone contains the full and
definitive descriptions:

territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal state extends beyond its
land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea,
described as the territorial sea in the UNCLOS (Part II); this
sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well
as its underlying seabed and subsoil; every state has the right to
establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not
exceeding 12 nautical miles; the normal baseline for measuring the
breadth of the territorial sea is the mean low-water line along the
coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the
coastal state; the UNCLOS describes specific rules for archipelagic
states.

contiguous zone - according to the UNCLOS (Article 33), this is a zone
contiguous to a coastal state's territorial sea, over which it may
exercise the control necessary to: prevent infringement of its customs,
fiscal, immigration, or sanitary laws and regulations within its
territory or territorial sea; punish infringement of the above laws and
regulations committed within its territory or territorial sea; the
contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles from the
baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured
(e.g. the US has claimed a 12-nautical mile contiguous zone in addition
to its 12-nautical mile territorial sea).

exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - the UNCLOS (Part V) defines the EEZ as
a zone beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea in which a coastal
state has: sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and
exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether
living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of
the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the
economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the
production of energy from the water, currents, and winds; jurisdiction
with regard to the establishment and use of artificial islands,
installations, and structures; marine scientific research; the
protection and preservation of the marine environment; the outer limit
of the exclusive economic zone shall not exceed 200 nautical miles from
the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is
measured.

continental shelf - the UNCLOS (Article 76) defines the continental
shelf of a coastal state as comprising the seabed and subsoil of the
submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the
natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the
continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the
baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured
where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to
that distance; the continental margin comprises the submerged
prolongation of the landmass of the coastal state, and consists of the
seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise; wherever the
continental margin extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baseline,
coastal states may extend their claim to a distance not to exceed 350
nautical miles from the baseline or 100 nautical miles from the 2500
meter isobath; it does not include the deep ocean floor with its
oceanic ridges or the subsoil thereof.

exclusive fishing zone - while this term is not used in the UNCLOS,
some states (e.g., the United Kingdom) have chosen not to claim an EEZ,
but rather to claim jurisdiction over the living resources off their
coast; in such cases, the term exclusive fishing zone is often used;
the breadth of this zone is normally the same as the EEZ or 200
nautical miles.

Market value of publicly traded shares:  This entry gives the value of
shares issued by publicly traded companies at a price determined in the
national stock markets on the final day of the period indicated. It is
simply the latest price per share multiplied by the total number of
outstanding shares, cumulated over all companies listed on the
particular exchange.

Median age:  This entry is the age that divides a population into two
numerically equal groups; that is, half the people are younger than
this age and half are older. It is a single index that summarizes the
age distribution of a population. Currently, the median age ranges from
a low of about 15 in Uganda and Gaza Strip to 40 or more in several
European countries and Japan. See the entry for "Age structure" for the
importance of a young versus an older age structure and, by
implication, a low versus a higher median age.

Merchant marine:  Merchant marine may be defined as all ships engaged
in the carriage of goods; or all commercial vessels (as opposed to all
nonmilitary ships), which excludes tugs, fishing vessels, offshore oil
rigs, etc. This entry contains information in four fields - total,
ships by type, foreign-owned, and registered in other countries.

Total includes the number of ships (1,000 GRT or over), total DWT for
those ships, and total GRT for those ships. DWT or dead weight tonnage
is the total weight of cargo, plus bunkers, stores, etc., that a ship
can carry when immersed to the appropriate load line. GRT or gross
register tonnage is a figure obtained by measuring the entire sheltered
volume of a ship available for cargo and passengers and converting it
to tons on the basis of 100 cubic feet per ton; there is no stable
relationship between GRT and DWT.

Ships by type includes a listing of barge carriers, bulk cargo ships,
cargo ships, chemical tankers, combination bulk carriers, combination
ore/oil carriers, container ships, liquefied gas tankers, livestock
carriers, multifunctional large-load carriers, petroleum tankers,
passenger ships, passenger/cargo ships, railcar carriers, refrigerated
cargo ships, roll-on/roll-off cargo ships, short-sea passenger ships,
specialized tankers, and vehicle carriers.

Foreign-owned are ships that fly the flag of one country but belong to
owners in another.

Registered in other countries are ships that belong to owners in one
country but fly the flag of another.

Military:  This category includes the entries dealing with a country's
military structure, manpower, and expenditures.

Military - note:  This entry includes miscellaneous military
information of significance not included elsewhere.

Military branches:  This entry lists the service branches subordinate
to defense ministries or the equivalent (typically ground, naval, air,
and marine forces).

Military expenditures:  This entry gives spending on defense programs
for the most recent year available as a percent of gross domestic
product (GDP); the GDP is calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e.,
not in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP).

Military service age and obligation:  This entry gives the required
ages for voluntary or conscript military service and the length of
service obligation.

Money figures:  All money figures are expressed in contemporaneous US
dollars unless otherwise indicated.

National holiday:  This entry gives the primary national day of
celebration - usually independence day.

Nationality:  This entry provides the identifying terms for citizens -
noun and adjective.

Natural gas - consumption:  This entry is the total natural gas
consumed in cubic meters (cu m). The discrepancy between the amount of
natural gas produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or
exported is due to the omission of stock changes and other complicating
factors.

Natural gas - exports:  This entry is the total natural gas exported in
cubic meters (cu m).

Natural gas - imports:  This entry is the total natural gas imported in
cubic meters (cu m).

Natural gas - production:  This entry is the total natural gas produced
in cubic meters (cu m). The discrepancy between the amount of natural
gas produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is
due to the omission of stock changes and other complicating factors.

Natural gas - proved reserves:  This entry is the stock of proved
reserves of natural gas in cubic meters (cu m). Proved reserves are
those quantities of natural gas, which, by analysis of geological and
engineering data, can be estimated with a high degree of confidence to
be commercially recoverable from a given date forward, from known
reservoirs and under current economic conditions.

Natural hazards:  This entry lists potential natural disasters.

Natural resources:  This entry lists a country's mineral, petroleum,
hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance.

Net migration rate:  This entry includes the figure for the difference
between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the
year per 1,000 persons (based on midyear population). An excess of
persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration (e.g.,
3.56 migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the
country as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population). The
net migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the
overall level of population change. High levels of migration can cause
problems such as increasing unemployment and potential ethnic strife
(if people are coming in) or a reduction in the labor force, perhaps in
certain key sectors (if people are leaving).

Oil - consumption:  This entry is the total oil consumed in barrels per
day (bbl/day). The discrepancy between the amount of oil produced
and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the
omission of stock changes, refinery gains, and other complicating
factors.

Oil - exports:  This entry is the total oil exported in barrels per day
(bbl/day), including both crude oil and oil products.

Oil - imports:  This entry is the total oil imported in barrels per day
(bbl/day), including both crude oil and oil products.

Oil - production:  This entry is the total oil produced in barrels per
day (bbl/day). The discrepancy between the amount of oil produced
and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the
omission of stock changes, refinery gains, and other complicating
factors.

Oil - proved reserves:  This entry is the stock of proved reserves of
crude oil in barrels (bbl). Proved reserves are those quantities of
petroleum which, by analysis of geological and engineering data, can be
estimated with a high degree of confidence to be commercially
recoverable from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under
current economic conditions.

People:  This category includes the entries dealing with the
characteristics of the people and their society.

People - note:  This entry includes miscellaneous demographic
information of significance not included elsewhere.

Personal Names - Capitalization:  The Factbook capitalizes the surname
or family name of individuals for the convenience of our users who are
faced with a world of different cultures and naming conventions. The
need for capitalization, bold type, underlining, italics, or some other
indicator of the individual's surname is apparent in the following
examples: MAO Zedong, Fidel CASTRO Ruz, George W. BUSH, and TUNKU
SALAHUDDIN Abdul Aziz Shah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Hisammuddin Alam Shah.
By knowing the surname, a short form without all capital letters can be
used with confidence as in President Castro, Chairman Mao, President
Bush, or Sultan Tunku Salahuddin. The same system of capitalization is
extended to the names of leaders with surnames that are not commonly
used such as Queen ELIZABETH II. For Vietnamese names, the given name
is capitalized because officials are referred to by their given name
rather than by their surname. For example, the president of Vietnam is
Tran Duc LUONG. His surname is Tran, but he is referred to by his given
name - President LUONG.

Personal Names - Spelling:  The romanization of personal names in the
Factbook normally follows the same transliteration system used by the
US Board on Geographic Names for spelling place names. At times,
however, a foreign leader expressly indicates a preference for, or the
media or official documents regularly use, a romanized spelling that
differs from the transliteration derived from the US Government
standard. In such cases, the Factbook uses the alternative spelling.

Personal Names - Titles:  The Factbook capitalizes any valid title (or
short form of it) immediately preceding a person's name. A title
standing alone is not capitalized. Examples: President PUTIN and
President BUSH are chiefs of state. In Russia, the president is chief
of state and the premier is the head of the government, while in the
US, the president is both chief of state and head of government.

Petroleum:  See entries under Oil.

Petroleum products:  See entries under Oil.

Pipelines:  This entry gives the lengths and types of pipelines for
transporting products like natural gas, crude oil, or petroleum
products.

Political parties and leaders:  This entry includes a listing of
significant political organizations and their leaders.

Political pressure groups and leaders:  This entry includes a listing
of a country's political, social, labor, or religious organizations
that are involved in politics, or that exert political pressure, but
whose leaders do not stand for legislative election. International
movements or organizations are generally not listed.

Population:  This entry gives an estimate from the US Bureau of the
Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics
registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past
and on assumptions about future trends. The total population presents
one overall measure of the potential impact of the country on the world
and within its region. Note: Starting with the 1993 Factbook,
demographic estimates for some countries (mostly African) have
explicitly taken into account the effects of the growing impact of the
HIV/AIDS epidemic. These countries are currently: The Bahamas, Benin,
Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon,
Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of
the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti,
Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda,
South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and
Zimbabwe.

Population growth rate:  The average annual percent change in the
population, resulting from a surplus (or deficit) of births over deaths
and the balance of migrants entering and leaving a country. The rate
may be positive or negative. The growth rate is a factor in determining
how great a burden would be imposed on a country by the changing needs
of its people for infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, housing,
roads), resources (e.g., food, water, electricity), and jobs. Rapid
population growth can be seen as threatening by neighboring countries.

Ports and terminals:  This entry lists major ports and terminals
primarily on the basis of the amount of cargo tonnage shipped through
the facilities on an annual basis. In some instances, the number of
containers handled or ship visits were also considered.

Public debt:  This entry records the cumulative total of all government
borrowings less repayments that are denominated in a country's home
currency. Public debt should not be confused with external debt, which
reflects the foreign currency liabilities of both the private and
public sector and must be financed out of foreign exchange earnings.

Radio broadcast stations:  This entry includes the total number of AM,
FM, and shortwave broadcast stations.

Railways:  This entry states the total route length of the railway
network and of its component parts by gauge: broad, standard, narrow,
and dual. Other gauges are listed under note.

Reference maps:  This section includes world and regional maps.

Refugees and internally displaced persons:  This entry includes those
persons residing in a country as refugees or internally displaced
persons (IDPs). The definition of a refugee according to a United
Nations Convention is "a person who is outside his/her country of
nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of
persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership
in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or
unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country,
or to return there, for fear of persecution." The UN established the
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1950 to
handle refugee matters worldwide. The UN Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has a different operational
definition for a Palestinian refugee: "a person whose normal place of
residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948
and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948
conflict." However, UNHCR also assists some 400,000 Palestinian
refugees not covered under the UNRWA definition. The term "internally
displaced person" is not specifically covered in the UN Convention; it
is used to describe people who have fled their homes for reasons
similar to refugees, but who remain within their own national territory
and are subject to the laws of that state.

Religions:  This entry is an ordered listing of religions by adherents
starting with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of
total population. The core characteristics and beliefs of the world's
major religions are described below.

Baha'i - Founded by Mirza Husayn-Ali (known as Baha'u'llah) in Iran in
1852, Baha'i faith emphasizes monotheism and believes in one eternal
transcendent God. Its guiding focus is to encourage the unity of all
peoples on the earth so that justice and peace may be achieved on
earth. Baha'i revelation contends the prophets of major world religions
reflect some truth or element of the divine, believes all were
manifestations of God given to specific communities in specific times,
and that Baha'u'llah is an additional prophet meant to call all
humankind. Bahais are an open community, located worldwide, with the
greatest concentration of believers in South Asia.

Buddhism - Religion or philosophy inspired by the 5th century B.C.
teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (also known as Gautama Buddha "the
enlightened one"). Buddhism focuses on the goal of spiritual
enlightenment centered on an understanding of Gautama Buddha's Four
Noble Truths on the nature of suffering, and on the Eightfold Path of
spiritual and moral practice, to break the cycle of suffering of which
we are a part. Buddhism ascribes to a karmic system of rebirth. Several
schools and sects of Buddhism exist, differing often on the nature of
the Buddha, the extent to which enlightenment can be achieved - for one
or for all, and by whom - religious orders or laity.

Basic Groupings

   Theravada Buddhism: The oldest Buddhist school, Theravada is
practiced mostly in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and Thailand,
with minority representation elsewhere in Asia and the West.
Theravadans follow the Pali Canon of Buddha's teachings, and believe
that one may escape the cycle of rebirth, worldly attachment, and
suffering for oneself; this process may take one or several lifetimes.

   Mahayana Buddhism, including subsets Zen and Tibetan Buddhism: Forms
of Mahayana Buddhism are common in East Asia and Tibet, and parts of
the West. Mahayanas have additional scriptures beyond the Pali Canon
and believe the Buddha is eternal and still teaching. Unlike Theravada
Buddhism, Mahayana schools maintain the Buddha-nature is present in all
beings and all will ultimately achieve enlightenment.

Christianity - Descending from Judaism, Christianity's central belief
maintains Jesus of Nazareth is the promised messiah of the Hebrew
Scriptures, and that his life, death, and resurrection are salvific for
the world. Christianity is one of the three monotheistic Abrahamic
faiths, along with Islam and Judaism, which traces its spiritual
lineage to Abraham of the Hebrew Scriptures. Its sacred texts include
the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament (or the Christian Gospels).

Basic Groupings

   Catholicism (or Roman Catholicism): This is the oldest established
western Christian church and the world's largest single religious body.
It is supranational, and recognizes a hierarchical structure with the
Pope, or Bishop of Rome, as its head, located at the Vatican. Catholics
believe the Pope is the divinely ordered head of the Church from a
direct spiritual legacy of Jesus' apostle Peter. Catholicism is
comprised of 23 particular Churches, or Rites - one Western (Latin-
Rite) and 22 Eastern. The Latin Rite is by far the largest, making up
about 98% of Catholic membership. Eastern-Rite Churches, such as the
Maronite Church and the Ukrainian Catholic Church, are in communion
with Rome although they preserve their own worship traditions and their
immediate hierarchy consists of clergy within their own rite. The
Catholic Church has a comprehensive theological and moral doctrine
specified for believers in its catechism, which makes it unique among
most forms of Christianity.

   Mormonism (including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints): Originating in 1830 in the United States under Joseph Smith,
Mormonism is not characterized as a form of Protestant Christianity
because it claims additional revealed Christian scriptures after the
Hebrew Bible and New Testament. The Book of Mormon maintains there was
an appearance of Jesus in the New World following the Christian account
of his resurrection, and that the Americas are uniquely blessed
continents. Mormonism believes earlier Christian traditions, such as
the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant reform faiths, are
apostasies and that Joseph Smith's revelation of the Book of Mormon is
a restoration of true Christianity. Mormons have a hierarchical
religious leadership structure, and actively proselytize their faith;
they are located primarily in the Americas and in a number of other
Western countries.

   Orthodox Christianity: The oldest established eastern form of
Christianity, the Holy Orthodox Church, has a ceremonial head in the
Bishop of Constantinople (Istanbul), also known as a Patriarch, but its
various regional forms (e.g., Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Serbian
Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox) are autocephalous (independent of
Constantinople's authority, and have their own Patriarchs). Orthodox
churches are highly nationalist and ethnic. The Orthodox Christian
faith shares many theological tenets with the Roman Catholic Church,
but diverges on some key premises and does not recognize the governing
authority of the Pope.

   Protestant Christianity: Protestant Christianity originated in the
16th century as an attempt to reform Roman Catholicism's practices,
dogma, and theology. It encompasses several forms or denominations
which are extremely varied in structure, beliefs, relationship to
state, clergy, and governance. Many protestant theologies emphasize the
primary role of scripture in their faith, advocating individual
interpretation of Christian texts without the mediation of a final
religious authority such as the Roman Pope. The oldest Protestant
Christianities include Lutheranism, Calvinism (Presbyterians), and
Anglican Christianity (Episcopalians), which have established
liturgies, governing structure, and formal clergy. Other variants on
Protestant Christianity, including Pentecostal movements and
independent churches, may lack one or more of these elements, and their
leadership and beliefs are individualized and dynamic.

Hinduism - Originating in the Vedic civilization of India (second and
first millennium B.C.), Hinduism is an extremely diverse set of beliefs
and practices with no single founder or religious authority. Hinduism
has many scriptures; the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad-Gita
are among some of the most important. Hindus may worship one or many
deities, usually with prayer rituals within their own home. The most
common figures of devotion are the gods Vishnu, Shiva, and a mother
goddess, Devi. Most Hindus believe the soul, or atman, is eternal, and
goes through a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara) determined
by one's positive or negative karma, or the consequences of one's
actions. The goal of religious life is to learn to act so as to finally
achieve liberation (moksha) of one's soul, escaping the rebirth cycle.

Islam - The third of the monotheistic Abrahamic faiths, Islam
originated with the teachings of Muhammad in the 7th century. Muslims
believe Muhammad is the final of all religious prophets (beginning with
Abraham) and that the Qu'ran, which is the Islamic scripture, was
revealed to him by God. Islam derives from the word submission, and
obedience to God is a primary theme in this religion. In order to live
an Islamic life, believers must follow the five pillars, or tenets, of
Islam, which are the testimony of faith (shahada), daily prayer
(salah), giving alms (zakah), fasting during Ramadan (sawm), and the
pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).

Basic Groupings

   The two primary branches of Islam are Sunni and Shia, which split
from each other over a religio-political leadership dispute about the
rightful successor to Muhammad. The Shia believe Muhammad's cousin and
son-in-law, Ali, was the only divinely ordained Imam (religious
leader), while the Sunni maintain the first three caliphs after
Muhammad were also legitimate authorities. In modern Islam, Sunnis and
Shia continue to have different views of acceptable schools of Islamic
jurisprudence, and who is a proper Islamic religious authority. Islam
also has an active mystical branch, Sufism, with various Sunni and Shia
subsets.

    Sunni Islam accounts for over 75% of the world's Muslim population.
It recognizes the Abu Bakr as the first caliph after Muhammad. Sunni
has four schools of Islamic doctrine and law - Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i,
and Hanbali - which uniquely interpret the Hadith, or recorded oral
traditions of Muhammad. A Sunni Muslim may elect to follow any one of
these schools, as all are considered equally valid.

    Shia Islam represents 10-20% of Muslims worldwide, and its
distinguishing feature is its reverence for Ali as an infallible,
divinely inspired leader, and as the first Imam of the Muslim community
after Muhammad. A majority of Shia are known as "Twelvers," because
they believe that the 11 familial successor imams after Muhammad
culminate in a 12th Imam (al-Mahdi) who is hidden in the world and will
reappear at its end to redeem the righteous.

Variants

   Ismaili faith: A sect of Shia Islam, its adherents are also known as
"Seveners," because they believe that the rightful seventh Imam in
Islamic leadership was Isma'il, the elder son of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq.
Ismaili tradition awaits the return of the seventh Imam as the Mahdi,
or Islamic messianic figure. Ismailis are located in various parts of
the world, particularly South Asia and the Levant.

   Alawi faith: Another Shia sect of Islam, the name reflects
followers' devotion to the religious authority of Ali. Alawites are a
closed, secretive religious group who assert they are Shia Muslims,
although outside scholars speculate their beliefs may have a syncretic
mix with other faiths originating in the Middle East. Alawis live
mostly in Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey.

   Druze faith: A highly secretive tradition and a closed community
that derives from the Ismaili sect of Islam; its core beliefs are
thought to emphasize a combination of Gnostic principles believing that
the Fatimid caliph, al-Hakin, is the one who embodies the key aspects
of goodness of the universe, which are, the intellect, the word, the
soul, the preceder, and the follower. The Druze have a key presence in
Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.

Jainism - Originating in India, Jain spiritual philosophy believes in
an eternal human soul, the eternal universe, and a principle of "the
own nature of things." It emphasizes compassion for all living things,
seeks liberation of the human soul from reincarnation through
enlightenment, and values personal responsibility due to the belief in
the immediate consequences of one's behavior. Jain philosophy teaches
non-violence and prescribes vegetarianism for monks and laity alike;
its adherents are a highly influential religious minority in Indian
society.

Judaism - One of the first known monotheistic religions, likely dating
to between 2000-1500 B.C., Judaism is the native faith of the Jewish
people, based upon the belief in a covenant of responsibility between a
sole omnipotent creator God and Abraham, the patriarch of Judaism's
Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh. Divine revelation of principles and
prohibitions in the Hebrew Scriptures form the basis of Jewish law, or
halakhah, which is a key component of the faith. While there are
extensive traditions of Jewish halakhic and theological discourse,
there is no final dogmatic authority in the tradition. Local
communities have their own religious leadership. Modern Judaism has
three basic categories of faith: Orthodox, Conservative, and
Reform/Liberal. These differ in their views and observance of Jewish
law, with the Orthodox representing the most traditional practice, and
Reform/Liberal communities the most accommodating of individualized
interpretations of Jewish identity and faith.

Shintoism - A native animist tradition of Japan, Shinto practice is
based upon the premise that every being and object has its own spirit
or kami. Shinto practitioners worship several particular kamis,
including the kamis of nature, and families often have shrines to their
ancestors' kamis. Shintoism has no fixed tradition of prayers or
prescribed dogma, but is characterized by individual ritual. Respect
for the kamis in nature is a key Shinto value. Prior to the end of
World War II, Shinto was the state religion of Japan, and bolstered the
cult of the Japanese emperor.

Sikhism - Founded by the Guru Nanak (born 1469), Sikhism believes in a
non-anthropomorphic, supreme, eternal, creator God; centering one's
devotion to God is seen as a means of escaping the cycle of rebirth.
Sikhs follow the teachings of Nanak and nine subsequent gurus. Their
scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib - also known as the Adi Granth - is
considered the living Guru, or final authority of Sikh faith and
theology. Sikhism emphasizes equality of humankind and disavows caste,
class, or gender discrimination.

Taoism - Chinese philosophy or religion based upon Lao Tzu's Tao Te
Ching, which centers on belief in the Tao, or the way, as the flow of
the universe and the nature of things. Taoism encourages a principle of
non-force, or wu-wei, as the means to live harmoniously with the Tao.
Taoists believe the esoteric world is made up of a perfect harmonious
balance and nature, while in the manifest world - particularly in the
body - balance is distorted. The Three Jewels of the Tao - compassion,
simplicity, and humility - serve as the basis for Taoist ethics.

Zoroastrianism - Originating from the teachings of Zoroaster in about
the 9th or 10th century B.C., Zoroastrianism may be the oldest
continuing creedal religion. Its key beliefs center on a transcendent
creator God, Ahura Mazda, and the concept of free will. The key ethical
tenets of Zoroastrianism expressed in its scripture, the Avesta, are
based on a dualistic worldview where one may prevent chaos if one
chooses to serve God and exercises good thoughts, good words, and good
deeds. Zoroastrianism is generally a closed religion and members are
almost always born to Zoroastrian parents. Prior to the spread of
Islam, Zoroastrianism dominated greater Iran. Today, though a minority,
Zoroastrians remain primarily in Iran, India, and Pakistan.

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:  This entry gives the dollar
value for the stock of all financial assets that are available to the
central monetary authority for use in meeting a country's balance of
payments needs as of the end-date of the period specified. This
category includes not only foreign currency and gold, but also a
country's holdings of Special Drawing Rights in the International
Monetary Fund, and its reserve position in the Fund.

Roadways:  This entry gives the total length of the road network and
includes the length of the paved and unpaved portions.

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary):  School life expectancy
(SLE) is the total number of years of schooling (primary to tertiary)
that a child can expect to receive, assuming that the probability of
his or her being enrolled in school at any particular future age is
equal to the current enrollment ratio at that age. Caution must be
maintained when utilizing this indicator in international comparisons.
For example, a year or grade completed in one country is not
necessarily the same in terms of educational content or quality as a
year or grade completed in another country. SLE represents the expected
number of years of schooling that will be completed, including years
spent repeating one or more grades.

Sex ratio:  This entry includes the number of males for each female in
five age groups - at birth, under 15 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and
over, and for the total population. Sex ratio at birth has recently
emerged as an indicator of certain kinds of sex discrimination in some
countries. For instance, high sex ratios at birth in some Asian
countries are now attributed to sex-selective abortion and infanticide
due to a strong preference for sons. This will affect future marriage
patterns and fertility patterns. Eventually, it could cause unrest
among young adult males who are unable to find partners.

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:  This entry gives the
cumulative US dollar value of all investments in foreign countries made
directly by residents - primarily companies - of the home country, as
of the end of the time period indicated. Direct investment excludes
investment through purchase of shares.

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:  This entry gives the
cumulative US dollar value of all investments in the home country made
directly by residents - primarily companies - of other countries as of
the end of the time period indicated. Direct investment excludes
investment through purchase of shares.

Stock of domestic credit:  This entry is the total quantity of credit,
denominated in the domestic currency, provided by banks to nonbanking
institutions. The national currency units have been converted to US
dollars at the closing exchange rate on the date of the information.

Stock of money:  This entry, also known as "M1," comprises the total
quantity of currency in circulation (notes and coins) plus demand
deposits denominated in the national currency, held by nonbank
financial institutions, state and local governments, nonfinancial
public enterprises, and the private sector of the economy. The national
currency units have been converted to US dollars at the closing
exchange rate on the date of the information.

Stock of quasi money:  This entry comprises the total quantity of time
and savings deposits denominated in the national currency, held by
nonbank financial institutions, state and local governments,
nonfinancial public enterprises, and the private sector of the economy.
When added together with "M1" the total money supply is known as "M2."
The national currency units have been converted to US dollars at the
closing exchange rate on the date of the information.

Suffrage:  This entry gives the age at enfranchisement and whether the
right to vote is universal or restricted.

Telephone numbers:  All telephone numbers in The World Factbook consist
of the country code in brackets, the city or area code (where required)
in parentheses, and the local number. The one component that is not
presented is the international access code, which varies from country
to country. For example, an international direct dial telephone call
placed from the US to Madrid, Spain, would be as follows: 011 [34] (1)
577-xxxx, where 011 is the international access code for station-to-
station calls; 01 is for calls other than station-to-station calls,
[34] is the country code for Spain, (1) is the city code for Madrid,
577 is the local exchange, and xxxx is the local telephone number. An
international direct dial telephone call placed from another country to
the US would be as follows: international access code + [1] (202) 939-
xxxx, where [ 1] is the country code for the US, (202) is the area code
for Washington, DC, 939 is the local exchange, and xxxx is the local
telephone number.

Telephone system:  This entry includes a brief general assessment of
the system with details on the domestic and international components.
The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout the entry:

Arabsat - Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia).

Autodin - Automatic Digital Network (US Department of Defense).

CB - citizen's band mobile radio communications.

Cellular telephone system - the telephones in this system are radio
transceivers, with each instrument having its own private radio
frequency and sufficient radiated power to reach the booster station in
its area (cell), from which the telephone signal is fed to a telephone
exchange.

Central American Microwave System - a trunk microwave radio relay
system that links the countries of Central America and Mexico with each
other.

Coaxial cable - a multichannel communication cable consisting of a
central conducting wire, surrounded by and insulated from a cylindrical
conducting shell; a large number of telephone channels can be made
available within the insulated space by the use of a large number of
carrier frequencies.

Comsat - Communications Satellite Corporation (US).

DSN - Defense Switched Network (formerly Automatic Voice Network or
Autovon); basic general-purpose, switched voice network of the Defense
Communications System (US Department of Defense).

Eutelsat - European Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Paris).

Fiber-optic cable - a multichannel communications cable using a thread
of optical glass fibers as a transmission medium in which the signal
(voice, video, etc.) is in the form of a coded pulse of light.

GSM - a global system for mobile (cellular) communications devised by
the Groupe Special Mobile of the pan-European standardization
organization, Conference Europeanne des Posts et Telecommunications
(CEPT) in 1982.

HF - high frequency; any radio frequency in the 3,000- to 30,000-kHz
range.

Inmarsat - International Maritime Satellite Organization (London);
provider of global mobile satellite communications for commercial,
distress, and safety applications at sea, in the air, and on land.

Intelsat - International Telecommunications Satellite Organization
(Washington, DC).

Intersputnik - International Organization of Space Communications
(Moscow); first established in the former Soviet Union and the East
European countries, it is now marketing its services worldwide with
earth stations in North America, Africa, and East Asia.

Landline - communication wire or cable of any sort that is installed on
poles or buried in the ground.

Marecs - Maritime European Communications Satellite used in the
Inmarsat system on lease from the European Space Agency.

Marisat - satellites of the Comsat Corporation that participate in the
Inmarsat system.

Medarabtel - the Middle East Telecommunications Project of the
International Telecommunications Union (ITU) providing a modern
telecommunications network, primarily by microwave radio relay, linking
Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia,
Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen; it was initially started in
Morocco in 1970 by the Arab Telecommunications Union (ATU) and was
known at that time as the Middle East Mediterranean Telecommunications
Network.

Microwave radio relay - transmission of long distance telephone calls
and television programs by highly directional radio microwaves that are
received and sent on from one booster station to another on an optical
path.

NMT - Nordic Mobile Telephone; an analog cellular telephone system that
was developed jointly by the national telecommunications authorities of
the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden).

Orbita - a Russian television service; also the trade name of a packet-
switched digital telephone network.

Radiotelephone communications - the two-way transmission and reception
of sounds by broadcast radio on authorized frequencies using telephone
handsets.

PanAmSat - PanAmSat Corporation (Greenwich, CT).

SAFE - South African Far East Cable

Satellite communication system - a communication system consisting of
two or more earth stations and at least one satellite that provide long
distance transmission of voice, data, and television; the system
usually serves as a trunk connection between telephone exchanges; if
the earth stations are in the same country, it is a domestic system.

Satellite earth station - a communications facility with a microwave
radio transmitting and receiving antenna and required receiving and
transmitting equipment for communicating with satellites.

Satellite link - a radio connection between a satellite and an earth
station permitting communication between them, either one-way (down
link from satellite to earth station - television receive-only
transmission) or two-way (telephone channels).

SHF - super high frequency; any radio frequency in the 3,000- to
30,000-MHz range.

Shortwave - radio frequencies (from 1.605 to 30 MHz) that fall above
the commercial broadcast band and are used for communication over long
distances.

Solidaridad - geosynchronous satellites in Mexico's system of
international telecommunications in the Western Hemisphere.

Statsionar - Russia's geostationary system for satellite
telecommunications.

Submarine cable - a cable designed for service under water.

TAT - Trans-Atlantic Telephone; any of a number of high-capacity
submarine coaxial telephone cables linking Europe with North America.

Telefax - facsimile service between subscriber stations via the public
switched telephone network or the international Datel network.

Telegraph - a telecommunications system designed for unmodulated
electric impulse transmission.

Telex - a communication service involving teletypewriters connected by
wire through automatic exchanges.

Tropospheric scatter - a form of microwave radio transmission in which
the troposphere is used to scatter and reflect a fraction of the
incident radio waves back to earth; powerful, highly directional
antennas are used to transmit and receive the microwave signals;
reliable over-the-horizon communications are realized for distances up
to 600 miles in a single hop; additional hops can extend the range of
this system for very long distances.

Trunk network - a network of switching centers, connected by
multichannel trunk lines.

UHF - ultra high frequency; any radio frequency in the 300- to 3,000-
MHz range.

VHF - very high frequency; any radio frequency in the 30- to 300-MHz
range.

Telephones - main lines in use:  This entry gives the total number of
main telephone lines in use.

Telephones - mobile cellular:  This entry gives the total number of
mobile cellular telephone subscribers.

Television broadcast stations:  This entry gives the total number of
separate broadcast stations plus any repeater stations.

Terminology:  Due to the highly structured nature of the Factbook
database, some collective generic terms have to be used. For example,
the word Country in the Country name entry refers to a wide variety of
dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and
other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent
states. Military is also used as an umbrella term for various civil
defense, security, and defense activities in many entries. The
Independence entry includes the usual colonial independence dates and
former ruling states as well as other significant nationhood dates such
as the traditional founding date or the date of unification,
federation, confederation, establishment, or state succession that are
not strictly independence dates. Dependent areas have the nature of
their dependency status noted in this same entry.

Terrain:  This entry contains a brief description of the topography.

Time difference:  This entry is expressed in The World Factbook in two
ways. First, it is stated as the difference in hours between the
capital of an entity and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) during
Standard Time. Additionally, the difference in time between the capital
of an entity and that observed in Washington, D.C. is also provided.
Note that the time difference assumes both locations are simultaneously
observing Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time.

Time zones:  Ten countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia,
Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, and the United States)
and the island of Greenland observe more than one official time
depending on the number of designated time zones within their
boundaries. An illustration of time zones throughout the world and
within countries can be seen in the Standard Time Zones of the World
map included in the Reference Maps section of The World Factbook.

Total fertility rate:  This entry gives a figure for the average number
of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end
of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given
fertility rate at each age. The total fertility rate (TFR) is a more
direct measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate,
since it refers to births per woman. This indicator shows the potential
for population change in the country. A rate of two children per woman
is considered the replacement rate for a population, resulting in
relative stability in terms of total numbers. Rates above two children
indicate populations growing in size and whose median age is declining.
Higher rates may also indicate difficulties for families, in some
situations, to feed and educate their children and for women to enter
the labor force. Rates below two children indicate populations
decreasing in size and growing older. Global fertility rates are in
general decline and this trend is most pronounced in industrialized
countries, especially Western Europe, where populations are projected
to decline dramatically over the next 50 years.

Total renewable water resources:  This entry provides the long-term
average water availability for a country in cubic kilometers of
precipitation, recharged ground water, and surface inflows from
surrounding countries. The values have been adjusted to account for
overlap resulting from surface flow recharge of groundwater sources.
Total renewable water resources provides the water total available to a
country but does not include water resource totals that have been
reserved for upstream or downstream countries through international
agreements. Note that these values are averages and do not accurately
reflect the total available in any given year. Annual available
resources can vary greatly due to short-term and long-term climatic and
weather variations.

Trafficking in persons:  Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery,
involving victims who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or
sexual exploitation. The International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN
agency charged with addressing labor standards, employment, and social
protection issues, estimates that 12.3 million people worldwide are
enslaved in forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, sexual
servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time. Human
trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat, depriving people of their
human rights and freedoms, risking global health, promoting social
breakdown, inhibiting development by depriving countries of their human
capital, and helping fuel the growth of organized crime. In 2000, the
US Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA),
reauthorized in 2003 and 2005, which provides tools for the US to
combat trafficking in persons, both domestically and abroad. One of the
law's key components is the creation of the US Department of State's
annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which assesses the government
response (i.e., the current situation) in some 150 countries with a
significant number of victims trafficked across their borders who are
recruited, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained for forced
labor or sexual exploitation. Countries in the annual report are rated
in three tiers, based on government efforts to combat trafficking. The
countries identified in this entry are those listed in the 2007
Trafficking in Persons Report as Tier 2 Watch List or Tier 3 based on
the following tier rating definitions:

Tier 2 Watch List countries do not fully comply with the minimum
standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making significant
efforts to do so, and meet one of the following criteria:

1. they display high or significantly increasing number of victims,

2. they have failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat
trafficking in persons, or,

3. they have committed to take action over the next year.

Tier 3 countries neither satisfy the minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking nor demonstrate a significant effort to do
so. Countries in this tier are subject to potential non-humanitarian
and non-trade sanctions.

Transnational issues:  This category includes four entries - Disputes -
international, Refugees and internally displaced persons, Trafficking
in persons, and Illicit drugs - that deal with current issues going
beyond national boundaries.

Transportation:  This category includes the entries dealing with the
means for movement of people and goods.

Transportation - note:  This entry includes miscellaneous
transportation information of significance not included elsewhere.

UTC (Coordinated Universal Time):  See entry for Coordinated Universal
Time.

Unemployment rate:  This entry contains the percent of the labor force
that is without jobs. Substantial underemployment might be noted.

Waterways:  This entry gives the total length of navigable rivers,
canals, and other inland bodies of water.

Weights and Measures:  This information is presented in Appendix G:
Weights and Measures and includes mathematical notations (mathematical
powers and names), metric interrelationships (prefix; symbol; length,
weight, or capacity; area; volume), and standard conversion factors.

Years:  All year references are for the calendar year (CY) unless
indicated as fiscal year (FY). The calendar year is an accounting
period of 12 months from 1 January to 31 December. The fiscal year is
an accounting period of 12 months other than 1 January to 31 December.

Note: Information for the US and US dependencies was compiled from
material in the public domain and does not represent Intelligence
Community estimates.

This page was last updated on 18 December 2008



=====================================================================



CIA - The World Factbook -- History


A Brief History of Basic Intelligence and The World Factbook


The Intelligence Cycle is the process by which information is acquired,
converted into intelligence, and made available to policymakers.
Information is raw data from any source, data that may be fragmentary,
contradictory, unreliable, ambiguous, deceptive, or wrong. Intelligence
is information that has been collected, integrated, evaluated,
analyzed, and interpreted. Finished intelligence is the final product
of the Intelligence Cycle ready to be delivered to the policymaker.

The three types of finished intelligence are: basic, current, and
estimative. Basic intelligence provides the fundamental and factual
reference material on a country or issue. Current intelligence reports
on new developments. Estimative intelligence judges probable outcomes.
The three are mutually supportive: basic intelligence is the foundation
on which the other two are constructed; current intelligence
continually updates the inventory of knowledge; and estimative
intelligence revises overall interpretations of country and issue
prospects for guidance of basic and current intelligence. The World
Factbook , The President's Daily Brief , and the National Intelligence
Estimates are examples of the three types of finished intelligence.

The United States has carried on foreign intelligence activities since
the days of George Washington but only since World War II have they
been coordinated on a government-wide basis. Three programs have
highlighted the development of coordinated basic intelligence since
that time: (1 ) the Joint Army Navy Intelligence Studies (JANIS), (2 )
the National Intelligence Survey ( NIS ), and (3) The World Factbook .

During World War II, intelligence consumers realized that the
production of basic intelligence by different components of the US
Government resulted in a great duplication of effort and conflicting
information. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought home
to leaders in Congress and the executive branch the need for
integrating departmental reports to national policymakers. Detailed and
coordinated information was needed not only on such major powers as
Germany and Japan , but also on places of little previous interest. In
the Pacific Theater, for example, the Navy and Marines had to launch
amphibious operations against many islands about which information was
unconfirmed or nonexistent. Intelligence authorities resolved that the
United States should never again be caught unprepared.

In 1943, Gen. George B. Strong (G-2), Adm. H. C. Train (Office of Naval
Intelligence--ONI), and Gen. William J. Donovan (Director of the Office
of Strategic Services--OSS ) decided that a joint effort should be
initiated. A steering committee was appointed on 27 April 1943 that
recommended the formation of a Joint Intelligence Study Publishing
Board to assemble, edit, coordinate, and publish the Joint Army Navy
Intelligence Studies (JANIS). JANIS was the first interdepartmental
basic intelligence program to fulfill the needs of the US Government
for an authoritative and coordinated appraisal of strategic basic
intelligence. Between April 1943 and July 1947, the board published 34
JANIS studies. JANIS performed well in the war effort, and numerous
letters of commendation were received, including a statement from Adm.
Forrest Sherman, Chief of Staff, Pacific Ocean Areas, which said,
"JANIS has become the indispensable reference work for the shore-based
planners."

The need for more comprehensive basic intelligence in the postwar world
was well expressed in 1946 by George S. Pettee, a noted author on
national security. He wrote in The Future of American Secret
Intelligence (Infantry Journal Press, 1946, page 46) that world
leadership in peace requires even more elaborate intelligence than in
war. "The conduct of peace involves all countries, all human
activities--not just the enemy and his war production."

The Central Intelligence Agency was established on 26 July 1947 and
officially began operating on 18 September 1947. Effective 1 October
1947, the Director of Central Intelligence assumed operational
responsibility for JANIS. On 13 January 1948, the National Security
Council issued Intelligence Directive (NSCID) No. 3, which authorized
the National Intelligence Survey ( NIS ) program as a peacetime
replacement for the wartime JANIS program. Before adequate NIS country
sections could be produced, government agencies had to develop more
comprehensive gazetteers and better maps. The US Board on Geographic
Names (BGN) compiled the names; the Department of the Interior produced
the gazetteers; and CIA produced the maps.

The Hoover Commission's Clark Committee, set up in 1954 to study the
structure and administration of the CIA, reported to Congress in 1955
that: "The National Intelligence Survey is an invaluable publication
which provides the essential elements of basic intelligence on all
areas of the world. There will always be a continuing requirement for
keeping the Survey up-to-date." The Factbook was created as an annual
summary and update to the encyclopedic NIS studies. The first
classified Factbook was published in August 1962, and the first
unclassified version was published in June 1971. The NIS program was
terminated in 1973 except for the Factbook , map, and gazetteer
components. The 1975 Factbook was the first to be made available to the
public with sales through the US Government Printing Office (GPO). The
Factbook was first made available on the Internet in June 1997. The
year 2008 marks the 61st anniversary of the establishment of the
Central Intelligence Agency and the 65th year of continuous basic
intelligence support to the US Government by The World Factbook and its
two predecessor programs.



The Evolution of The World Factbook

National Basic Intelligence Factbook produced semiannually until 1980.
Country entries include sections on Land, Water, People, Government,
Economy, Communications, and Defense Forces.

1981--Publication becomes an annual product and is renamed The World
Factbook. A total of 165 nations are covered on 225 pages.

1983--Appendices (Conversion Factors, International Organizations)
first introduced.

1984--Appendices expanded; now include: A. The United Nations, B.
Selected United Nations Organizations, C. Selected International
Organizations, D. Country Membership in Selected Organizations, E.
Conversion Factors.

1987--A new Geography section replaces the former separate Land and
Water sections. UN Organizations and Selected International
Organizations appendices merged into a new International Organizations
appendix. First multi-color-cover Factbook.

1988--More than 40 new geographic entities added to provide complete
world coverage without overlap or omission. Among the new entities are
Antarctica, oceans (Arctic, Atlantic , Indian, Pacific), and the World.
The front-of-the-book explanatory introduction expanded and retitled to
Notes, Definitions, and Abbreviations. Two new Appendices added:
Weights and Measures (in place of Conversion Factors) and a Cross-
Reference List of Geographic Names. Factbook size reaches 300 pages.

1989--Economy section completely revised and now includes an Overview
briefly describing a country's economy. New entries added under People,
Government, and Communications.

1990--The Government section revised and considerably expanded with
new entries.

1991--A new International Organizations and Groups appendix added.
Factbook size reaches 405 pages.

1992--Twenty new successor state entries replace those of the Soviet
Union and Yugoslavia . New countries are respectively: Armenia ,
Azerbaijan , Belarus , Estonia , Georgia , Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan ,
Latvia , Lithuania , Moldova , Russia , Tajikistan , Turkmenistan ,
Ukraine , Uzbekistan ; and Bosnia and Hercegovina , Croatia , Macedonia
, Serbia and Montenegro , Slovenia . Number of nations in the Factbook
rises to 188.

1993--Czechoslovakia 's split necessitates new Czech Republic and
Slovakia entries. New Eritrea entry added after it secedes from
Ethiopia . Substantial enhancements made to Geography section.

1994--Two new appendices address Selected International Environmental
Agreements. The gross domestic product (GDP) of most developing
countries changed to a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis rather than
an exchange rate basis. Factbook size up to 512 pages.

1995--The GDP of all countries now presented on a PPP basis. New
appendix lists estimates of GDP on an exchange rate basis.
Communications category split; Railroads, Highways, Inland waterways,
Pipelines, Merchant marine, and Airports entries now make up a new
Transportation category. The World Factbook is first produced on CD-
ROM.

1996--Maps accompanying each entry now present more detail. Flags also
introduced for nearly all entities. Various new entries appear under
Geography and Communications. Factbook abbreviations consolidated into
a new Appendix A. Two new appendices present a Cross-Reference List of
Country Data Codes and a Cross-Reference List of Hydrogeographic Data
Codes. Geographic coordinates added to Appendix H, Cross-Reference List
of Geographic Names. Factbook size expands by 95 pages in one year to
reach 652.

1997--A special edition for the CIA's 50 th anniversary. A schema or
Guide to Country Profiles introduced. New color maps and flags now
accompany each country profile. Category headings distinguished by
shaded backgrounds. Number of categories expanded to nine--the current
number--with the addition of an Introduction (for only a few
countries) and Transnational Issues (which includes Disputes--
international and Illicit drugs). The World Factbook introduced onto
the Internet.

1998--The Introduction category with two entries, Current issues and
Historical perspective, expanded to more countries. Last year for the
production of CD-ROM versions of the Factbook.

1999--Historical perspective and Current issues entries in the
Introduction category combined into a new Background statement. Several
new Economy entries introduced. A new physical map of the world added
to the back-of-the-book reference maps.

2000--A new "country profile" added on the Southern Ocean. The
Background statements dramatically expanded to over 200 countries and
possessions. A number of new Communications entries added.

2001--Background entries completed for all 267 entities in the
Factbook. Several new HIV/AIDS entries introduced under the People
category. Revision begun on individual country maps to include
elevation extremes and a partial geographic grid. Weights and Measures
appendix deleted.

2002--New entry on Distribution of Family income--Gini index added.
Revision of individual country maps continued (process still ongoing).

2003--In the Economy category, petroleum entries added for oil
production, consumption, exports, imports, and proved reserves, as well
as natural gas proved reserves.

2004--Additional petroleum entries included for natural gas
production, consumption, exports, and imports. In the Transportation
category, under Merchant marine, subfields added for foreign-owned
vessels and those registered in other countries. Descriptions of the
many forms of government mentioned in the Factbook incorporated into
the Notes and Definitions.

2005--In the People category, a Major infectious diseases field added
for countries deemed to pose a higher risk for travelers. In the
Economy category, entries included for Current account balance,
Investment, Public debt, and Reserves of foreign exchange and gold. The
Transnational issues category expanded to include Refugees and
internally displaced persons. Category headings receive distinctive
colored backgrounds. These distinguishing colors are used in both the
printed and online versions of the Factbook. Size of the printed
Factbook reaches 702 pages.

2006--In the Economy category, national GDP figures now presented at
Official Exchange Rates (OER) in addition to GDP at purchasing power
parity (PPP).

2007--In the Government category, the Capital entry significantly
expanded with up to four subfields, including new information having to
do with time. The subfields consist of the name of the capital itself,
its geographic coordinates , the time difference at the capital from
coordinated universal time (UTC), and, if applicable, information on
daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note is added
to highlight those countries with multiple time zones. A Trafficking in
persons entry added to the Transnational issues category. A new
appendix, Weights and Measures, (re)introduced to the online version of
the Factbook.

2008--In the Geography category, two fields focus on the increasingly
vital resource of water: Total renewable water resources and Freshwater
withdrawal. In the Economy category, three fields added for: Stock of
direct foreign investment--at home, Stock of direct foreign
investment--abroad, and Market value of publicly traded shares. Concise
descriptions of the major religions mentioned in the Factbook included
in the Notes and Definitions.


This page was last updated on 8 October, 2008



=======================================================================



CIA - The World Factbook -- Contributors and Copyright Information


The World Factbook is prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency
for the use of US Government officials, and the style, format,
coverage, and content are designed to meet their specific
requirements. Information is provided by Antarctic Information
Program (National Science Foundation), Bureau of the Census
(Department of Commerce), Bureau of Labor Statistics (Department of
Labor), Central Intelligence Agency, Council of Managers of National
Antarctic Programs, Defense Intelligence Agency (Department of
Defense), Department of Energy, Department of State, Fish and
Wildlife Service (Department of the Interior), Maritime
Administration (Department of Transportation), National Center for
Medical Intelligence (Department of Defense), National
Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (Department of Defense), Naval
Facilities Engineering Command (Department of Defense), Office of
Insular Affairs (Department of the Interior), Office of Naval
Intelligence (Department of Defense), US Board on Geographic Names
(Department of the Interior), US Transportation Command (Department
of Defense), Oil & Gas Journal, and other public and private sources.

The Factbook is in the public domain. Accordingly, it may be copied
freely without permission of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The official seal of the CIA, however, may NOT be copied without
permission as required by the CIA Act of 1949 (50 U.S.C. section
403m).  Misuse of the official seal of the CIA could result in civil
and criminal penalties.

Comments and queries are welcome and may be addressed to:

  Central Intelligence Agency
  Attn.: Office of Public Affairs
  Washington, DC 20505
  Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
  Telephone: [1] (703) 482-0623
  FAX: [1] (703) 482-1739



=====================================================================



CIA - The World Factbook -- Purchasing Information


The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) publishes The World Factbook
in printed and Internet versions. US Government officials may obtain
information about availability of the Factbook from their
organizations or through liaison channels to the CIA. Other users
may obtain sales information about printed copies from the following:

US Government Printing Office
732 N. Capitol St.
Washington, DC 20401
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 AM-6:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Telephone: [1] (202) 512-1800; toll free: [1] (866) 512-1800
FAX: [1] (202) 512-2104
http://bookstore.gpo.gov/

National Technical Information Service
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22161
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Telephone: [1] (800) 553-6847 (only in the US);
[1] (703) 605-6000 (for outside US)
FAX: [1] (703) 605-6900
http://www.ntis.gov/

The World Factbook can be accessed on the Internet at:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html



=====================================================================



CIA - The World Factbook -- FAQs



Frequently Asked Questions

The World Factbook staff thanks you for your comments, suggestions,
updates, kudos, and corrections over the past years. The willingness
of readers from around the world to share their observations and
specialized knowledge is very helpful as we try to produce the best
possible publications. Please feel free to continue to write and
e-mail us. When submitting corrections or updates to the Factbook,
please include your source(s) of information. At least two Factbook
staffers review every submitted item. The sheer volume of
correspondence precludes detailed personal replies, but we sincerely
appreciate your time and interest in the Factbook. If you include
your e-mail address we will at least acknowledge your note. Thank
you again.

Answers to many frequently asked questions (FAQs) are explained in
the Notes and Definitions section in The World Factbook. Please
review this section to see if your question is already answered
there. In addition, we have compiled the following list of FAQs to
answer other common questions. Select from the following categories
to narrow your search:

General
Geography
Spelling and Pronunciation
Policies and Procedures
Technical


General


Can you provide additional information for a specific country?

The staff cannot provide data beyond what appears in The World
Factbook. The format and information in the Factbook are tailored to
the specific requirements of US Government officials and content is
focused on their current and anticipated needs. The staff welcomes
suggestions for new entries.

How often is The World Factbook updated?

Formerly our Web site (and the published Factbook) were only updated
annually. Beginning in November 2001 we instituted a new system of
more frequent online updates. The World Factbook is currently
updated every two weeks.

The annual printed version of the Factbook is usually released about
midyear. US Government officials may obtain information about
Factbook availability from their own organizations or through
liaison channels to the CIA. Other users may obtain sales
information through the following channels:

Superintendent of Documents
P. O. Box 371954 Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
Telephone: [1] (202) 512-1800
FAX: [1] (202) 512-2250
http://bookstore.gpo.gov

National Technical Information Service
5285 Port Royal Road Springfield, VA 22161
Telephone: [1] (800) 553-6847 (only in the US);
[1] (703) 605-6000 (for outside US)
FAX: [1] (703) 605-6900
http://www.ntis.gov

Can I use some or all of The World Factbook for my Web site (book,
research project, homework, etc.)?

The World Factbook is in the public domain and may be used freely by
anyone at anytime without seeking permission. However, US Code
prohibits use of the CIA seal in a manner which implies that the CIA
approved, endorsed, or authorized such use. If you have any
questions about your intended use, you should consult with legal
counsel. Further information on The World Factbook's use is
described on the Contributors and Copyright Information page. As a
courtesy, please cite The World Factbook when used.

Why doesn't The World Factbook include information on states,
departments, provinces, etc., in the country format?

The World Factbook provides national-level information on countries,
territories, and dependencies, but not subnational administrative
units within a country. A good encyclopedia should provide
state/province-level information.

Is it possible to access older editions of The World Factbook to do
comparative research and trend analysis?

Previous versions of the Factbook, beginning with the 2000 edition,
are available for downloading - but not browsing - on the CIA Web
site. Hardcopy editions for earlier years are available from
libraries.

Would it be possible to set up a partnership or collaboration
between the producers of The World Factbook and other organizations
or individuals?

The World Factbook does not partner with other organizations or
individuals, but we do welcome comments and suggestions that such
groups or persons choose to provide.



Geography


I can't find a geographic name for a particular country. Why not?

The World Factbook is not a gazetteer (a dictionary or index of
places, usually with descriptive or statistical information) and
cannot provide more than the names of the administrative divisions
(in the Government category) and major cities/towns (on the country
maps). Our expanded Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names,
however, includes many of the world's major geographic features as
well as historic (former) names of countries and cities mentioned in
The World Factbook.

Why are Taiwan and the European Union listed out of alphabetical
order at the end of the Factbook entries?

Taiwan is listed after the regular entries because even though the
mainland People's Republic of China claims Taiwan, elected Taiwanese
authorities de facto administer the island and reject mainland
sovereignty claims. With the establishment of diplomatic relations
with China on January 1, 1979, the US Government recognized the
People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China,
acknowledging the Chinese position that there is only one China and
that Taiwan is part of China.

The European Union (EU) is not a country, but it has taken on many
nation-like attributes and these are likely to be expanded in the
future. A more complete explanation on the inclusion of the EU into
the Factbook may be found in the Preliminary statement.

Since we have an ambassador who represents the US at the Vatican,
why is this entity not listed in the Factbook?

Vatican City is found under Holy See. The term "Holy See" refers to
the authority, jurisdiction, and sovereignty vested in the Pope and
his advisors to direct the worldwide Catholic Church. The Holy See
has a legal personality that allows it to enter into treaties as the
juridical equal of a state and to send and receive diplomatic
representatives. Vatican City, created in 1929 to administer
properties belonging to the Holy See in Rome, is recognized under
international law as a sovereign state, but it does not send or
receive diplomatic representatives. Consequently, Holy See is
included as a Factbook entry, with Vatican City cross-referenced in
the Geographic Names appendix.

Why is Palestine not listed in The World Factbook?

The areas that could potentially form a future Palestinian state --
the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- do appear in the Factbook. These
areas are presently Israeli-occupied with current status subject to
the Israeli-Palestinian 1995 Interim Agreement; their permanent
status is to be determined through further negotiation.

Why are the Golan Heights not shown as part of Israel or Northern
Cyprus with Turkey?

Territorial occupations/annexations not recognized by the United
States Government are not shown on US Government maps.

Why don't you include information on entities such as Tibet or
Kashmir?

The World Factbook provides information on the administrative
divisions of a country as recommended by the United States Board on
Geographic Names (BGN). The BGN is a component of the US Government
that develops policies, principles, and procedures governing the
spelling, use, and application of geographic names--domestic,
foreign, Antarctic, and undersea. Its decisions enable all
departments and agencies of the US Government to have access to
uniform names of geographic features.

Also included in the Factbook are entries on parts of the world
whose status has not yet been resolved (e.g., West Bank, Spratly
Islands). Specific regions within a country or areas in dispute
among countries are not covered.

What do you mean when you say that a country is "doubly landlocked"?

A doubly landlocked country is one that is separated from an ocean
or an ocean-accessible sea by two intervening countries. Uzbekistan
and Liechtenstein are the only countries that fit this definition.

Why is the area of the United States described as "slightly larger
than China" in the Factbook , while other sources list China as
larger in area than the United States?

It all depends on whether one is looking at total area (land and
water) when making the comparison (which is the criterion used by
the Factbook) or just land area (which excludes inland water
features such as rivers or lakes).

Total area (combining land and water)

United States = 9,826,630 sq km
China = 9,596,960 sq km

Land only (without any water features)

United States = 9,161,923 sq km
China = 9,326,410 sq km

Why has The World Factbook dropped the four French departments of
Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, and French Guiana?

The reason the four entities are no longer in The World Factbook is
because their status has changed. While they are overseas
departments of France, they are also now recognized as French
regions, having equal status to the 22 metropolitan regions that
make up European France. In other words, they are now recognized as
being part of France proper. Their status is somewhat analogous to
Alaska and Hawaii vis-a-vis the contiguous United States. Although
separated from the larger geographic entity, they are still
considered to be an integral part of it.


Spelling and Pronunciation

Why is the spelling of proper names such as rulers, presidents, and
prime ministers in The World Factbook different than their spelling
in my country?

The Factbook staff applies the names and spellings from the Chiefs
of State link on the CIA Web site. The World Factbook is prepared
using the standard American English computer keyboard and does not
use any special characters, symbols, or most diacritical markings in
its spellings. Surnames are always spelled with capital letters;
they may appear first in some cultures.

The spelling of geographic names, features, cities, administrative
divisions, etc. in the Factbook differs from those used in my
country. Why is this?

The United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) recommends and
approves names and spellings. The BGN is the component of the United
States Government that develops policies, principles, and procedures
governing the spelling, use, and application of geographic
names--domestic, foreign, Antarctic, and undersea. Its decisions
enable all departments and agencies of the US Government to use
uniform names of geographic features. (A note is usually included
where changes may have occurred but have not yet been approved by
the BGN). The World Factbook is prepared using the standard American
English computer keyboard and does not use any special characters,
symbols, or most diacritical markings in its spellings.

Why doesn't The World Factbook include pronunciations of country or
leader names?

There are too many variations in pronunciation among
English-speaking countries, not to mention English renditions of
non-English names, for pronunciations to be included. American
English pronunciations are included for some countries like Qatar
and Kiribati.

Why is the name of the Labour party misspelled?

When American and British spellings of common English words differ,
The World Factbook always uses the American spelling, even when
these common words form part of a proper name in British English.


Policies and Procedures

What is The World Factbook's source for a specific subject field?

The Factbook staff uses many different sources to publish what we
judge are the most reliable and consistent data for any particular
category. Space considerations preclude a listing of these various
sources.

The names of some geographic features provided in the Factbook
differ from those used in other publications. For example, in Asia
the Factbook has Burma as the country name, but in other
publications Myanmar is used; also, the Factbook uses Sea of Japan
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=====================================================================



@Afghanistan

Introduction
Afghanistan



Background:

Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded
Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the
British and Russian empires until it won independence from notional
British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a
1973 coup and a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union
invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime,
touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989
under relentless pressure by internationally supported
anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars
saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline
Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the
country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001
terrorist attacks in New York City, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban
Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering
Osama BIN LADIN. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001
established a process for political reconstruction that included the
adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and
National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI
became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and
the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December.
Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a
resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability -
particularly in the south and the east - remain serious challenges
for the Afghan Government.


Geography
Afghanistan



Location:

Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran


Geographic coordinates:

33 00 N, 65 00 E


Map references:

Asia


Area:

total: 647,500 sq km
land: 647,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Texas


Land boundaries:

total: 5,529 km
border countries: China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km,
Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers


Terrain:

mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Nowshak 7,485 m


Natural resources:

natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites,
sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones


Land use:

arable land: 12.13%
permanent crops: 0.21%
other: 87.66% (2005)


Irrigated land:

27,200 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

65 cu km (1997)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 23.26 cu km/yr (2%/0%/98%)
per capita: 779 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding;
droughts


Environment - current issues:

limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of
potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of
the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building
materials); desertification; air and water pollution


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer
Protection
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Life Conservation


Geography - note:

landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest
divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the
highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)


People
Afghanistan



Population:

32,738,376 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 44.6% (male 7,474,394/female 7,121,145)
15-64 years: 53% (male 8,901,880/female 8,447,983)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 383,830/female 409,144) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 17.6 years
male: 17.6 years
female: 17.6 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

2.626% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

45.82 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

19.56 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 154.67 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 158.88 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 150.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 44.21 years
male: 44.04 years
female: 44.39 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

6.58 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.01% (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan


Ethnic groups:

Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%,
Baloch 2%, other 4%


Religions:

Sunni Muslim 80%, Shia Muslim 19%, other 1%


Languages:

Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic
languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages
(primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 28.1%
male: 43.1%
female: 12.6% (2000 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 8 years
male: 11 years
female: 4 years (2004)


Education expenditures:

NA


Government
Afghanistan



Country name:

conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan
local short form: Afghanestan
former: Republic of Afghanistan


Government type:

Islamic republic


Capital:

name: Kabul
geographic coordinates: 34 31 N, 69 11 E
time difference: UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

34 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis,
Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor,
Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar,
Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika,
Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan,
Wardak, Zabul


Independence:

19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 19 August (1919)


Constitution:

new constitution drafted 14 December 2003-4 January 2004; signed 16
January 2004


Legal system:

based on mixed civil and Sharia law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); Vice Presidents Ahmad Zia
MASOOD and Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004); note - the
president is both the chief of state and head of government; former
King ZAHIR Shah held the honorific, "Father of the Country," and
presided symbolically over certain occasions but lacked any
governing authority; the honorific is not hereditary; King ZAHIR
Shah died on 23 July 2007
head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); Vice Presidents Ahmad Zia
MASOOD and Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004)
cabinet: 25 ministers; note - under the new constitution, ministers
are appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly
elections: the president and two vice presidents are elected by
direct vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); if no
candidate receives 50% or more of the vote in the first round of
voting, the two candidates with the most votes will participate in a
second round; a president can only be elected for two terms;
election last held 9 October 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: Hamid KARZAI elected president; percent of vote -
Hamid KARZAI 55.4%, Yunus QANUNI 16.3%, Ustad Mohammad MOHAQQEQ
11.6%, Abdul Rashid DOSTAM 10.0%, Abdul Latif PEDRAM 1.4%, Masooda
JALAL 1.2%


Legislative branch:

the bicameral National Assembly consists of the Wolesi Jirga or
House of People (no more than 249 seats), directly elected for
five-year terms, and the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102
seats, one-third elected from provincial councils for four-year
terms, one-third elected from local district councils for three-year
terms, and one-third nominated by the president for five-year terms)
note: on rare occasions the government may convene a Loya Jirga
(Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and
territorial integrity; it can amend the provisions of the
constitution and prosecute the president; it is made up of members
of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and
district councils
elections: last held 18 September 2005 (next to be held for the
Wolesi Jirga by September 2009; next to be held for the provincial
councils to the Meshrano Jirga by September 2008)
election results: the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) system
used in the election did not make use of political party slates;
most candidates ran as independents


Judicial branch:

the constitution establishes a nine-member Stera Mahkama or Supreme
Court (its nine justices are appointed for 10-year terms by the
president with approval of the Wolesi Jirga) and subordinate High
Courts and Appeals Courts; there is also a minister of justice; a
separate Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission established by
the Bonn Agreement is charged with investigating human rights abuses
and war crimes


Political parties and leaders:

Afghanistan Peoples' Treaty Party [Sayyed Amir TAHSEEN];
Afghanistan's Islamic Mission Organization [Abdul Rasoul SAYYAF];
Afghanistan's Islamic Nation Party [Toran Noor Aqa Ahmad ZAI];
Afghanistan's National Islamic Party [Rohullah LOUDIN];
Afghanistan's Welfare Party [Meer Asef ZAEEFI]; Afghan Social
Democratic Party [Anwarul Haq AHADI]; Afghan Society for the Call to
the Koran and Sunna [Mawlawee Samiullah NAJEEBEE]; Comprehensive
Movement of Democracy and Development of Afghanistan Party [Sher
Mohammad BAZGAR]; Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Tawos ARAB];
Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Kabir RANJBAR]; Elites People
of Afghanistan Party [Abdul Hamid JAWAD]; Freedom and Democracy
Movement of Afghanistan [Abdul Raqib Jawid KOHISTANEE]; Freedom
Party of Afghanistan [Ilaj Abdul MALEK]; Freedom Party of
Afghanistan [Dr. Ghulam Farooq NEJRABEE]; Hizullah-e-Afghanistan
[Qari Ahmad ALI]; Human Rights Protection and Development Party of
Afghanistan [Baryalai NASRATI]; Islamic Justice Party of Afghanistan
[Mohammad Kabir MARZBAN]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan [Mohammad
Ali JAWID]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Mukhtar
MUFLEH]; Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Khalid FAROOQI];
Islamic Party of the Afghan Land [Mohammad Hassan FEROZKHEL];
Islamic People's Movement of Afghanistan [Ilhaj Said Hussain
ANWARY]; Islamic Society of Afghanistan [Ustad RABBANI]; Islamic
Unity of the Nation of Afghanistan Party [Qurban Ali URFANI];
Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Karim KHALILI]; Islamic
Unity Party of the People of Afghanistan [Ustad Mohammad MOHAQQEQ];
Labor and Progress of Afghanistan Party [Zulfiqar OMID]; Muslim
People of Afghanistan Party [Besmellah JOYAN]; Muslim Unity Movement
Party of Afghanistan [Wazir Mohammad WAHDAT]; National and Islamic
Sovereignty Movement Party of Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah AHMADZAI];
National Congress Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Latif PEDRAM];
National Country Party [Ghulam MOHAMMAD]; National Development Party
of Afghanistan [Dr. Aref BAKTASH]; National Freedom Seekers Party
[Abdul Hadi DABEER]; National Independence Party of Afghanistan [Taj
Mohammad WARDAK]; National Islamic Fighters Party of Afghanistan
[Amanat NINGARHAREE]; National Islamic Front of Afghanistan [Pir
Sayed Ahmad GAILANEE]; National Islamic Moderation Party of
Afghanistan [Qara Bik Eized YAAR]; National Islamic Movement of
Afghanistan [Sayed NOORULLAH]; National Islamic Unity Party of
Afghanistan [Mohammad AKBAREE]; National Movement of Afghanistan
[Ahmad Wali MASOOUD]; National Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid
ARYAN]; National Patch of Afghanistan Party [Sayed Kamal SADAT];
National Peace Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Shah Mohammood Popal
ZAI]; National Peace & Islamic Party of the Tribes of Afghanistan
[Abdul Qaher SHARIATEE]; National Peace & Unity Party of Afghanistan
[Abdul Qader IMAMI]; National Prosperity and Islamic Party of
Afghanistan [Mohammad Osman SALEKZADA]; National Prosperity Party
[Mohammad Hassan JAHFAREE]; National Solidarity Movement of
Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Eshaq GAILANEE]; National Solidarity Party of
Afghanistan [Sayed Mansoor NADREEI]; National Sovereignty Party
[Sayed Mustafa KAZEMI]; National Stability Party [Mohammad Same
KHAROTI]; National Stance Party [Habibullah JANEBDAR]; National
Tribal Unity Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Shah KHOGYANI];
National United Front [Burhanuddin RABBANI] (a coalition); National
Unity Movement [Sultan Mohammad GHAZI]; National Unity Movement of
Afghanistan [Mohammad Nadir AATASH]; National Unity Party of
Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid JALILI]; New Afghanistan Party [Mohammad
Yunis QANUNI]; Peace and National Welfare Activists Society [Shamsul
Haq Noor SHAMS]; Peace Movement [Shahnawaz TANAI]; People's
Aspirations Party of Afghanistan [Ilhaj Saraj-u-din ZAFAREE];
People's Freedom Seekers Party of Afghanistan [Feda Mohammad EHSAS];
People's Liberal Freedom Seekers Party of Afghanistan [Ajmal
SUHAIL]; People's Message Party of Afghanistan [Noor Aqa WAINEE];
People's Movement of the National Unity of Afghanistan [Abdul Hakim
NOORZAI]; People's Party of Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah ASAR]; People's
Prosperity Party of Afghanistan [Ustad Mohammad ZAREEF]; People's
Sovereignty Movement of Afghanistan [Hayatullah SUBHANEE]; People's
Uprising Party of Afghanistan [Sayed Zahir Qayed Omul BELADI];
People's Welfare Party of Afghanistan [Mia Gul WASIQ]; People's
Welfare Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Zubair PAIROZ]; Progressive
Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Wali ARYA]; Republican Party
[Sebghatullah SANJAR]; Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Khaleq
NEMAT]; The Afghanistan's Mujahid Nation's Islamic Unity Movement
[Saeedullah SAEED]; The People of Afghanistan's Democratic Movement
[Sharif NAZARI]; Tribes Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad
Zarif NASERI]; Understanding and Democracy Party of Afghanistan
[Ahamad SHAHEEN]; United Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Wasil RAHIMEE];
United Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Wahidullah SABAWOON]; Young
Afghanistan's Islamic Organization [Sayed Jawad HUSSINEE]; Youth
Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Jamil KARZAI]; note -
includes only political parties approved by the Ministry of Justice


Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: religious groups; tribal leaders


International organization participation:

ADB, CP, ECO, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, IDA, IDB, IFAD,
IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO,
ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO
(guest), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO,
WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Said Tayeb JAWAD
chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6410
FAX: [1] (202) 483-6488
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador William B. WOOD
embassy: The Great Masood Road, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806
telephone: [93] 0700 108 001
FAX: [93] 0700 108 564


Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), red, and green,
with the national emblem in white centered on the red band and
slightly overlapping the other two bands; the center of the emblem
features a mosque with pulpit and flags on either side, below the
mosque are numerals for the solar year 1298 (1919 in the Gregorian
calendar, the year of Afghan independence from the UK); this central
image is circled by a border consisting of sheaves of wheat on the
left and right, in the upper-center is an Arabic inscription of the
Shahada (Muslim creed) below which are rays of the rising sun over
the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning "God is great"), and at bottom
center is a scroll bearing the name Afghanistan


Economy
Afghanistan



Economy - overview:

Afghanistan's economy is recovering from decades of conflict. The
economy has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban
regime in 2001 largely because of the infusion of international
assistance, the recovery of the agricultural sector, and service
sector growth. Real GDP growth exceeded 7% in 2007. Despite the
progress of the past few years, Afghanistan is extremely poor,
landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid, agriculture, and
trade with neighboring countries. Much of the population continues
to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity,
medical care, and jobs. Criminality, insecurity, and the Afghan
Government's inability to extend rule of law to all parts of the
country pose challenges to future economic growth. It will probably
take the remainder of the decade and continuing donor aid and
attention to significantly raise Afghanistan's living standards from
its current level, among the lowest in the world. International
pledges made by more than 60 countries and international financial
institutions at the Berlin Donors Conference for Afghan
reconstruction in March 2004 reached $8.9 billion for 2004-09. While
the international community remains committed to Afghanistan's
development, pledging over $24 billion at three donors' conferences
since 2002, Kabul will need to overcome a number of challenges.
Expanding poppy cultivation and a growing opium trade generate
roughly $4 billion in illicit economic activity and looms as one of
Kabul's most serious policy concerns. Other long-term challenges
include: budget sustainability, job creation, corruption, government
capacity, and rebuilding war torn infrastructure.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$35 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$8.842 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

11.5% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,000 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 38%
industry: 24%
services: 38%
note: data exclude opium production (2005 est.)


Labor force:

15 million (2004 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 80%
industry: 10%
services: 10% (2004 est.)


Unemployment rate:

40% (2005 est.)


Population below poverty line:

53% (2003)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $715 million
expenditures: $2.6 billion
note: Afghanistan has also received $273 million from the
Reconstruction Trust Fund and $63 million from the Law and Order
Trust Fund (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

21 March - 20 March


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

13% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

NA


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

18.14% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$1.426 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$958.6 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$20.06 million (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins


Industries:

small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes,
fertilizer, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper


Industrial production growth rate:

NA%


Electricity - production:

839 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

1.088 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

230 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 36.3%
hydro: 63.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

5,036 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

4,534 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

20 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

20 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

49.55 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

NA


Exports:

$274 million; note - not including illicit exports or reexports
(2006)


Exports - commodities:

opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and
pelts, precious and semi-precious gems


Exports - partners:

India 22.8%, Pakistan 21.8%, US 20.5%, Tajikistan 7.2% (2007)


Imports:

$3.823 billion (2006)


Imports - commodities:

capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products


Imports - partners:

Pakistan 36.8%, US 11%, India 5%, Germany 4.2% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$2.775 billion (2005)


Debt - external:

$8 billion in bilateral debt, mostly to Russia; Afghanistan has $500
million in debt to Multilateral Development Banks (2004)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

afghani (AFA)


Currency code:

AFA


Exchange rates:

afghanis (AFA) per US dollar - NA (2007), 46 (2006), 47.7 (2005), 48
(2004), 49 (2003)


Communications
Afghanistan



Telephones - main lines in use:

280,000 (2005)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

5.4 million (2008)


Telephone system:

general assessment: limited landline telephone service; an
increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks
in major cities
domestic: aided by the presence of multiple providers,
mobile-cellular telephone service is improving rapidly
international: country code - 93; five VSAT's installed in Kabul,
Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, and Jalalabad provide international
and domestic voice and data connectivity (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 21, FM 5, shortwave 1 (broadcasts in Pashto, Dari (Afghan
Persian), Urdu, and English) (2006)


Radios:

167,000 (1999)


Television broadcast stations:

at least 7 (1 government-run central television station in Kabul and
regional stations in 6 of the 34 provinces) (2006)


Televisions:

100,000 (1999)


Internet country code:

.af


Internet hosts:

31 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2000)


Internet users:

580,000 (2007)


Communications - note:

Internet access is growing through Internet cafes as well as public
"telekiosks" in Kabul (2005)


Transportation
Afghanistan



Airports:

46 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 12
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 34
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 9 (2007)


Heliports:

9 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 466 km (2007)


Roadways:

total: 42,150 km
paved: 12,350 km
unpaved: 29,800 km (2006)


Waterways:

1,200 km (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT)
(2007)


Ports and terminals:

Kheyrabad, Shir Khan


Military
Afghanistan



Military branches:

Afghan Armed Forces: Afghan National Army (ANA, includes Afghan
National Army Air Corps) (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

22 years of age; inductees are contracted into service for a 4-year
term (2005)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 7,431,147
females age 16-49: 7,004,819 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 4,234,180
females age 16-49: 3,946,685 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 371,451
female: 351,295 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.9% of GDP (2006 est.)


Transnational Issues
Afghanistan



Disputes - international:

Pakistan has built fences in some portions of its border with
Afghanistan which remains open in some areas to foreign terrorists
and other illegal activities


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 132,246 (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in south and
west due to drought and instability) (2007)


Illicit drugs:

world's largest producer of opium; poppy cultivation increased 17%
to a near-record 202,000 hectares in 2007; good growing conditions
pushed potential opium production to a record 8,000 metric tons, up
42% from last year; if the entire opium crop were processed, 947
metric tons of heroin potentially could be produced; drug trade is a
source of instability and the Taliban and other antigovernment
groups participate in and profit from the drug trade; widespread
corruption impedes counterdrug efforts; most of the heroin consumed
in Europe and Eurasia is derived from Afghan opium; vulnerable to
drug money laundering through informal financial networks; regional
source of hashish



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Akrotiri

Introduction
Akrotiri



Background:

By terms of the 1960 Treaty of Establishment that created the
independent Republic of Cyprus, the UK retained full sovereignty and
jurisdiction over two areas of almost 254 square kilometers -
Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The southernmost and smallest of these is the
Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area, which is also referred to as the
Western Sovereign Base Area.


Geography
Akrotiri



Location:

Eastern Mediterranean, peninsula on the southwest coast of Cyprus


Geographic coordinates:

34 37 N, 32 58 E


Map references:

Middle East


Area:

total: 123 sq km
note: includes a salt lake and wetlands


Area - comparative:

about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

total: 47.4 km
border countries: Cyprus 47.4 km


Coastline:

56.3 km


Climate:

temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters


Environment - current issues:

shooting around the salt lake; note - breeding place for loggerhead
and green turtles; only remaining colony of griffon vultures is on
the base


Geography - note:

British extraterritorial rights also extended to several small
off-post sites scattered across Cyprus; of the Sovereign Base Area
land, 60% is privately owned and farmed, 20% is owned by the
Ministry of Defense, and 20% is SBA Crown land


People
Akrotiri



Population:

approximately 15,700 live on the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri
and Dhekelia including 7,700 Cypriots, 3,600 Service and UK-based
contract personnel, and 4,400 dependents


Languages:

English, Greek


Government
Akrotiri



Country name:

conventional long form: Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area
conventional short form: Akrotiri


Dependency status:

a special form of UK overseas territory; administered by an
administrator who is also the Commander, British Forces Cyprus


Capital:

name: Episkopi Cantonment (base administrative center for Akrotiri
and Dhekelia)
geographic coordinates: 34 40 N, 32 51 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October


Constitution:

Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council 1960,
effective 16 August 1960, functions as a basic legal document


Legal system:

the Sovereign Base Area Administration has its own court system to
deal with civil and criminal matters; laws applicable to the Cypriot
population are, as far as possible, the same as the laws of the
Republic of Cyprus


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Administrator Air Vice-Marshal Richard LACEY
(since 26 April 2006); note - reports to the British Ministry of
Defense
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the administrator is
appointed by the monarch


Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Flag description:

the flag of the UK is used


Economy
Akrotiri



Economy - overview:

Economic activity is limited to providing services to the military
and their families located in Akrotiri. All food and manufactured
goods must be imported.


Currency (code):

euro (EUR) adopted 1 January 2008; note - the Cypriot pound (CYP)
formerly used


Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.4286 (2007), 0.46019 (2006), 0.4641
(2005), 0.4686 (2004), 0.5174 (2003)


Communications
Akrotiri



Radio broadcast stations:

AM NA, FM 1, shortwave NA (British Forces Broadcasting Service
(BFBS) provides Radio 1 and Radio 2 service to Akrotiri, Dhekelia,
and Nicosia) (2006)


Television broadcast stations:

0 (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides multi-channel
satellite service to Akrotiri, Dhekelia, and Nicosia) (2006)



Military
Akrotiri



Military - note:

Akrotiri has a full RAF base, Headquarters for British Forces on
Cyprus, and Episkopi Support Unit



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Albania

Introduction
Albania



Background:

Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912,
but was conquered by Italy in 1939. Communist partisans took over
the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR
(until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s,
Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established
a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as
successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment,
widespread corruption, a dilapidated physical infrastructure,
powerful organized crime networks, and combative political
opponents. Albania has made progress in its democratic development
since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies
remain. International observers judged elections to be largely free
and fair since the restoration of political stability following the
collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997. In the 2005 general elections,
the Democratic Party and its allies won a decisive victory on
pledges of reducing crime and corruption, promoting economic growth,
and decreasing the size of government. The election, and
particularly the orderly transition of power, was considered an
important step forward. Although Albania's economy continues to
grow, the country is still one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by
a large informal economy and an inadequate energy and transportation
infrastructure. Albania has played a largely helpful role in
managing inter-ethnic tensions in southeastern Europe, and is
continuing to work toward joining NATO and the EU. Albania, with
troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been a strong supporter of the
global war on terrorism.


Geography
Albania



Location:

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea,
between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north


Geographic coordinates:

41 00 N, 20 00 E


Map references:

Europe


Area:

total: 28,748 sq km
land: 27,398 sq km
water: 1,350 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maryland


Land boundaries:

total: 717 km
border countries: Greece 282 km, Macedonia 151 km, Montenegro 172
km, Kosovo 112 km


Coastline:

362 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


Climate:

mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers;
interior is cooler and wetter


Terrain:

mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,764 m


Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore,
nickel, salt, timber, hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 20.1%
permanent crops: 4.21%
other: 75.69% (2005)


Irrigated land:

3,530 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

41.7 cu km (2001)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 1.71 cu km/yr (27%/11%/62%)
per capita: 546 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast;
floods; drought


Environment - current issues:

deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and
domestic effluents


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to
Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)


People
Albania



Population:

3,619,778 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 23.6% (male 447,126/female 406,757)
15-64 years: 66.9% (male 1,239,819/female 1,180,720)
65 years and over: 9.5% (male 160,241/female 185,115) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 29.5 years
male: 28.9 years
female: 30.2 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.538% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

15.22 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

5.44 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-4.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 19.31 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.74 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 77.78 years
male: 75.12 years
female: 80.71 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

2.02 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA


Nationality:

noun: Albanian(s)
adjective: Albanian


Ethnic groups:

Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb,
Macedonian, Bulgarian) (1989 est.)
note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from
1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)


Religions:

Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%
note: percentages are estimates; there are no available current
statistics on religious affiliation; all mosques and churches were
closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November
1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice


Languages:

Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach,
Romani, Slavic dialects


Literacy:

definition: age 9 and over can read and write
total population: 98.7%
male: 99.2%
female: 98.3% (2001 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2004)


Education expenditures:

2.9% of GDP (2002)


Government
Albania



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Albania
conventional short form: Albania
local long form: Republika e Shqiperise
local short form: Shqiperia
former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania


Government type:

emerging democracy


Capital:

name: Tirana (Tirane)
geographic coordinates: 41 19 N, 19 49 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:

12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan,
Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore


Independence:

28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 28 November (1912)


Constitution:

adopted by popular referendum on 22 November 1998; promulgated 28
November 1998


Legal system:

has a civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction; has accepted jurisdiction of the International
Criminal Court for its citizens


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President of the Republic Bamir TOPI (since 24 July
2007)
head of government: Prime Minister Sali BERISHA (since 10 September
2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister,
nominated by the president, and approved by parliament
elections: president elected by the People's Assembly for a
five-year term (eligible for a second term); four election rounds
held between 8 and 20 July 2007 (next election to be held in 2012);
prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Bamir TOPI elected president; People's Assembly
vote, fourth round (three-fifths majority (84 votes) required):
Bamir TOPI 85 votes, Neritan CEKA 5 votes


Legislative branch:

unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi (140 seats; 100 members are elected
by direct popular vote and 40 by proportional vote to serve
four-year terms)
elections: last held 3 July 2005 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PD
56, PS 42, PR 11, PSD 7, LSI 5, other 19


Judicial branch:

Constitutional Court, Supreme Court (chairman is elected by the
People's Assembly for a four-year term), and multiple appeals and
district courts


Political parties and leaders:

Agrarian Environmentalist Party or PAA [Lufter XHUVELI]; Christian
Democratic Party or PDK [Nard NDOKA]; Communist Party of Albania or
PKSH [Hysni MILLOSHI]; Democratic Alliance Party or AD [Neritan
CEKA]; Democratic Party or PD [Sali BERISHA]; Legality Movement
Party or PLL [Ekrem SPAHIA]; Liberal Union Party or BLD [Arjan
STAROVA]; Movement for National Development or LZhK [Dashamir
SHEHI]; National Front Party (Balli Kombetar) or PBK [Artur ROSHI];
New Democratic Party or PDR [Genc POLLO]; Party of National Unity or
PUK [Idajet BEQIRI]; Republican Party or PR [Fatmir MEDIU]; Social
Democracy Party of Albania or PDSSh [Paskal MILO]; Social Democratic
Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI]; Socialist Movement for Integration
or LSI [Ilir META]; Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA]; Union for
Human Rights Party or PBDNj [Vangjel DULE]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Citizens Advocacy Office [Kreshnik SPAHIU]; Confederation of Trade
Unions of Albania or KSSH [Kastriot MUCO]; Front for Albanian
National Unification or FBKSH [Gafur ADILI]; Mjaft Movement; Omonia
[Jani JANI]; Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania or BSPSH
[Gezim KALAJA]


International organization participation:

BSEC, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO
(correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI,
UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Aleksander SALLABANDA
chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942
FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. John L. WITHERS, II
embassy: Rruga e Elbasanit, Labinoti #103, Tirana
mailing address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles,
VA 20189-9510
telephone: [355] (4) 2247285
FAX: [355] (4) 2232222


Flag description:

red with a black two-headed eagle in the center


Economy
Albania



Economy - overview:

Lagging behind its Balkan neighbors, Albania is making the difficult
transition to a more modern open-market economy. The government has
taken measures to curb violent crime, and recently adopted a fiscal
reform package aimed at reducing the large gray economy and
attracting foreign investment. The economy is bolstered by annual
remittances from abroad of $600-$800 million, mostly from Albanians
residing in Greece and Italy; this helps offset the towering trade
deficit. Agriculture, which accounts for more than one-fifth of GDP,
is held back because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property
rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land.
Energy shortages and antiquated and inadequate infrastructure
contribute to Albania's poor business environment, which make it
difficult to attract and sustain foreign investment. The completion
of a new thermal power plant near Vlore and improved transmission
line between Albania and Montenegro will help relieve the energy
shortages. Also, the government is moving slowly to improve the poor
national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained
economic growth. On the positive side, macroeconomic growth was
strong in 2003-07 and inflation is low and stable.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$20.87 billion
note: Albania has a large gray economy that may be as large as 50%
of official GDP (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$10.62 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

6% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$5,800 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 21.2%
industry: 20.5%
services: 58.3% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

1.09 million (not including 352,000 emigrant workers) (September
2006 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 58%
industry: 15%
services: 27% (September 2006 est.)


Unemployment rate:

13.2% official rate, but may exceed 30% due to preponderance of
near-subsistence farming (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

25% (2004 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 24.4% (2004)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

26.7 (2005)


Investment (gross fixed):

23.3% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $2.782 billion
expenditures: $3.155 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

51.4% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.9% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

6.25% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

14.1% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$2.707 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$6.433 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$7.341 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes;
meat, dairy products


Industries:

food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement,
chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower


Industrial production growth rate:

4% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

2.892 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

3.607 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

2.8 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 2.9%
hydro: 97.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

6,425 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

30,900 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

748.9 bbl/day (2005 est.)


Oil - imports:

24,860 bbl/day (2005 est.)


Oil - proved reserves:

199.1 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

30 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

30 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

849.5 million cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

-$1.202 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$1.076 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil;
vegetables, fruits, tobacco


Exports - partners:

Italy 72%, Greece 8.8%, China 2.7% (2007)


Imports:

$3.999 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals


Imports - partners:

Italy 27.6%, Greece 14.8%, Turkey 7.4%, China 6.8%, Germany 5.6%,
Switzerland 5%, Russia 4.2% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

ODA: $318.7 million
note: top donors were Italy, EU, Germany (2005 est.)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$2.162 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$1.55 billion (2004)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

lek (ALL)
note: the plural of lek is leke


Currency code:

ALL


Exchange rates:

leke (ALL) per US dollar - 92.668 (2007), 98.384 (2006), 102.649
(2005), 102.78 (2004), 121.863 (2003)


Communications
Albania



Telephones - main lines in use:

353,600 (2005)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

2.3 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: despite new investment in fixed lines, the
density of main lines remains low with roughly 10 lines per 100
people; cellular telephone use is widespread and generally
effective; combined fixed line and mobile telephone density is
approximately 75 telephones per 100 persons
domestic: offsetting the shortage of fixed line capacity, mobile
phone service has been available since 1996; by 2003, two companies
were providing mobile services at a greater density than some of
Albania's neighbors; Internet broadband services initiated in 2005;
Internet cafes are popular in Tirana and have started to spread
outside the capital
international: country code - 355; submarine cable provides
connectivity to Italy, Croatia, and Greece; the Trans-Balkan Line, a
combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system, provides
additional connectivity to Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Turkey;
international traffic carried by fiber-optic cable and, when
necessary, by microwave radio relay from the Tirana exchange to
Italy and Greece (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 13, FM 46, shortwave 1 (2005)


Radios:

1 million (2001)


Television broadcast stations:

65 (3 national, 62 local); 2 cable networks (2005)


Televisions:

700,000 (2001)


Internet country code:

.al


Internet hosts:

10,162 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

10 (2001)


Internet users:

471,200 (2006)


Transportation
Albania



Airports:

11 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 8
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 339 km; oil 207 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 447 km
standard gauge: 447 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 18,000 km
paved: 7,020 km
unpaved: 10,980 km (2002)


Waterways:

43 km (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 24
by type: cargo 22, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 1 (Turkey 1)
registered in other countries: 2 (Panama 2) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore


Military
Albania



Military branches:

Land Forces Command (Army), Naval Forces Command, Air Defense
Command, General Staff Headquarters (includes Logistics Command,
Training and Doctrine Command) (2007)


Military service age and obligation:

19 years of age (2004)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 944,592
females age 16-49: 908,527 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 798,454
females age 16-49: 767,143 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 36,340
female: 33,077 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.49% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Albania



Disputes - international:

the Albanian Government calls for the protection of the rights of
ethnic Albanians in neighboring countries, and the peaceful
resolution of interethnic disputes; some ethnic Albanian groups in
neighboring countries advocate for a "greater Albania," but the idea
has little appeal among Albanian nationals; the mass emigration of
unemployed Albanians remains a problem for developed countries,
chiefly Greece and Italy


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Albania is a source country for women and girls
trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and
forced labor; it is no longer considered a major country of transit;
Albanian victims are trafficked to Greece, Italy, Macedonia, and
Kosovo, with many trafficked onward to Western European countries;
children were also trafficked to Greece for begging and other forms
of child labor; approximately half of all Albanian trafficking
victims are under age 18; internal sex trafficking of women and
children is on the rise
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Albania is on the Tier 2 Watch List
for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat
trafficking in persons in 2007, particularly in the area of victim
protection; the government did not appropriately identify
trafficking victims during 2007, and has not demonstrated that it is
vigorously investigating or prosecuting complicit officials (2008)


Illicit drugs:

increasingly active transshipment point for Southwest Asian opiates,
hashish, and cannabis transiting the Balkan route and - to a lesser
extent - cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe;
limited opium and growing cannabis production; ethnic Albanian
narcotrafficking organizations active and expanding in Europe;
vulnerable to money laundering associated with regional trafficking
in narcotics, arms, contraband, and illegal aliens



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Algeria

Introduction
Algeria



Background:

After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought
through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's
primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), has
dominated politics ever since. Many Algerians in the subsequent
generation were not satisfied, however, and moved to counter the
FLN's centrality in Algerian politics. The surprising first round
success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991
balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the
second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared
would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army
began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin
attacking government targets. The government later allowed elections
featuring pro-government and moderate religious-based parties, but
did not appease the activists who progressively widened their
attacks. The fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw
intense fighting between 1992-98 and which resulted in over 100,000
deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by
extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s
and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in
January 2000. However, small numbers of armed militants persist in
confronting government forces and conducting ambushes and occasional
attacks on villages. The army placed Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA in the
presidency in 1999 in a fraudulent election but claimed neutrality
in his 2004 landslide reelection victory. Longstanding problems
continue to face BOUTEFLIKA in his second term, including the ethnic
minority Berbers' ongoing autonomy campaign, large-scale
unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical and water
supplies, government inefficiencies and corruption, and the
continuing activities of extremist militants. The 2006 merger of the
Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) with al-Qaida
(followed by a name change to al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic
Maghreb) signaled an increase in bombings, including high-profile,
mass-casualty suicide attacks targeted against the Algerian
government and Western interests. Algeria must also diversify its
petroleum-based economy, which has yielded a large cash reserve but
which has not been used to redress Algeria's many social and
infrastructure problems.


Geography
Algeria



Location:

Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco
and Tunisia


Geographic coordinates:

28 00 N, 3 00 E


Map references:

Africa


Area:

total: 2,381,740 sq km
land: 2,381,740 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas


Land boundaries:

total: 6,343 km
border countries: Libya 982 km, Mali 1,376 km, Mauritania 463 km,
Morocco 1,559 km, Niger 956 km, Tunisia 965 km, Western Sahara 42 km


Coastline:

998 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm


Climate:

arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along
coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau;
sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer


Terrain:

mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow,
discontinuous coastal plain


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m
highest point: Tahat 3,003 m


Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc


Land use:

arable land: 3.17%
permanent crops: 0.28%
other: 96.55% (2005)


Irrigated land:

5,690 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

14.3 cu km (1997)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 6.07 cu km/yr (22%/13%/65%)
per capita: 185 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and
floods in rainy season


Environment - current issues:

soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices;
desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes,
and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers
and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming
polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff;
inadequate supplies of potable water


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

second-largest country in Africa (after Sudan)


People
Algeria



Population:

33,769,668 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 26.3% (male 4,528,919/female 4,349,746)
15-64 years: 68.7% (male 11,699,701/female 11,509,619)
65 years and over: 5% (male 779,467/female 902,217) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 26 years
male: 25.8 years
female: 26.2 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.209% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

17.03 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

4.62 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 28.75 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 31.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 25.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.77 years
male: 72.13 years
female: 75.49 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.82 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1%; note - no country specific models provided (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

9,100 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 500 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Algerian(s)
adjective: Algerian


Ethnic groups:

Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%
note: almost all Algerians are Berber in origin, not Arab; the
minority who identify themselves as Berber live mostly in the
mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers; the Berbers are also
Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural
heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for
autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has
offered to begin sponsoring teaching Berber language in schools


Religions:

Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%


Languages:

Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 69.9%
male: 79.6%
female: 60.1% (2002 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2005)


Education expenditures:

5.1% of GDP (1999)


Government
Algeria



Country name:

conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
conventional short form: Algeria
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash
Sha'biyah
local short form: Al Jaza'ir


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: Algiers
geographic coordinates: 36 45 N, 3 03 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

48 provinces (wilayat, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain
Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida,
Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa,
El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel,
Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila,
Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi
Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanghasset, Tebessa, Tiaret,
Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen


Independence:

5 July 1962 (from France)


National holiday:

Revolution Day, 1 November (1954)


Constitution:

8 September 1963; revised 19 November 1976, effective 22 November
1976; revised 3 November 1988, 23 February 1989, 28 November 1996,
and 12 November 2008


Legal system:

socialist, based on French and Islamic law; judicial review of
legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of
various public officials, including several Supreme Court justices;
has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Ahmed OUYAHIA (since 23 June 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term
(eligible for a third term under 2008 amendment to constitution);
election last held 8 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2009);
prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA reelected president for
second term; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA 85%, Ali BENFLIS
6.4%, Abdellah DJABALLAH 5%


Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the National People's Assembly or
Al-Majlis Al-Shabi Al-Watani (389 seats; members elected by popular
vote to serve five-year terms) and the Council of Nations (Senate)
(144 seats; one-third of the members appointed by the president,
two-thirds elected by indirect vote; to serve six-year terms; the
constitution requires half the council to be renewed every three
years)
elections: National People's Assembly - last held 17 May 2007 (next
to be held in 2012); Council of Nations (Senate) - last held 28
December 2006 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: National People's Assembly - percent of vote by
party - NA; seats by party - FLN 136, RND 61, MSP 52, PT 26, RCD 19,
FNA 13, other 49, independents 33; Council of Nations - percent of
vote by party - NA; seats by party - FLN 29, RND 12, MSP 3, RCD 1,
independents 3, presidential appointees (unknown affiliation) 24;
note - Council seating reflects the number of replaced council
members rather than the whole Council


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court


Political parties and leaders:

Ahd 54 [Ali Fauzi REBAINE]; Algerian National Front or FNA [Moussa
TOUATI]; Islamic Salvation Front or FIS (outlawed April 1992) [Ali
BELHADJ, Dr. Abassi MADANI, Rabeh KEBIR]; National Democratic Rally
(Rassemblement National Democratique) or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA];
National Entente Movement or MEN [Ali BOUKHAZNA]; National
Liberation Front or FLN [Abdelaziz BELKHADEM, secretary general];
National Reform Movement or Islah (formerly MRN) [Mohamed BOULAHIA];
National Renewal Party or PRA [Mohamed BENSMAIL]; Rally for Culture
and Democracy or RCD [Said SADI]; Renaissance Movement or EnNahda
Movement [Fatah RABEI]; Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Hocine Ait
AHMED]; Social Liberal Party or PSL [Ahmed KHELIL]; Society of Peace
Movement or MSP [Boudjerra SOLTANI]; Workers Party or PT [Louisa
HANOUNE]
note: a law banning political parties based on religion was enacted
in March 1997


Political pressure groups and leaders:

The Algerian Human Rights League or LADDH [Hocine ZEHOUANE]; SOS
Disparus [Nacera DUTOUR]; Somoud [Ali MERABET]


International organization participation:

ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BIS, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA,
IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS,
IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC,
OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO,
UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Abdallah BAALI
chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2174


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador David D. PEARCE
embassy: 05 Chemin Cheikh Bachir, El-Ibrahimi, El-Biar 16000 Algiers
mailing address: B. P. 408, Alger-Gare, 16030 Algiers
telephone: [213] 770-08-2000
FAX: [213] 21-60-7355


Flag description:

two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red,
five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color
boundary
note: the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of
Islam (the state religion)


Economy
Algeria



Economy - overview:

The hydrocarbons sector is the backbone of the economy, accounting
for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of
export earnings. Algeria has the eighth-largest reserves of natural
gas in the world and is the fourth-largest gas exporter; it ranks
14th in oil reserves. Sustained high oil prices in recent years have
helped improve Algeria's financial and macroeconomic indicators.
Algeria is running substantial trade surpluses and building up
record foreign exchange reserves. Algeria has decreased its external
debt to less than 10% of GDP after repaying its Paris Club and
London Club debt in 2006. Real GDP has risen due to higher oil
output and increased government spending. The government's continued
efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic
investment outside the energy sector, however, has had little
success in reducing high unemployment and improving living
standards. Structural reform within the economy, such as development
of the banking sector and the construction of infrastructure, moves
ahead slowly hampered by corruption and bureaucratic resistance.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$222.3 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$131.6 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

4.5% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$6,700 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 8.2%
industry: 61.5%
services: 30.3% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

9.38 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture 14%, industry 13.4%, construction and public works 10%,
trade 14.6%, government 32%, other 16% (2003 est.)


Unemployment rate:

11.8% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

25% (2005 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

35.3 (1995)


Investment (gross fixed):

24.5% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $57.03 billion
expenditures: $40.53 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

18% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.5% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

4% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

8% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$55.43 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$28.59 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

NA


Agriculture - products:

wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle


Industries:

petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical,
petrochemical, food processing


Industrial production growth rate:

5% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

33.12 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

26.91 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

300 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - imports:

382 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 99.7%
hydro: 0.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

2.173 million bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

279,800 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

1.844 million bbl/day (2005 est.)


Oil - imports:

13,110 bbl/day (2005 est.)


Oil - proved reserves:

12.2 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

85.7 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

26.3 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

59.4 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

4.502 trillion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$32.05 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$60.51 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97%


Exports - partners:

US 29.4%, Italy 13.8%, Spain 9.6%, Canada 8.4%, France 7.4%,
Netherlands 5% (2007)


Imports:

$26.25 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods


Imports - partners:

France 18.7%, China 9%, Italy 8.5%, Spain 6%, US 5.5%, Germany 5.3%,
Russia 4.6%, Turkey 4.1% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$370.6 million (2005 est.)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$110.6 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$3.957 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$12.04 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$851 million (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Algerian dinar (DZD)


Currency code:

DZD


Exchange rates:

Algerian dinars (DZD) per US dollar - 69.9 (2007), 72.647 (2006),
73.276 (2005), 72.061 (2004), 77.395 (2003)


Communications
Algeria



Telephones - main lines in use:

3.068 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

27.563 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: a weak network of fixed-main lines, which
remains low at less than 10 telephones per 100 persons, is partially
offset by the rapid increase in mobile cellular subscribership; in
2007, combined fixed-line and mobile telephone density surpassed 90
telephones per 100 persons
domestic: privatization of Algeria's telecommunications sector began
in 2000; three mobile cellular licenses have been issued and, in
2005, a consortium led by Egypt's Orascom Telecom won a 15-year
license to build and operate a fixed-line network in Algeria; the
license will allow Orascom to develop high-speed data and other
specialized services and contribute to meeting the large unfulfilled
demand for basic residential telephony; Internet broadband services
began in 2003 with approximately 200,000 subscribers in 2006
international: country code - 213; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4
fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe,
the Middle East, and Asia; microwave radio relay to Italy, France,
Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia;
participant in Medarabtel; satellite earth stations - 51 (Intelsat,
Intersputnik, and Arabsat) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 25, FM 1, shortwave 8 (1999)


Radios:

7.1 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

46 (plus 216 repeaters) (1995)


Televisions:

3.1 million (1997)


Internet country code:

.dz


Internet hosts:

477 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

2 (2000)


Internet users:

3.5 million (2007)


Transportation
Algeria



Airports:

150 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 52
over 3,047 m: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 98
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 26
914 to 1,523 m: 44
under 914 m: 25 (2007)


Heliports:

2 (2007)


Pipelines:

condensate 1,532 km; gas 13,861 km; liquid petroleum gas 2,408 km;
oil 6,878 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 3,973 km
standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.435-m gauge (283 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 108,302 km
paved: 76,028 km (includes 645 km of expressways)
unpaved: 32,274 km (2004)


Merchant marine:

total: 33
by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 8, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas
9, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 18 (Jordan 7, UK 11) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran,
Skikda


Military
Algeria



Military branches:

National Popular Army (ANP; includes Land Forces), Algerian National
Navy (MRA), Air Force (QJJ), Territorial Air Defense Force (2005)


Military service age and obligation:

19-30 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript
service obligation - 18 months (6 months basic training, 12 months
civil projects) (2006)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 9,736,757
females age 16-49: 9,590,978 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 8,141,864
females age 16-49: 8,215,895 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 374,365
female: 360,942 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

3.3% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Algeria



Disputes - international:

Algeria, and many other states, rejects Moroccan administration of
Western Sahara; the Polisario Front, exiled in Algeria, represents
the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; Algeria's border with Morocco
remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the
other of harboring militants and arms smuggling; Algeria remains
concerned about armed bandits operating throughout the Sahel who
sometimes destabilize southern Algerian towns; dormant disputes
include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its
maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to
Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 90,000 (Western Saharan Sahrawi,
mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern
Algerian town of Tindouf)
IDPs: undetermined (civil war during 1990s) (2007)


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Algeria is a transit country for men and women
trafficked from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe for the purposes of
commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude; Algerian
children are trafficked internally for the purpose of domestic
servitude or street vending
tier rating: Tier 3 - Algeria did not report any serious law
enforcement actions to punish traffickers who force women into
commercial sexual exploitation or men into involuntary servitude in
2007; the government again reported no investigations of trafficking
of children for domestic servitude or improvements in protection
services available to victims of trafficking; Algeria still lacks
victim protection services, and its failure to distinguish between
trafficking and illegal migration may result in the punishment of
victims of trafficking (2008)



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@American Samoa

Introduction
American Samoa



Background:

Settled as early as 1000 B.C., Samoa was "discovered" by European
explorers in the 18th century. International rivalries in the latter
half of the 19th century were settled by an 1899 treaty in which
Germany and the US divided the Samoan archipelago. The US formally
occupied its portion - a smaller group of eastern islands with the
excellent harbor of Pago Pago - the following year.


Geography
American Samoa



Location:

Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way
between Hawaii and New Zealand


Geographic coordinates:

14 20 S, 170 00 W


Map references:

Oceania


Area:

total: 199 sq km
land: 199 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island


Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

116 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


Climate:

tropical marine, moderated by southeast trade winds; annual rainfall
averages about 3 m; rainy season (November to April), dry season
(May to October); little seasonal temperature variation


Terrain:

five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains,
two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Lata Mountain 964 m


Natural resources:

pumice, pumicite


Land use:

arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 15%
other: 75% (2005)


Irrigated land:

NA


Natural hazards:

typhoons common from December to March


Environment - current issues:

limited natural fresh water resources; the water division of the
government has spent substantial funds in the past few years to
improve water catchments and pipelines


Geography - note:

Pago Pago has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the South
Pacific Ocean, sheltered by shape from rough seas and protected by
peripheral mountains from high winds; strategic location in the
South Pacific Ocean


People
American Samoa



Population:

64,827 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 34.4% (male 11,337/female 10,946)
15-64 years: 61.8% (male 20,335/female 19,728)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 1,161/female 1,320) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 22.8 years
male: 22.7 years
female: 23 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.236% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

23.66 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

4.13 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-7.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 10.46 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.69 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.47 years
male: 70.55 years
female: 76.56 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

3.35 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA


Nationality:

noun: American Samoan(s) (US nationals)
adjective: American Samoan


Ethnic groups:

native Pacific islander 91.6%, Asian 2.8%, white 1.1%, mixed 4.2%,
other 0.3% (2000 census)


Religions:

Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and
other 30%


Languages:

Samoan 90.6% (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian
languages), English 2.9%, Tongan 2.4%, other Pacific islander 2.1%,
other 2%
note: most people are bilingual (2000 census)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 98%
female: 97% (1980 est.)


Education expenditures:

NA


Government
American Samoa



Country name:

conventional long form: Territory of American Samoa
conventional short form: American Samoa
abbreviation: AS


Dependency status:

unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by
the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior


Government type:

NA


Capital:

name: Pago Pago
geographic coordinates: 14 16 S, 170 42 W
time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

none (territory of the US); there are no first-order administrative
divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are three
districts and two islands* at the second order; Eastern, Manu'a,
Rose Island*, Swains Island*, Western


Independence:

none (territory of the US)


National holiday:

Flag Day, 17 April (1900)


Constitution:

ratified 2 June 1966, effective 1 July 1967


Legal system:

NA


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President George W. BUSH of the US (since 20 January
2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since 20 January 2001)
head of government: Governor Togiola TULAFONO (since 7 April 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet made up of 12 department directors
elections: under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated
territories, such as American Samoa, do not vote in elections for US
president and vice president; however, they may vote in Democratic
and Republican presidential primary elections; governor and
lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for
four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 4
and 18 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012)
election results: Togiola TULAFONO reelected governor; percent of
vote - Togiola TULAFONO 56.5%, Afoa Moega LUTU 43.5%


Legislative branch:

bicameral Fono or Legislative Assembly consists of the House of
Representatives (21 seats; 20 members are elected by popular vote
and 1 is an appointed, nonvoting delegate from Swains Island;
members serve two-year terms) and the Senate (18 seats; members are
elected from local chiefs to serve four-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 4 November 2008
(next to be held in November 2010); Senate - last held 4 November
2008 (next to be held in November 2012)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by
party - NA; seats by party - NA; Senate - percent of vote by party -
NA; seats by party - independents 18
note: American Samoa elects one nonvoting representative to the US
House of Representatives; election last held on 4 November 2008
(next to be held in November 2010); results - Eni F. H. FALEOMAVAEGA
reelected as delegate


Judicial branch:

High Court (chief justice and associate justices are appointed by
the US Secretary of the Interior)


Political parties and leaders:

Democratic Party [Oreta M. TOGAFAU]; Republican Party [Tautai A. F.
FAALEVAO]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Population Pressure LAS (addresses the growing population pressures)


International organization participation:

Interpol (subbureau), IOC, SPC, UPU


Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (territory of the US)


Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (territory of the US)


Flag description:

blue, with a white triangle edged in red that is based on the fly
side and extends to the hoist side; a brown and white American bald
eagle flying toward the hoist side is carrying two traditional
Samoan symbols of authority, a war club known as a "Fa'alaufa'i"
(upper; left talon), and a coconut fiber fly whisk known as a "Fue"
(lower; right talon); the combination of symbols broadly mimics that
seen on the US Great Seal and reflects the relationship between the
United States and American Samoa


Economy
American Samoa



Economy - overview:

American Samoa has a traditional Polynesian economy in which more
than 90% of the land is communally owned. Economic activity is
strongly linked to the US with which American Samoa conducts most of
its commerce. Tuna fishing and tuna processing plants are the
backbone of the private sector, with canned tuna the primary export.
Transfers from the US Government add substantially to American
Samoa's economic well being. Attempts by the government to develop a
larger and broader economy are restrained by Samoa's remote
location, its limited transportation, and its devastating
hurricanes. Tourism is a promising developing sector.
note: as a territory of the US, American Samoa does not treat the US
as an external trade partner


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$510.1 million (2003 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$333.8 million (2005)


GDP - real growth rate:

3% (2003 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$5,800 (2005 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%


Labor force:

17,630 (2005)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 34%
industry: 33%
services: 33% (1990)


Unemployment rate:

29.8% (2005)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $121 million (37% in local revenue and 63% in US grants)
expenditures: $127 million (FY96/97)


Fiscal year:

1 October - 30 September


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

NA%


Agriculture - products:

bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra,
pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock


Industries:

tuna canneries (largely supplied by foreign fishing vessels),
handicrafts


Industrial production growth rate:

NA%


Electricity - production:

180 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

167.4 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

4,053 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

4,066 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Exports:

$445.6 million (FY04 est.)


Exports - commodities:

canned tuna 93% (2004 est.)


Exports - partners:

Indonesia 28.2%, India 22.3%, Australia 15.3%, Japan 11.2%, NZ 7.1%
(2006)


Imports:

$308.8 million (FY04 est.)


Imports - commodities:

materials for canneries 56%, food 8%, petroleum products 7%,
machinery and parts 6% (2004 est.)


Imports - partners:

Australia 66%, Samoa 13.8%, NZ 10.8% (2006)


Economic aid - recipient:

important financial support from the US, more than $40 million in
1994


Debt - external:

$NA


Currency (code):

US dollar (USD)


Currency code:

USD


Exchange rates:

the US dollar is used


Communications
American Samoa



Telephones - main lines in use:

10,400 (2004)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

2,200 (2004)


Telephone system:

general assessment: NA
domestic: good telex, telegraph, facsimile, and cellular telephone
services; domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station
international: country code - 1-684; satellite earth station - 1
(Intelsat-Pacific Ocean)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2005)


Radios:

57,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (2006)


Televisions:

14,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.as


Internet hosts:

1,923 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2000)


Internet users:

NA


Transportation
American Samoa



Airports:

3 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 221 km (2007)


Ports and terminals:

Pago Pago


Military
American Samoa



Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 806
female: 781 (2008 est.)


Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the US


Transnational Issues
American Samoa



Disputes - international:

Tokelau periodically asserts claims to American Samoa's Swains
Island (Olohega), such as in its 2006 draft independence constitution



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Andorra

Introduction
Andorra



Background:

For 715 years, from 1278 to 1993, Andorrans lived under a unique
co-principality, ruled by French and Spanish leaders (from 1607
onward, the French chief of state and the Spanish bishop of Urgel).
In 1993, this feudal system was modified with the titular heads of
state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary
democracy. Long isolated and impoverished, mountainous Andorra
achieved considerable prosperity since World War II through its
tourist industry. Many immigrants (legal and illegal) are attracted
to the thriving economy with its lack of income taxes.


Geography
Andorra



Location:

Southwestern Europe, between France and Spain


Geographic coordinates:

42 30 N, 1 30 E


Map references:

Europe


Area:

total: 468 sq km
land: 468 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

total: 120.3 km
border countries: France 56.6 km, Spain 63.7 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

temperate; snowy, cold winters and warm, dry summers


Terrain:

rugged mountains dissected by narrow valleys


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Riu Runer 840 m
highest point: Coma Pedrosa 2,946 m


Natural resources:

hydropower, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead


Land use:

arable land: 2.13%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 97.87% (2005)


Irrigated land:

NA


Natural hazards:

avalanches


Environment - current issues:

deforestation; overgrazing of mountain meadows contributes to soil
erosion; air pollution; wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

landlocked; straddles a number of important crossroads in the
Pyrenees


People
Andorra



Population:

82,627 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 15.5% (male 6,606/female 6,192)
15-64 years: 72.5% (male 31,313/female 28,563)
65 years and over: 12% (male 4,906/female 5,047) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 38.9 years
male: 39.2 years
female: 38.6 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.899% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

10.59 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

5.59 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

13.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 1.08 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 3.68 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 82.67 years
male: 80.35 years
female: 85.14 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.32 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA


Nationality:

noun: Andorran(s)
adjective: Andorran


Ethnic groups:

Spanish 43%, Andorran 33%, Portuguese 11%, French 7%, other 6% (1998)


Religions:

Roman Catholic (predominant)


Languages:

Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese


Literacy:

definition: NA
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100%


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

2.3% of GDP (2006)


Government
Andorra



Country name:

conventional long form: Principality of Andorra
conventional short form: Andorra
local long form: Principat d'Andorra
local short form: Andorra


Government type:

parliamentary democracy (since March 1993) that retains as its
chiefs of state a coprincipality; the two princes are the president
of France and bishop of Seo de Urgel, Spain, who are represented
locally by coprinces' representatives


Capital:

name: Andorra la Vella
geographic coordinates: 42 30 N, 1 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:

7 parishes (parroquies, singular - parroquia); Andorra la Vella,
Canillo, Encamp, Escaldes-Engordany, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia
de Loria


Independence:

1278 (formed under the joint suzerainty of the French Count of Foix
and the Spanish Bishop of Urgel)


National holiday:

Our Lady of Meritxell Day, 8 September (1278)


Constitution:

Andorra's first written constitution was drafted in 1991, approved
by referendum 14 March 1993, effective 28 April 1993


Legal system:

based on French and Spanish civil codes; no judicial review of
legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: French Coprince Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007);
represented by Philippe MASSONI (since 26 July 2002) and Spanish
Coprince Bishop Joan Enric VIVES i SICILIA (since 12 May 2003);
represented by Nemesi MARQUES i OSTE (since 30 July 2003)
head of government: Executive Council President Albert PINTAT
SANTOLARIA (since 27 May 2005)
cabinet: Executive Council or Govern designated by the Executive
Council president
elections: Executive Council president elected by the General
Council and formally appointed by the coprinces for a four-year
term; election last held 24 April 2005 (next to be held in April-May
2009)
election results: Albert PINTAT SANTOLARIA elected executive council
president; percent of General Council vote - NA


Legislative branch:

unicameral General Council of the Valleys or Consell General de las
Valls (28 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote, 14 from
a single national constituency and 14 to represent each of the seven
parishes; to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 24 April 2005 (next to be held in
March-April 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - PLA 41.2%, PS 38.1%,
CDA-S21 11%, other 9.7%; seats by party - PLA 14, PS 12, CDA-S21 2


Judicial branch:

Tribunal of Judges or Tribunal de Batlles; Tribunal of the Courts or
Tribunal de Corts; Supreme Court of Justice of Andorra or Tribunal
Superior de Justicia d'Andorra; Supreme Council of Justice or
Consell Superior de la Justicia; Fiscal Ministry or Ministeri
Fiscal; Constitutional Tribunal or Tribunal Constitucional


Political parties and leaders:

Andorran Democratic Center Party (formerly Democratic Party or PD)
and Century 21 or CDA and S21 [Enric TARRADO]; Liberal Party of
Andorra or PLA [Albert PINTAT SANTOLARIA] (formerly Liberal Union or
UL); Social Democratic Party or PS [Jaume BARTUMEU CASSANY]
(formerly part of National Democratic Group or AND)


Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA


International organization participation:

CE, FAO, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFRCS, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, OIF,
OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, Union Latina, UNWTO, WCO, WHO, WIPO,
WTO (observer)


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Carles FONT-ROSSELL
chancery: 2 United Nations Plaza, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 750-8064
FAX: [1] (212) 750-6630


Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Andorra; the US Ambassador to
Spain is accredited to Andorra; US interests in Andorra are
represented by the Consulate General's office in Barcelona (Spain);
mailing address: Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23, 08034
Barcelona, Spain; telephone: [34] (93) 280-2227; FAX: [34] (93)
280-6175


Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red
with the national coat of arms centered in the yellow band; the coat
of arms features a quartered shield
note: similar to the flags of Chad and Romania, which do not have a
national coat of arms in the center, and the flag of Moldova, which
does bear a national emblem


Economy
Andorra



Economy - overview:

Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy,
accounts for more than 80% of GDP. An estimated 11.6 million
tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra's duty-free status and
by its summer and winter resorts. Andorra's comparative advantage
has recently eroded as the economies of neighboring France and Spain
have been opened up, providing broader availability of goods and
lower tariffs. The banking sector, with its partial "tax haven"
status, also contributes substantially to the economy. Agricultural
production is limited - only 2% of the land is arable - and most
food has to be imported. The principal livestock activity is sheep
raising. Manufacturing output consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars,
and furniture. Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and is
treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs)
and as a non-EU member for agricultural products.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.77 billion (2005)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$NA


GDP - real growth rate:

3.5% (2005 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$38,800 (2005)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%


Labor force:

42,420 (2005)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 0.3%
industry: 20.3%
services: 79.4% (2005)


Unemployment rate:

0% (1996 est.)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $333.5 million
expenditures: $386.6 million (2005)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.2% (2005)


Agriculture - products:

small quantities of rye, wheat, barley, oats, vegetables; sheep


Industries:

tourism (particularly skiing), cattle raising, timber, banking,
tobacco, furniture


Industrial production growth rate:

NA%


Electricity - production:

NA kWh


Electricity - consumption:

NA kWh


Electricity - exports:

NA kWh


Electricity - imports:

NA kWh; note - most electricity supplied by Spain and France;
Andorra generates a small amount of hydropower


Electricity - production by source:

NA


Exports:

$148.7 million f.o.b. (2005)


Exports - commodities:

tobacco products, furniture


Imports:

$1.879 billion (2005)


Imports - commodities:

consumer goods, food, electricity


Economic aid - recipient:

$0


Debt - external:

$NA


Currency (code):

euro (EUR)


Currency code:

EUR


Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041
(2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)


Communications
Andorra



Telephones - main lines in use:

37,200 (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

68,500 (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: NA
domestic: modern system with microwave radio relay connections
between exchanges
international: country code - 376; landline circuits to France and
Spain


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 0, FM 15, shortwave 0 (1998)


Radios:

16,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

0 (1997)


Televisions:

27,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.ad


Internet hosts:

23,368 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2000)


Internet users:

58,900 (2007)


Transportation
Andorra



Roadways:

total: 270 km


Military
Andorra



Military branches:

no regular military forces, Police Service of Andorra


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 18,685 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 14,976 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 412
female: 395 (2008 est.)


Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of France and Spain


Transnational Issues
Andorra



Disputes - international:

none



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Angola

Introduction
Angola



Background:

Angola is rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil
war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the
Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by
Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace
seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but
UNITA renewed fighting after being beaten by the MPLA at the polls.
Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people
displaced - in the quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in
2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and strengthened the MPLA's hold on
power. President DOS SANTOS has announced legislative elections will
be held in September 2008, with presidential elections planned for
sometime in 2009.


Geography
Angola



Location:

Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia
and Democratic Republic of the Congo


Geographic coordinates:

12 30 S, 18 30 E


Map references:

Africa


Area:

total: 1,246,700 sq km
land: 1,246,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly less than twice the size of Texas


Land boundaries:

total: 5,198 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,511 km (of
which 225 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province),
Republic of the Congo 201 km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zambia 1,110 km


Coastline:

1,600 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


Climate:

semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry
season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)


Terrain:

narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morro de Moco 2,620 m


Natural resources:

petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold,
bauxite, uranium


Land use:

arable land: 2.65%
permanent crops: 0.23%
other: 97.12% (2005)


Irrigated land:

800 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

184 cu km (1987)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.35 cu km/yr (23%/17%/60%)
per capita: 22 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau


Environment - current issues:

overuse of pastures and subsequent soil erosion attributable to
population pressures; desertification; deforestation of tropical
rain forest, in response to both international demand for tropical
timber and to domestic use as fuel, resulting in loss of
biodiversity; soil erosion contributing to water pollution and
siltation of rivers and dams; inadequate supplies of potable water


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone
Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

the province of Cabinda is an exclave, separated from the rest of
the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo


People
Angola



Population:

12,531,357 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 43.6% (male 2,760,264/female 2,707,665)
15-64 years: 53.6% (male 3,416,914/female 3,302,552)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 151,609/female 192,353) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 18 years
male: 18 years
female: 18 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

2.136% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

44.09 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

24.44 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

1.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 182.31 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 194.38 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 169.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 37.92 years
male: 36.99 years
female: 38.9 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

6.2 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

3.9% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

240,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

21,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping
sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Angolan(s)
adjective: Angolan


Ethnic groups:

Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European
and native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%


Religions:

indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998
est.)


Languages:

Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.4%
male: 82.9%
female: 54.2% (2001 est.)


Education expenditures:

2.4% of GDP (2005)


Government
Angola



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Angola
conventional short form: Angola
local long form: Republica de Angola
local short form: Angola
former: People's Republic of Angola


Government type:

republic; multiparty presidential regime


Capital:

name: Luanda
geographic coordinates: 8 50 S, 13 14 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

18 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Bengo, Benguela,
Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene,
Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico,
Namibe, Uige, Zaire


Independence:

11 November 1975 (from Portugal)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 11 November (1975)


Constitution:

adopted by People's Assembly 25 August 1992


Legal system:

based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; modified to
accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets;
has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21
September 1979); note - the president is both chief of state and
head of government
head of government: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21
September 1979); Antonio Paulo KASSOMA was named prime minister by
MPLA on 26 September 2008
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by universal ballot for a five-year
term (eligible for a second consecutive or discontinuous term) under
the 1992 constitution; President DOS SANTOS originally elected (in
1979) without opposition under a one-party system and stood for
reelection in Angola's first multiparty elections 29-30 September
1992 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS 49.6%, Jonas SAVIMBI
40.1%, making a run-off election necessary; the run-off was not held
because SAVIMBI's National Union for the Total Independence of
Angola (UNITA) repudiated the results of the first election; the
civil war resumed leaving DOS SANTOS in his current position as the
president


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (220 seats;
members elected by proportional vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 5-6 September 2008 (next to be held in
September 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - MPLA 81.6%, UNITA
10.4%, PRS 3.2%, ND 1.2%, FNLA 1.1%, other 2.5%; seats by party -
MPLA 191, UNITA 16, PRS 8, ND 2, FNLA 3


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court and separate provincial courts (judges are appointed
by the president)


Political parties and leaders:

Liberal Democratic Party or PLD [Analia de Victoria PEREIRA];
National Front for the Liberation of Angola or FNLA [disputed
between Ngola KABANGU and Lucas NGONDA]; National Union for the
Total Independence of Angola or UNITA (largest opposition party)
[Isaias SAMAKUVA]; Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola or
MPLA (ruling party in power since 1975) [Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS];
Social Renewal Party or PRS [Eduardo KUANGANA]
note: about a dozen minor parties participated in the 1992 elections
but only won a few seats; they and more than 100 other smaller
parties have little influence in the National Assembly


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda or FLEC [N'zita
Henriques TIAGO, Antonio Bento BEMBE]


International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, CPLP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory),
ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,
ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer),
OPEC, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU,
WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Josefina Perpetua Pitra DIAKITE
chancery: 2108 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1156
FAX: [1] (202) 785-1258
consulate(s) general: Houston, New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Dan MOZENA
embassy: number 32 Rua Houari Boumedienne (in the Miramar area of
Luanda), Luanda
mailing address: international mail: Caixa Postal 6468, Luanda;
pouch: US Embassy Luanda, US Department of State, 2550 Luanda Place,
Washington, DC 20521-2550
telephone: [244] (222) 64-1000
FAX: [244] (222) 64-1232


Flag description:

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centered
yellow emblem consisting of a five-pointed star within half a
cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle)


Economy
Angola



Economy - overview:

Angola's high growth rate is driven by its oil sector, with record
oil prices and rising petroleum production. Oil production and its
supporting activities contribute about 85% of GDP. Increased oil
production supported growth averaging more than 15% per year from
2004 to 2007. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of
displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction
and agriculture as well. Much of the country's infrastructure is
still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war.
Remnants of the conflict such as widespread land mines still mar the
countryside even though an apparently durable peace was established
after the death of rebel leader Jonas SAVIMBI in February 2002.
Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the
people, but half of the country's food must still be imported. In
2005, the government started using a $2 billion line of credit,
since increased to $7 billion, from China to rebuild Angola's public
infrastructure, and several large-scale projects were completed in
2006. Angola also has large credit lines from Brazil, Portugal,
Germany, Spain, and the EU. The central bank in 2003 implemented an
exchange rate stabilization program using foreign exchange reserves
to buy kwanzas out of circulation. This policy became more
sustainable in 2005 because of strong oil export earnings; it has
significantly reduced inflation. Although consumer inflation
declined from 325% in 2000 to under 13% in 2007, the stabilization
policy has put pressure on international net liquidity. Angola
became a member of OPEC in late 2006 and in late 2007 was assigned a
production quota of 1.9 million barrels a day, somewhat less than
the 2-2.5 million bbl Angola's government had wanted. To fully take
advantage of its rich national resources - gold, diamonds, extensive
forests, Atlantic fisheries, and large oil deposits - Angola will
need to implement government reforms, increase transparency, and
reduce corruption. The government has rejected a formal IMF
monitored program, although it continues Article IV consultations
and ad hoc cooperation. Corruption, especially in the extractive
sectors, and the negative effects of large inflows of foreign
exchange, are major challenges facing Angola.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$95.46 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$61.36 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

16.7% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$7,800 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 9.5%
industry: 65.8%
services: 24.6% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

7.148 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 85%
industry and services: 15% (2003 est.)


Unemployment rate:

extensive unemployment and underemployment affecting more than half
the population (2001 est.)


Population below poverty line:

70% (2003 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Investment (gross fixed):

9.1% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $20.18 billion
expenditures: $15.53 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

12% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

12.2% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

19.57% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

17.7% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$4.153 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$7.216 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$1.385 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca),
tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fish


Industries:

petroleum; diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, feldspar, bauxite,
uranium, and gold; cement; basic metal products; fish processing;
food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar; textiles; ship
repair


Industrial production growth rate:

23.9% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

3.513 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

3.084 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 36.4%
hydro: 63.6%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

1.91 million bbl/day (2008 est.)


Oil - consumption:

55,640 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

1.23 million bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

19,550 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

9.035 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

680 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

680 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

269.8 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$13.58 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$45.03 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

crude oil, diamonds, refined petroleum products, gas, coffee, sisal,
fish and fish products, timber, cotton


Exports - partners:

US 32.1%, China 32%, France 5.9%, Taiwan 5.3%, South Africa 4.5%
(2007)


Imports:

$12.29 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts;
medicines, food, textiles, military goods


Imports - partners:

Portugal 19.7%, US 10.9%, China 10.5%, Brazil 10.3%, South Africa
6.6%, France 6.3%, UK 4.6%, Germany 4.3% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$441.8 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$11.2 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$8.357 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$17.23 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$227 million (2006 est.)


Currency (code):

kwanza (AOA)


Currency code:

AOA


Exchange rates:

kwanza (AOA) per US dollar - 76.6 (2007), 80.4 (2006), 88.6 (2005),
83.541 (2004), 74.606 (2003)


Communications
Angola



Telephones - main lines in use:

98,200 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

3.307 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: system inadequate; fewer than one fixed-line per
100 persons; combined fixed line and mobile telephone density
exceeded 25 telephones per 100 persons in 2007
domestic: state-owned telecom had monopoly for fixed-lines until
2005; demand outstripped capacity, prices were high, and services
poor; Telecom Namibia, through an Angolan company, became the first
private licensed operator in Angola's fixed-line telephone network;
Angola Telecom established mobile-cellular service in Luanda in 1993
and the network has been extended to larger towns; a
privately-owned, mobile-cellular service provider began operations
in 2001
international: country code - 244; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC
fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and
Asia; satellite earth stations - 29 (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 21, FM 6, shortwave 7 (2001)


Radios:

815,000 (2000)


Television broadcast stations:

6 (2000)


Televisions:

196,000 (2000)


Internet country code:

.ao


Internet hosts:

3,562 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2000)


Internet users:

100,000 (2007)


Transportation
Angola



Airports:

232 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 31
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 201
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 30
914 to 1,523 m: 95
under 914 m: 69 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 234 km; liquid petroleum gas 85 km; oil 896 km; oil/gas/water 5
km (2007)


Railways:

total: 2,761 km
narrow gauge: 2,638 km 1.067-m gauge; 123 km 0.600-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 51,429 km
paved: 5,349 km
unpaved: 46,080 km (2001)


Waterways:

1,300 km (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 6
by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 2, roll
on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 1 (Spain 1)
registered in other countries: 6 (Bahamas 6) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Cabinda, Lobito, Luanda, Namibe


Military
Angola



Military branches:

Angolan Armed Forces (FAA): Army, Navy (Marinha de Guerra, MdG),
Angolan National Air Force (FANA) (2007)


Military service age and obligation:

17 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service
obligation - 2 years plus time for training (2001)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,856,492
females age 16-49: 2,755,864 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,430,658
females age 16-49: 1,371,689 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 142,791
female: 139,539 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

5.7% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Angola



Disputes - international:

Cabindan separatists continue to return to the Angolan exclave from
exile in neighboring states and Europe since the 2006 ceasefire and
peace agreement


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 12,615 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
IDPs: 61,700 (27-year civil war ending in 2002; 4 million IDPs
already have returned) (2007)


Illicit drugs:

used as a transshipment point for cocaine destined for Western
Europe and other African states, particularly South Africa



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Anguilla

Introduction
Anguilla



Background:

Colonized by English settlers from Saint Kitts in 1650, Anguilla was
administered by Great Britain until the early 19th century, when the
island - against the wishes of the inhabitants - was incorporated
into a single British dependency, along with Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Several attempts at separation failed. In 1971, two years after a
revolt, Anguilla was finally allowed to secede; this arrangement was
formally recognized in 1980, with Anguilla becoming a separate
British dependency.


Geography
Anguilla



Location:

Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic
Ocean, east of Puerto Rico


Geographic coordinates:

18 15 N, 63 10 W


Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


Area:

total: 102 sq km
land: 102 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

about half the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

61 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


Climate:

tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds


Terrain:

flat and low-lying island of coral and limestone


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Crocus Hill 65 m


Natural resources:

salt, fish, lobster


Land use:

arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (mostly rock with sparse scrub oak, few trees, some
commercial salt ponds) (2005)


Irrigated land:

NA


Natural hazards:

frequent hurricanes and other tropical storms (July to October)


Environment - current issues:

supplies of potable water sometimes cannot meet increasing demand
largely because of poor distribution system


Geography - note:

the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles


People
Anguilla



Population:

14,108 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 24.8% (male 1,795/female 1,706)
15-64 years: 67.6% (male 4,569/female 4,970)
65 years and over: 7.6% (male 510/female 558) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 32.3 years
male: 31.3 years
female: 33.4 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

2.332% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

13.11 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

4.39 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

14.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 3.54 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.01 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 80.53 years
male: 78.01 years
female: 83.12 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.75 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA


Nationality:

noun: Anguillan(s)
adjective: Anguillan


Ethnic groups:

black (predominant) 90.1%, mixed, mulatto 4.6%, white 3.7%, other
1.5% (2001 census)


Religions:

Anglican 29%, Methodist 23.9%, other Protestant 30.2%, Roman
Catholic 5.7%, other Christian 1.7%, other 5.2%, none or unspecified
4.3% (2001 census)


Languages:

English (official)


Literacy:

definition: age 12 and over can read and write
total population: 95%
male: 95%
female: 95% (1984 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

4% of GDP (2005)


Government
Anguilla



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Anguilla


Dependency status:

overseas territory of the UK


Government type:

NA


Capital:

name: The Valley
geographic coordinates: 18 13 N, 63 03 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Independence:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


National holiday:

Anguilla Day, 30 May (1967)


Constitution:

Anguilla Constitutional Order 1 April 1982; amended 1990


Legal system:

based on English common law


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor Andrew N. GEORGE (since 10 July 2006)
head of government: Chief Minister Osbourne FLEMING (since 3 March
2000)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from among the
elected members of the House of Assembly
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the
monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority
party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed
chief minister by the governor


Legislative branch:

unicameral House of Assembly (11 seats; 7 members elected by direct
popular vote, 2 ex officio members, and 2 appointed; members serve
five-year terms)
elections: last held 21 February 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - AUF 38.9%, AUM 19.4%,
ANSA 19.2%, APP 9.5%, independents 13%; seats by party - AUF 4, ANSA
2, AUM 1


Judicial branch:

High Court (judge provided by Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court)


Political parties and leaders:

Anguilla United Front or AUF [Osbourne FLEMING, Victor BANKS] (a
coalition of the Anguilla Democratic Party or ADP and the Anguilla
National Alliance or ANA); Anguilla United Movement or AUM [Hubert
HUGHES]; Anguilla Progressive Party or APP [Roy ROGERS]; Anguilla
Strategic Alternative or ANSA [Edison BAIRD]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA


International organization participation:

Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU, WFTU


Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Flag description:

blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and
the Anguillan coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag;
the coat of arms depicts three orange dolphins in an interlocking
circular design on a white background with blue wavy water below


Economy
Anguilla



Economy - overview:

Anguilla has few natural resources, and the economy depends heavily
on luxury tourism, offshore banking, lobster fishing, and
remittances from emigrants. Increased activity in the tourism
industry has spurred the growth of the construction sector,
contributing to economic growth. Anguillan officials have put
substantial effort into developing the offshore financial sector,
which is small, but growing. In the medium term, prospects for the
economy will depend largely on the tourism sector and, therefore, on
revived income growth in the industrialized nations as well as on
favorable weather conditions.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$108.9 million (2004 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$108.9 million (2004 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

10.2% (2004 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$8,800 (2004 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 4%
industry: 18%
services: 78% (2002 est.)


Labor force:

6,049 (2001)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture/fishing/forestry/mining 4%, manufacturing 3%,
construction 18%, transportation and utilities 10%, commerce 36%,
services 29% (2000 est.)


Unemployment rate:

8% (2002)


Population below poverty line:

23% (2002)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $22.8 million
expenditures: $22.5 million (2000 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.3% (2006 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

9.76% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$23.57 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$470.1 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$447.7 million (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

small quantities of tobacco, vegetables; cattle raising


Industries:

tourism, boat building, offshore financial services


Industrial production growth rate:

3.1% (1997 est.)


Electricity - production:

NA kWh


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: NA
hydro: NA
nuclear: NA
other: NA


Current account balance:

-$42.87 million (2003 est.)


Exports:

$13 million (2006)


Exports - commodities:

lobster, fish, livestock, salt, concrete blocks, rum


Exports - partners:

UK, US, Puerto Rico, Saint-Martin (2006)


Imports:

$143 million (2006)


Imports - commodities:

fuels, foodstuffs, manufactures, chemicals, trucks, textiles


Imports - partners:

US, Puerto Rico, UK (2006)


Economic aid - recipient:

$9 million (2004 est.)


Debt - external:

$8.8 million (1998)


Currency (code):

East Caribbean dollar (XCD)


Currency code:

XCD


Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006),
2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)
note: fixed rate since 1976


Communications
Anguilla



Telephones - main lines in use:

6,200 (2002)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

1,800 (2002)


Telephone system:

general assessment: NA
domestic: modern internal telephone system
international: country code - 1-264; landing point for the East
Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other
islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin
Islands to Trinidad; microwave radio relay to island of Saint Martin
(Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 7, shortwave 0 (2004)


Radios:

3,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (1997)


Televisions:

1,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.ai


Internet hosts:

205 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

16 (2000)


Internet users:

3,000 (2002)


Transportation
Anguilla



Airports:

3 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 175 km
paved: 82 km
unpaved: 93 km (2004)


Ports and terminals:

Blowing Point, Road Bay


Military
Anguilla



Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 3,538 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,929 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 103
female: 103 (2008 est.)


Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the UK


Transnational Issues
Anguilla



Disputes - international:

none


Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US
and Europe



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Antarctica

Introduction
Antarctica



Background:

Speculation over the existence of a "southern land" was not
confirmed until the early 1820s when British and American commercial
operators and British and Russian national expeditions began
exploring the Antarctic Peninsula region and other areas south of
the Antarctic Circle. Not until 1840 was it established that
Antarctica was indeed a continent and not just a group of islands.
Several exploration "firsts" were achieved in the early 20th
century. Following World War II, there was an upsurge in scientific
research on the continent. A number of countries have set up a range
of year-round and seasonal stations, camps, and refuges to support
scientific research in Antarctica. Seven have made territorial
claims, but not all countries recognize these claims. In order to
form a legal framework for the activities of nations on the
continent, an Antarctic Treaty was negotiated that neither denies
nor gives recognition to existing territorial claims; signed in
1959, it entered into force in 1961.


Geography
Antarctica



Location:

continent mostly south of the Antarctic Circle


Geographic coordinates:

90 00 S, 0 00 E


Map references:

Antarctic Region


Area:

total: 14 million sq km
land: 14 million sq km (280,000 sq km ice-free, 13.72 million sq km
ice-covered) (est.)
note: fifth-largest continent, following Asia, Africa, North
America, and South America, but larger than Australia and the
subcontinent of Europe


Area - comparative:

slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US


Land boundaries:

0 km
note: see entry on Disputes - international


Coastline:

17,968 km


Maritime claims:

Australia, Chile, and Argentina claim Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
rights or similar over 200 nm extensions seaward from their
continental claims, but like the claims themselves, these zones are
not accepted by other countries; 21 of 28 Antarctic consultative
nations have made no claims to Antarctic territory (although Russia
and the US have reserved the right to do so) and do not recognize
the claims of the other nations; also see the Disputes -
international entry


Climate:

severe low temperatures vary with latitude, elevation, and distance
from the ocean; East Antarctica is colder than West Antarctica
because of its higher elevation; Antarctic Peninsula has the most
moderate climate; higher temperatures occur in January along the
coast and average slightly below freezing


Terrain:

about 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock, with
average elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 meters; mountain ranges
up to nearly 5,000 meters; ice-free coastal areas include parts of
southern Victoria Land, Wilkes Land, the Antarctic Peninsula area,
and parts of Ross Island on McMurdo Sound; glaciers form ice shelves
along about half of the coastline, and floating ice shelves
constitute 11% of the area of the continent


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Bentley Subglacial Trench -2,555 m
highest point: Vinson Massif 4,897 m
note: the lowest known land point in Antarctica is hidden in the
Bentley Subglacial Trench; at its surface is the deepest ice yet
discovered and the world's lowest elevation not under seawater


Natural resources:

iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, platinum and other
minerals, and coal and hydrocarbons have been found in small
uncommercial quantities; none presently exploited; krill, finfish,
and crab have been taken by commercial fisheries


Land use:

arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (ice 98%, barren rock 2%) (2005)


Natural hazards:

katabatic (gravity-driven) winds blow coastward from the high
interior; frequent blizzards form near the foot of the plateau;
cyclonic storms form over the ocean and move clockwise along the
coast; volcanism on Deception Island and isolated areas of West
Antarctica; other seismic activity rare and weak; large icebergs may
calve from ice shelf


Environment - current issues:

in 1998, NASA satellite data showed that the Antarctic ozone hole
was the largest on record, covering 27 million square kilometers;
researchers in 1997 found that increased ultraviolet light passing
through the hole damages the DNA of icefish, an Antarctic fish
lacking hemoglobin; ozone depletion earlier was shown to harm
one-celled Antarctic marine plants; in 2002, significant areas of
ice shelves disintegrated in response to regional warming


Geography - note:

the coldest, windiest, highest (on average), and driest continent;
during summer, more solar radiation reaches the surface at the South
Pole than is received at the Equator in an equivalent period; mostly
uninhabitable


People
Antarctica



Population:

no indigenous inhabitants, but there are both permanent and
summer-only staffed research stations
note: 28 nations, all signatory to the Antarctic Treaty, operate
through their National Antarctic Program a number of seasonal-only
(summer) and year-round research stations on the continent and its
nearby islands south of 60 degrees south latitude (the region
covered by the Antarctic Treaty); these stations' population of
persons doing and supporting science or engaged in the management
and protection of the Antarctic region varies from approximately
4,000 in summer to 1,000 in winter; in addition, approximately 1,000
personnel, including ship's crew and scientists doing onboard
research, are present in the waters of the treaty region; peak
summer (December-February) population - 4,219 total; Argentina 667,
Australia 200, Brazil 40, Bulgaria 15, Chile 237, China 70, Czech
Republic 20, Ecuador 26, Finland 20, France 100, France and Italy
jointly 45, Germany 90, India 65, Italy 90, Japan 125, South Korea
70, NZ 85, Norway 44, Peru 28, Poland 40, Romania 3, Russia 429,
South Africa 80, Spain 28, Sweden 20, Ukraine 24, UK 205, US 1,293,
Uruguay 60 (2007-2008); winter (June-August) station population -
1,088 total; Argentina 176, Australia 62, Brazil 12, Chile 96, China
29, France 26, France and Italy jointly 13, Germany 9, India 25,
Italy 2, Japan 40, South Korea 18, NZ 10, Norway 7, Poland 12,
Russia 148, South Africa 10, Ukraine 12, UK 37, US 337, Uruguay 9
(2008); research stations operated within the Antarctic Treaty area
(south of 60 degrees south latitude) by National Antarctic Programs:
year-round stations - 38 total; Argentina 6, Australia 3, Brazil 1,
Chile 4, China 2, France 1, France and Italy jointly 1, Germany 1,
India 1, Japan 1, South Korea 1, NZ 1, Norway 1, Poland 1, Russia 5,
South Africa 1, Ukraine 1, UK 2, US 3, Uruguay 1 (2008); a range of
seasonal-only (summer) stations, camps, and refuges - Argentina,
Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador,
Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, New
Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden,
Ukraine, UK, US, and Uruguay (2007-2008); in addition, during the
austral summer some nations have numerous occupied locations such as
tent camps, summer-long temporary facilities, and mobile traverses
in support of research (March 2008 est.)


Government
Antarctica



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Antarctica


Government type:

Antarctic Treaty Summary - the Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1
December 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961, establishes
the legal framework for the management of Antarctica; the 30th
Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting was held in Delhi, India in
April/May 2007; at these periodic meetings, decisions are made by
consensus (not by vote) of all consultative member nations; at the
end of 2007, there were 46 treaty member nations: 28 consultative
and 18 non-consultative; consultative (decision-making) members
include the seven nations that claim portions of Antarctica as
national territory (some claims overlap) and 21 non-claimant
nations; the US and Russia have reserved the right to make claims;
the US does not recognize the claims of others; Antarctica is
administered through meetings of the consultative member nations;
decisions from these meetings are carried out by these member
nations (with respect to their own nationals and operations) in
accordance with their own national laws; the years in parentheses
indicate when a consultative member-nation acceded to the Treaty and
when it was accepted as a consultative member, while no date
indicates the country was an original 1959 treaty signatory;
claimant nations are - Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, NZ,
Norway, and the UK. Nonclaimant consultative nations are - Belgium,
Brazil (1975/1983), Bulgaria (1978/1998) China (1983/1985), Ecuador
(1987/1990), Finland (1984/1989), Germany (1979/1981), India
(1983/1983), Italy (1981/1987), Japan, South Korea (1986/1989),
Netherlands (1967/1990), Peru (1981/1989), Poland (1961/1977),
Russia, South Africa, Spain (1982/1988), Sweden (1984/1988), Ukraine
(1992/2004), Uruguay (1980/1985), and the US; non-consultative
members, with year of accession in parentheses, are - Austria
(1987), Belarus (2006), Canada (1988), Colombia (1989), Cuba (1984),
Czech Republic (1962/1993), Denmark (1965), Estonia (2001), Greece
(1987), Guatemala (1991), Hungary (1984), North Korea (1987), Papua
New Guinea (1981), Romania (1971), Slovakia (1962/1993), Switzerland
(1990), Turkey (1996), and Venezuela (1999); note - Czechoslovakia
acceded to the Treaty in 1962 and separated into the Czech Republic
and Slovakia in 1993; Article 1 - area to be used for peaceful
purposes only; military activity, such as weapons testing, is
prohibited, but military personnel and equipment may be used for
scientific research or any other peaceful purpose; Article 2 -
freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation shall continue;
Article 3 - free exchange of information and personnel, cooperation
with the UN and other international agencies; Article 4 - does not
recognize, dispute, or establish territorial claims and no new
claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force; Article 5 -
prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes;
Article 6 - includes under the treaty all land and ice shelves south
of 60 degrees 00 minutes south and reserves high seas rights;
Article 7 - treaty-state observers have free access, including
aerial observation, to any area and may inspect all stations,
installations, and equipment; advance notice of all expeditions and
of the introduction of military personnel must be given; Article 8 -
allows for jurisdiction over observers and scientists by their own
states; Article 9 - frequent consultative meetings take place among
member nations; Article 10 - treaty states will discourage
activities by any country in Antarctica that are contrary to the
treaty; Article 11 - disputes to be settled peacefully by the
parties concerned or, ultimately, by the ICJ; Articles 12, 13, 14 -
deal with upholding, interpreting, and amending the treaty among
involved nations; other agreements - some 200 recommendations
adopted at treaty consultative meetings and ratified by governments
include - Agreed Measures for Fauna and Flora (1964) which were
later incorporated into the Environmental Protocol; Convention for
the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (1972); Convention on the
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980); a mineral
resources agreement was signed in 1988 but remains unratified; the
Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was
signed 4 October 1991 and entered into force 14 January 1998; this
agreement provides for the protection of the Antarctic environment
through six specific annexes: 1) environmental impact assessment, 2)
conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora, 3) waste disposal and
waste management, 4) prevention of marine pollution, 5) area
protection and management and 6) liability arising from
environmental emergencies; it prohibits all activities relating to
mineral resources except scientific research; a permanent Antarctic
Treaty Secretariat was established in 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina


Legal system:

Antarctica is administered through meetings of the consultative
member nations; decisions from these meetings are carried out by
these member nations (with respect to their own nationals and
operations) in accordance with their own national laws; US law,
including certain criminal offenses by or against US nationals, such
as murder, may apply extraterritorially; some US laws directly apply
to Antarctica; for example, the Antarctic Conservation Act, 16
U.S.C. section 2401 et seq., provides civil and criminal penalties
for the following activities, unless authorized by regulation of
statute: the taking of native mammals or birds; the introduction of
nonindigenous plants and animals; entry into specially protected
areas; the discharge or disposal of pollutants; and the importation
into the US of certain items from Antarctica; violation of the
Antarctic Conservation Act carries penalties of up to $10,000 in
fines and one year in prison; the National Science Foundation and
Department of Justice share enforcement responsibilities; Public Law
95-541, the US Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978, as amended in
1996, requires expeditions from the US to Antarctica to notify, in
advance, the Office of Oceans, Room 5805, Department of State,
Washington, DC 20520, which reports such plans to other nations as
required by the Antarctic Treaty; for more information, contact
Permit Office, Office of Polar Programs, National Science
Foundation, Arlington, Virginia 22230; telephone: (703) 292-8030, or
visit their website at www.nsf.gov; more generally, access to the
Antarctic Treaty area, that is to all areas between 60 and 90
degrees south latitude, is subject to a number of relevant legal
instruments and authorization procedures adopted by the states party
to the Antarctic Treaty


Economy
Antarctica



Economy - overview:

Fishing off the coast and tourism, both based abroad, account for
Antarctica's limited economic activity. Antarctic fisheries in
2005-06 (1 July-30 June) reported landing 128,081 metric tons
(estimated fishing from the area covered by the Convention on the
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which
extends slightly beyond the Antarctic Treaty area). Unregulated
fishing, particularly of Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus
eleginoides), is a serious problem. The CCAMLR determines the
recommended catch limits for marine species. A total of 36,460
tourists visited the Antarctic Treaty area in the 2006-07 Antarctic
summer, up from the 30,877 visitors the previous year (estimates
provided to the Antarctic Treaty by the International Association of
Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO); this does not include passengers
on overflights). Nearly all of them were passengers on commercial
(nongovernmental) ships and several yachts that make trips during
the summer. Most tourist trips last approximately two weeks.


Communications
Antarctica



Telephones - main lines in use:

0; note - information for US bases only (2001)


Telephone system:

general assessment: local systems at some research stations
domestic: commercial cellular networks operating in a small number
of locations
international: country code - none allocated; via satellite
(including mobile Inmarsat and Iridium systems) to and from all
research stations, ships, aircraft, and most field parties (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

FM 2, shortwave 1 (information for US bases only); note - many
research stations have a local FM radio station (2007)


Radios:

NA


Television broadcast stations:

1 (cable system with 6 channels; American Forces Antarctic
Network-McMurdo - information for US bases only) (2002)


Televisions:

several hundred at McMurdo Station (US)
note: information for US bases only (2001)


Internet country code:

.aq


Internet hosts:

7,748 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

NA


Transportation
Antarctica



Airports:

27 (2008)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 27
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 6 (2008)


Heliports:

53
note: all year-round and seasonal stations operated by National
Antarctic Programs stations have some kind of helicopter landing
facilities, prepared (helipads) or unprepared (2007)


Ports and terminals:

there are no developed ports and harbors in Antarctica; most coastal
stations have offshore anchorages, and supplies are transferred from
ship to shore by small boats, barges, and helicopters; a few
stations have a basic wharf facility; US coastal stations include
McMurdo (77 51 S, 166 40 E), and Palmer (64 43 S, 64 03 W);
government use only except by permit (see Permit Office under "Legal
System"); all ships at port are subject to inspection in accordance
with Article 7, Antarctic Treaty; offshore anchorage is sparse and
intermittent; relevant legal instruments and authorization
procedures adopted by the states parties to the Antarctic Treaty
regulating access to the Antarctic Treaty area, to all areas between
60 and 90 degrees of latitude south, have to be complied with (see
"Legal System"); The Hydrographic Committee on Antarctica (HCA), a
special hydrographic commission of International Hydrographic
Organization (IHO), is responsible for hydrographic surveying and
nautical charting matters in Antarctic Treaty area; it coordinates
and facilitates provision of accurate and appropriate charts and
other aids to navigation in support of safety of navigation in
region; membership of HCA is open to any IHO Member State whose
government has acceded to the Antarctic Treaty and which contributes
resources and/or data to IHO Chart coverage of the area; members of
HCA are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, France,
Germany, Greece, India, Italy, NZ, Norway, Russia, South Africa,
Spain, UK, and US (2007)


Military
Antarctica



Military - note:

the Antarctic Treaty prohibits any measures of a military nature,
such as the establishment of military bases and fortifications, the
carrying out of military maneuvers, or the testing of any type of
weapon; it permits the use of military personnel or equipment for
scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes


Transnational Issues
Antarctica



Disputes - international:

the Antarctic Treaty freezes, and most states do not recognize, the
land and maritime territorial claims made by Argentina, Australia,
Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom (some
overlapping) for three-fourths of the continent; the US and Russia
reserve the right to make claims; no claims have been made in the
sector between 90 degrees west and 150 degrees west; the
International Whaling Commission created a sancturary around the
entire continent to deter catches by countries claiming to conduct
scientific whaling; Australia has established a similar preserve in
the waters around its territorial claim



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Antigua and Barbuda

Introduction
Antigua and Barbuda



Background:

The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and
Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak Indians populated the islands when
COLUMBUS landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by
the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a
colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on
Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent
state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.


Geography
Antigua and Barbuda



Location:

Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic
Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico


Geographic coordinates:

17 03 N, 61 48 W


Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


Area:

total: 442.6 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km)
land: 442.6 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Redonda, 1.6 sq km


Area - comparative:

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

153 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


Climate:

tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation


Terrain:

mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher
volcanic areas


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Boggy Peak 402 m


Natural resources:

NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism


Land use:

arable land: 18.18%
permanent crops: 4.55%
other: 77.27% (2005)


Irrigated land:

NA


Total renewable water resources:

0.1 cu km (2000)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.005 cu km/yr (60%/20%/20%)
per capita: 63 cu m/yr (1990)


Natural hazards:

hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); periodic droughts


Environment - current issues:

water management - a major concern because of limited natural fresh
water resources - is further hampered by the clearing of trees to
increase crop production, causing rainfall to run off quickly


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,
Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors
and beaches; Barbuda has a large western harbor


People
Antigua and Barbuda



Population:

84,522 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 27.2% (male 11,670/female 11,318)
15-64 years: 66.3% (male 26,138/female 29,859)
65 years and over: 6.6% (male 2,408/female 3,129) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 29.5 years
male: 28 years
female: 30.8 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.305% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

16.78 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

6.14 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

2.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 17.49 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.21 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.25 years
male: 72.33 years
female: 76.26 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

2.08 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA


Nationality:

noun: Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s)
adjective: Antiguan, Barbudan


Ethnic groups:

black 91%, mixed 4.4%, white 1.7%, other 2.9% (2001 census)


Religions:

Anglican 25.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.3%, Pentecostal 10.6%,
Moravian 10.5%, Roman Catholic 10.4%, Methodist 7.9%, Baptist 4.9%,
Church of God 4.5%, other Christian 5.4%, other 2%, none or
unspecified 5.8% (2001 census)


Languages:

English (official), local dialects


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of
schooling
total population: 85.8%
male: NA%
female: NA% (2003 est.)


Education expenditures:

3.9% of GDP (2002)


Government
Antigua and Barbuda



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda


Government type:

constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government


Capital:

name: Saint John's
geographic coordinates: 17 07 N, 61 51 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George,
Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip


Independence:

1 November 1981 (from UK)


National holiday:

Independence Day (National Day), 1 November (1981)


Constitution:

1 November 1981


Legal system:

based on English common law


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor General Louisse LAKE-TACK (since 17 July
2007)
head of government: Prime Minister Winston Baldwin SPENCER (since 24
March 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on
the advice of the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general chosen by the
monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative
elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the
majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the
governor general


Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17 seats; members
appointed by the governor general) and the House of Representatives
(17 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to
serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 23 March 2004 (next
to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
ALP 4, UPP 13


Judicial branch:

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based in Saint Lucia; one judge of
the Supreme Court is a resident of the islands and presides over the
Court of Summary Jurisdiction); member Caribbean Court of Justice


Political parties and leaders:

Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Lester Bryant BIRD]; Barbudans for a
Better Barbuda [Ordrick SAMUEL]; Barbuda People's Movement or BPM
[Thomas H. FRANK]; Barbuda People's Movement for Change [Arthur
NIBBS]; United Progressive Party or UPP [Baldwin SPENCER] (a
coalition of three parties - Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement
or ACLM, Progressive Labor Movement or PLM, United National
Democratic Party or UNDP)


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Antigua Trades and Labor Union or ATLU [William ROBINSON]; People's
Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL]


International organization participation:

ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD,
IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU,
ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU,
WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Deborah Mae LOVELL
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 362-5122
FAX: [1] (202) 362-5225
consulate(s) general: Miami


Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Antigua and Barbuda; the US
Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Antigua and Barbuda


Flag description:

red, with an inverted isosceles triangle based on the top edge of
the flag; the triangle contains three horizontal bands of black
(top), light blue, and white, with a yellow rising sun in the black
band


Economy
Antigua and Barbuda



Economy - overview:

Antigua has a relatively high GDP per capita in comparison to most
other Caribbean nations. It has experienced solid growth since 2003,
driven by a construction boom in hotels and housing that which
should wind down in 2008. Tourism continues to dominate the economy,
accounting for more than half of GDP. The dual-island nation's
agricultural production is focused on the domestic market and
constrained by a limited water supply and a labor shortage stemming
from the lure of higher wages in tourism and construction.
Manufacturing comprises enclave-type assembly for export with major
products being bedding, handicrafts, and electronic components.
Prospects for economic growth in the medium term will continue to
depend on income growth in the industrialized world, especially in
the US, which accounts for slightly more than one-third of tourist
arrivals. Since taking office in 2004, the SPENCER government has
adopted an ambitious fiscal reform program, but will continue to be
saddled by its debt burden with a debt-to-GDP ratio exceeding 100%.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.526 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.089 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

6.1% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$18,300 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 3.8%
industry: 22%
services: 74.3% (2002 est.)


Labor force:

30,000 (1991)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 7%
industry: 11%
services: 82% (1983)


Unemployment rate:

11% (2001 est.)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $123.7 million
expenditures: $145.9 million (2000 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.5% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10.44% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$294.8 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$902 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$1.002 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes,
sugarcane; livestock


Industries:

tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol,
household appliances)


Industrial production growth rate:

NA%


Electricity - production:

105 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

97.65 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

4,109 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

157.7 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

4,556 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Current account balance:

$-211 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$84.3 million (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

petroleum products, bedding, handicrafts, electronic components,
transport equipment, food and live animals


Exports - partners:

Spain 34%, Germany 20.7%, Italy 7.7%, Singapore 5.8%, UK 4.9% (2006)


Imports:

$522.8 million (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment,
manufactures, chemicals, oil


Imports - partners:

US 21.1%, China 16.4%, Germany 13.3%, Singapore 12.7%, Spain 6.5%
(2006)


Economic aid - recipient:

$7.23 million (2005)


Debt - external:

$359.8 million (June 2006)


Currency (code):

East Caribbean dollar (XCD)


Currency code:

XCD


Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006),
2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)
note: fixed rate since 1976


Communications
Antigua and Barbuda



Telephones - main lines in use:

37,500 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

110,200 (2006)


Telephone system:

general assessment: NA
domestic: good automatic telephone system
international: country code - 1-268; landing point for the East
Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other
islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin
Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 2; tropospheric
scatter to Saba (Netherlands Antilles) and Guadeloupe (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 4, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)


Radios:

36,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

2 (1997)


Televisions:

31,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.ag


Internet hosts:

2,215 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

16 (2000)


Internet users:

60,000 (2007)


Transportation
Antigua and Barbuda



Airports:

3 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 1,165 km
paved: 384 km
unpaved: 781 km (2002)


Merchant marine:

total: 1,146
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 50, cargo 651, carrier 4,
chemical tanker 5, container 392, liquefied gas 12, petroleum tanker
1, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 20
foreign-owned: 1,113 (Australia 1, Colombia 2, Cyprus 18, Denmark
19, Estonia 23, France 1, Germany 941, Greece 3, Iceland 12, Italy
1, Latvia 13, Lithuania 5, Netherlands 20, NZ 2, Norway 8, Poland 2,
Russia 4, Slovenia 6, Sweden 1, Switzerland 8, Turkey 6, UK 9, US 8)
(2008)


Ports and terminals:

Saint John's


Military
Antigua and Barbuda



Military branches:

Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (2007)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription
(2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 19,560
females age 16-49: 18,977 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 15,591
females age 16-49: 15,542 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 744
female: 742 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

NA


Transnational Issues
Antigua and Barbuda



Disputes - international:

none


Illicit drugs:

considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the
US and Europe; more significant as an offshore financial center



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Arctic Ocean

Introduction
Arctic Ocean



Background:

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the world's five oceans (after
the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the recently
delimited Southern Ocean). The Northwest Passage (US and Canada) and
Northern Sea Route (Norway and Russia) are two important seasonal
waterways. A sparse network of air, ocean, river, and land routes
circumscribes the Arctic Ocean.


Geography
Arctic Ocean



Location:

body of water between Europe, Asia, and North America, mostly north
of the Arctic Circle


Geographic coordinates:

90 00 N, 0 00 E


Map references:

Arctic Region


Area:

total: 14.056 million sq km
note: includes Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea,
East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara
Sea, Laptev Sea, Northwest Passage, and other tributary water bodies


Area - comparative:

slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US


Coastline:

45,389 km


Climate:

polar climate characterized by persistent cold and relatively narrow
annual temperature ranges; winters characterized by continuous
darkness, cold and stable weather conditions, and clear skies;
summers characterized by continuous daylight, damp and foggy
weather, and weak cyclones with rain or snow


Terrain:

central surface covered by a perennial drifting polar icepack that,
on average, is about 3 meters thick, although pressure ridges may be
three times that thickness; clockwise drift pattern in the Beaufort
Gyral Stream, but nearly straight-line movement from the New
Siberian Islands (Russia) to Denmark Strait (between Greenland and
Iceland); the icepack is surrounded by open seas during the summer,
but more than doubles in size during the winter and extends to the
encircling landmasses; the ocean floor is about 50% continental
shelf (highest percentage of any ocean) with the remainder a central
basin interrupted by three submarine ridges (Alpha Cordillera,
Nansen Cordillera, and Lomonosov Ridge)


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Fram Basin -4,665 m
highest point: sea level 0 m


Natural resources:

sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules,
oil and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales)


Natural hazards:

ice islands occasionally break away from northern Ellesmere Island;
icebergs calved from glaciers in western Greenland and extreme
northeastern Canada; permafrost in islands; virtually ice locked
from October to June; ships subject to superstructure icing from
October to May


Environment - current issues:

endangered marine species include walruses and whales; fragile
ecosystem slow to change and slow to recover from disruptions or
damage; thinning polar icepack


Geography - note:

major chokepoint is the southern Chukchi Sea (northern access to the
Pacific Ocean via the Bering Strait); strategic location between
North America and Russia; shortest marine link between the extremes
of eastern and western Russia; floating research stations operated
by the US and Russia; maximum snow cover in March or April about 20
to 50 centimeters over the frozen ocean; snow cover lasts about 10
months



Economy
Arctic Ocean



Economy - overview:

Economic activity is limited to the exploitation of natural
resources, including petroleum, natural gas, fish, and seals.



Transportation
Arctic Ocean



Ports and terminals:

Churchill (Canada), Murmansk (Russia), Prudhoe Bay (US)


Transportation - note:

sparse network of air, ocean, river, and land routes; the Northwest
Passage (North America) and Northern Sea Route (Eurasia) are
important seasonal waterways



Transnational Issues
Arctic Ocean



Disputes - international:

the littoral states are engaged in various stages of demonstrating
the limits of their continental shelves beyond 200 nautical miles
from their declared baselines in accordance with Article 76,
paragraph 8, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;
record summer melting of sea ice in the Arctic has restimulated
interest in maritime shipping lanes and sea floor exploration



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Argentina

Introduction
Argentina



Background:

In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their
independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went
their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The
country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants
from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which
provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up
until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was
dominated by periods of internal political conflict between
Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military
factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist authoritarian rule
and interference in subsequent governments was followed by a
military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983,
and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable
of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent
public protests and the resignation of several interim presidents.
The economy has recovered strongly since bottoming out in 2002.


Geography
Argentina



Location:

Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between
Chile and Uruguay


Geographic coordinates:

34 00 S, 64 00 W


Map references:

South America


Area:

total: 2,766,890 sq km
land: 2,736,690 sq km
water: 30,200 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly less than three-tenths the size of the US


Land boundaries:

total: 9,861 km
border countries: Bolivia 832 km, Brazil 1,261 km, Chile 5,308 km,
Paraguay 1,880 km, Uruguay 580 km


Coastline:

4,989 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


Climate:

mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest


Terrain:

rich plains of the Pampas in northern half, flat to rolling plateau
of Patagonia in south, rugged Andes along western border


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Laguna del Carbon -105 m (located between Puerto San
Julian and Comandante Luis Piedra Buena in the province of Santa
Cruz)
highest point: Cerro Aconcagua 6,960 m (located in the northwestern
corner of the province of Mendoza)


Natural resources:

fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore,
manganese, petroleum, uranium


Land use:

arable land: 10.03%
permanent crops: 0.36%
other: 89.61% (2005)


Irrigated land:

15,500 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

814 cu km (2000)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 29.19 cu km/yr (17%/9%/74%)
per capita: 753 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

San Miguel de Tucuman and Mendoza areas in the Andes subject to
earthquakes; pamperos are violent windstorms that can strike the
pampas and northeast; heavy flooding


Environment - current issues:

environmental problems (urban and rural) typical of an
industrializing economy such as deforestation, soil degradation,
desertification, air pollution, and water pollution
note: Argentina is a world leader in setting voluntary greenhouse
gas targets


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation


Geography - note:

second-largest country in South America (after Brazil); strategic
location relative to sea lanes between the South Atlantic and the
South Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake
Passage); diverse geophysical landscapes range from tropical
climates in the north to tundra in the far south; Cerro Aconcagua is
the Western Hemisphere's tallest mountain, while Laguna del Carbon
is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere


People
Argentina



Population:

40.482 million (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 25.8% (male 5,341,642/female 5,095,325)
15-64 years: 63.5% (male 12,807,458/female 12,884,745)
65 years and over: 10.8% (male 1,784,652/female 2,568,176) (2008
est.)


Median age:

total: 29.7 years
male: 28.8 years
female: 30.8 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.068% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

18.11 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

7.43 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 11.78 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 76.36 years
male: 73.11 years
female: 79.77 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

2.37 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.7% (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

130,000 (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,500 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Argentine(s)
adjective: Argentine


Ethnic groups:

white (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, mestizo (mixed white and
Amerindian ancestry), Amerindian, or other non-white groups 3%


Religions:

nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant
2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%


Languages:

Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.2%
male: 97.2%
female: 97.2% (2001 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 16 years (2005)


Education expenditures:

3.8% of GDP (2004)


Government
Argentina



Country name:

conventional long form: Argentine Republic
conventional short form: Argentina
local long form: Republica Argentina
local short form: Argentina


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: Buenos Aires
geographic coordinates: 34 36 S, 58 40 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends
third Saturday in March; note - a new policy of daylight saving time
was initiated by the government on 30 December 2007


Administrative divisions:

23 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 autonomous
city* (distrito federal); Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Capital
Federal*, Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Cordoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios,
Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquen, Rio
Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago del
Estero, Tierra del Fuego - Antartida e Islas del Atlantico Sur,
Tucuman
note: the US does not recognize any claims to Antarctica


Independence:

9 July 1816 (from Spain)


National holiday:

Revolution Day, 25 May (1810)


Constitution:

1 May 1853; amended many times starting in 1860


Legal system:

mixture of US and West European legal systems; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (since 10
December 2007); Vice President Julio COBOS (since 10 December 2007);
note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government
head of government: President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (since
10 December 2007); Vice President Julio COBOS (since 10 December
2007)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket
by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term);
election last held 28 October 2007 (next election to be held in 2011)
election results: Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER elected president;
percent of vote - Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER 45%, Elisa CARRIO
23%, Roberto LAVAGNA 17%, Alberto Rodriguez SAA 8%


Legislative branch:

bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the
Senate (72 seats; members are elected by direct vote; presently
one-third of the members elected every two years to serve six-year
terms) and the Chamber of Deputies (257 seats; members are elected
by direct vote; one-half of the members elected every two years to
serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 28 October 2007 (next to be held in
2009); Chamber of Deputies - last held last held 28 October 2007
(next to be held in 2009)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA;
seats by bloc or party - FV 12, UCR 4, CC 4, other 4; Chamber of
Deputies - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA; seats by bloc or
party - FV 5, UCR 10, PJ 10, PRO 6, CC 16, FJ 2, other 31; note -
Senate and Chamber of Deputies seating reflect the number of
replaced senators and deputies, rather than the whole Senate and
Chamber of Deputies


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (the nine Supreme Court judges are
appointed by the president with approval of the Senate)
note: the Supreme Court currently has two unfilled vacancies, and
the Argentine Congress is considering a bill to reduce the number of
Supreme Court judges to five


Political parties and leaders:

Coalicion Civica (a broad coalition loosely affiliated with Elisa
CARRIO); Front for Victory or FV (a broad coalition, including
elements of the UCR and numerous provincial parties) [Cristina
FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER]; Interbloque Federal or IF (a broad coalition
of approximately 12 parties including PRO); Justicialist Front or
FJ; Justicialist Party or PJ (Peronist umbrella political
organization); Radical Civic Union or UCR [Gerardo MORALES];
Republican Proposal or PRO (including Federal Recreate Movement or
RECREAR [Ricardo LOPEZ MURPHY] and Commitment for Change or CPC
[Mauricio MACRI]); Socialist Party or PS [Ruben GIUSTINIANI]; Union
For All [Patricia BULLRICH]; several provincial parties


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Argentine Association of Pharmaceutical Labs (CILFA); Argentine
Industrial Union (manufacturers' association); Argentine Rural
Confederation or CRA (small to medium landowners' association);
Argentine Rural Society (large landowners' association); Central of
Argentine Workers or CTA (a radical union for employed and
unemployed workers); General Confederation of Labor or CGT
(Peronist-leaning umbrella labor organization); Roman Catholic Church
other: business organizations; Peronist-dominated labor movement;
Piquetero groups (popular protest organizations that can be either
pro or anti-government); students


International organization participation:

AfDB (nonregional members), Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN
(associate), FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC,
ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur,
MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN,
UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina
(observer), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO,
ZC


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Hector Marcos TIMERMAN
chancery: 1600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 238-6400
FAX: [1] (202) 332-3171
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami,
New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Earl Anthony WAYNE
embassy: Avenida Colombia 4300, C1425GMN Buenos Aires
mailing address: international mail: use embassy street address; APO
address: US Embassy Buenos Aires, Unit 4334, APO AA 34034
telephone: [54] (11) 5777-4533
FAX: [54] (11) 5777-4240


Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of light blue (top), white, and light
blue; centered in the white band is a radiant yellow sun with a
human face known as the Sun of May


Economy
Argentina



Economy - overview:

Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate
population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a
diversified industrial base. Although one of the world's wealthiest
countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th
century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and
current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt,
and capital flight. A severe depression, growing public and external
indebtedness, and a bank run culminated in 2001 in the most serious
economic, social, and political crisis in the country's turbulent
history. Interim President Adolfo RODRIGUEZ SAA declared a default -
the largest in history - on the government's foreign debt in
December of that year, and abruptly resigned only a few days after
taking office. His successor, Eduardo DUHALDE, announced an end to
the peso's decade-long 1-to-1 peg to the US dollar in early 2002.
The economy bottomed out that year, with real GDP 18% smaller than
in 1998 and almost 60% of Argentines under the poverty line. Real
GDP rebounded to grow by an average 9% annually over the subsequent
five years, taking advantage of previously idled industrial capacity
and labor, an audacious debt restructuring and reduced debt burden,
excellent international financial conditions, and expansionary
monetary and fiscal policies. Inflation, however, reached
double-digit levels in 2006 and the government of President Nestor
KIRCHNER responded with "voluntary" price agreements with
businesses, as well as export taxes and restraints. Multi-year price
freezes on electricity and natural gas rates for residential users
stoked consumption and kept private investment away, leading to
restrictions on industrial use and blackouts in 2007.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$526.4 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$260 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

8.7% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$13,100 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 9.5%
industry: 34%
services: 56.5% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

16.03 million
note: urban areas only (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 1%
industry: 23%
services: 76% (2007 est.)


Unemployment rate:

8.5% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

23.4% (January-June 2007)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 35% (January-March 2007)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

49 (2006)


Investment (gross fixed):

24.2% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $48.99 billion
expenditures: $61.23 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

56.1% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

8.8% official rate; actual rate may be double the official rate
(2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

NA


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

11.05% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$33.93 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$45.92 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$72.55 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts,
tea, wheat; livestock


Industries:

food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles,
chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel


Industrial production growth rate:

7.5% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

109.4 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

97.72 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

2.628 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

10.27 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 52.2%
hydro: 40.8%
nuclear: 6.7%
other: 0.2% (2001)


Oil - production:

790,800 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

525,100 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

339,900 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

23,380 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

2.587 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

44.8 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

44.1 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

2.6 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

1.9 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

446 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$7.438 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$55.78 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

soybeans and derivatives, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, wheat


Exports - partners:

Brazil 19.1%, China 9.4%, US 7.9%, Chile 7.6% (2007)


Imports:

$42.53 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery, motor vehicles, petroleum and natural gas, organic
chemicals, plastics


Imports - partners:

Brazil 34.6%, US 12.6%, China 12%, Germany 5% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$99.66 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$46.12 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$135.8 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$65.31 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$26.26 billion (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$79.73 billion (2006)


Currency (code):

Argentine peso (ARS)


Currency code:

ARS


Exchange rates:

Argentine pesos (ARS) per US dollar - 3.1105 (2007), 3.0543 (2006),
2.9037 (2005), 2.9233 (2004), 2.9006 (2003)


Communications
Argentina



Telephones - main lines in use:

9.5 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

40.402 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: by opening the telecommunications market to
competition and foreign investment with the "Telecommunications
Liberalization Plan of 1998," Argentina encouraged the growth of
modern telecommunications technology; fiber-optic cable trunk lines
are being installed between all major cities; major networks are
entirely digital and the availability of telephone service is
improving; fixed-line telephone density is gradually increasing
reaching nearly 25 lines per 100 people in 2007; mobile telephone
subscribership has been increasing rapidly and has reached a level
of 100 telephones per 100 persons
domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber-optic cable, and a domestic
satellite system with 40 earth stations serve the trunk network;
more than 110,000 pay telephones are installed and mobile telephone
use is rapidly expanding; broadband services are gaining ground
international: country code - 54; landing point for the Atlantis-2,
UNISUR, and South America-1 optical submarine cable systems that
provide links to Europe, Africa, South and Central America, and US;
satellite earth stations - 112; 2 international gateways near Buenos
Aires (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 260 (includes 10 inactive stations), FM (probably more than
1,000, mostly unlicensed), shortwave 6 (1998)


Radios:

24.3 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

42 (plus 444 repeaters) (1997)


Televisions:

7.95 million (1997)


Internet country code:

.ar


Internet hosts:

3.813 million (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

33 (2000)


Internet users:

9.309 million (2007)


Transportation
Argentina



Airports:

1,272 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 154
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 26
1,524 to 2,437 m: 65
914 to 1,523 m: 50
under 914 m: 9 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1,118
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 44
914 to 1,523 m: 515
under 914 m: 556 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 28,657 km; liquid petroleum gas 41 km; oil 5,607 km; refined
products 3,052 km; unknown (oil/water) 13 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 31,902 km
broad gauge: 20,858 km 1.676-m gauge (141 km electrified)
standard gauge: 2,885 km 1.435-m gauge (26 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 7,922 km 1.000-m gauge; 237 km 0.750-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 231,374 km
paved: 69,412 km (includes 734 km of expressways)
unpaved: 161,962 km (2004)


Waterways:

11,000 km (2006)


Merchant marine:

total: 46
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 9, chemical tanker 2, container 1,
passenger 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 24, refrigerated
cargo 2, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 14 (Brazil 1, Chile 7, Spain 2, UK 4)
registered in other countries: 19 (Liberia 3, Panama 8, Paraguay 5,
Uruguay 3) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Arroyo Seco, Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires, La Plata, Punta Colorada,
Rosario, San Lorenzo-San Martin


Military
Argentina



Military branches:

Argentine Army (Ejercito Argentino), Navy of the Argentine Republic
(Armada Republica; includes naval aviation and naval infantry),
Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina, FAA) (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18-24 years of age for voluntary military service (18-21 requires
parental permission); no conscription (2001)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 10,029,488
females age 16-49: 9,889,002 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 8,352,147
females age 16-49: 8,366,781 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 348,310
female: 332,944 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2005 est.)


Military - note:

the Argentine military is a well-organized force constrained by the
country's prolonged economic hardship; the country has recently
experienced a strong recovery, and the military is implementing a
modernization plan aimed at making the ground forces lighter and
more responsive (2008)


Transnational Issues
Argentina



Disputes - international:

Argentina continues to assert its claims to the UK-administered
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia, and the South
Sandwich Islands in its constitution, forcibly occupying the
Falklands in 1982, but in 1995 agreed no longer to seek settlement
by force; territorial claim in Antarctica partially overlaps UK and
Chilean claims; unruly region at convergence of
Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering,
smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising
for extremist organizations; uncontested dispute between Brazil and
Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim
River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; in 2006,
Argentina went to the ICJ to protest, on environmental grounds, the
construction of two pulp mills in Uruguay on the Uruguay River,
which forms the boundary; both parties presented their pleadings in
2007 with Argentina's reply in January and Uruguay's rejoinder in
July 2008; the joint boundary commission, established by Chile and
Argentina in 2001 has yet to map and demarcate the delimited
boundary in the inhospitable Andean Southern Ice Field (Campo de
Hielo Sur)


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Argentina is a source, transit, and destination
country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of
commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; most victims are
trafficked within the country, from rural to urban areas; child sex
tourism is a problem; foreign women and children, primarily from
Paraguay, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic, are trafficked to
Argentina for commercial sexual exploitation; Argentine women and
girls are also trafficked to neighboring countries, Mexico, and
Western Europe for sexual exploitation; a significant number of
Bolivians, Peruvians, and Paraguayans are trafficked into the
country for forced labor in sweatshops, agriculture, and as domestic
servants
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - despite some progress, Argentina
remains on the Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year for
its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat human
trafficking, particularly in terms of providing adequate assistance
to victims and curbing official complicity with trafficking
activity, especially on the provincial and local levels; the
Argentine Congress has demonstrated progress by enacting much-needed
and first-ever federal anti-trafficking legislation (2008)


Illicit drugs:

a transshipment country for cocaine headed for Europe; some
money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; law
enforcement corruption; a source for precursor chemicals; increasing
domestic consumption of drugs in urban centers, especially cocaine
base and synthetic drugs



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Armenia

Introduction
Armenia



Background:

Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt
Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over
the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires
including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During
World War I in the western portion of Armenia, Ottoman Turkey
instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh
practices that resulted in an estimated 1 million Armenian deaths.
The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in
1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was
conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders remain
preoccupied by the long conflict with Muslim Azerbaijan over
Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to
Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan
began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after
both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, Armenian forces held not
only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion of Azerbaijan
proper. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their
inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution.
Turkey imposed an economic blockade on Armenia and closed the common
border because of the Armenian separatists' control of
Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas.


Geography
Armenia



Location:

Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey


Geographic coordinates:

40 00 N, 45 00 E


Map references:

Asia


Area:

total: 29,743 sq km
land: 28,454 sq km
water: 1,289 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maryland


Land boundaries:

total: 1,254 km
border countries: Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan
exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

highland continental, hot summers, cold winters


Terrain:

Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing
rivers; good soil in Aras River valley


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Debed River 400 m
highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m


Natural resources:

small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite


Land use:

arable land: 16.78%
permanent crops: 2.01%
other: 81.21% (2005)


Irrigated land:

2,860 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

10.5 cu km (1997)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 2.95 cu km/yr (30%/4%/66%)
per capita: 977 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts


Environment - current issues:

soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; the energy crisis
of the 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for
firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the
draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a
source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of
Metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a
seismically active zone


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants


Geography - note:

landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake
Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range


People
Armenia



Population:

2,968,586 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 18.7% (male 296,401/female 259,594)
15-64 years: 70.3% (male 975,438/female 1,111,989)
65 years and over: 11% (male 128,398/female 196,766) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 31.1 years
male: 28.4 years
female: 34 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

-0.077% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

12.53 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

8.34 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-4.95 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.15 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female
total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 20.94 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 25.82 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 72.4 years
male: 68.79 years
female: 76.55 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.35 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

2,600 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Armenian(s)
adjective: Armenian


Ethnic groups:

Armenian 97.9%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.3%, Russian 0.5%, other 0.3% (2001
census)


Religions:

Armenian Apostolic 94.7%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (monotheist
with elements of nature worship) 1.3%


Languages:

Armenian 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4% (2001 census)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.2% (2001 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

3.2% of GDP (2001)


Government
Armenia



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Armenia
conventional short form: Armenia
local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun
local short form: Hayastan
former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Armenian Republic


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: Yerevan
geographic coordinates: 40 10 N, 44 30 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:

11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir,
Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots'
Dzor, Yerevan


Independence:

21 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 21 September (1991)


Constitution:

adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995; amendments adopted
through a nationwide referendum 27 November 2005


Legal system:

based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Serzh SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)
head of government: Prime Minister Tigran SARGSIAN (since 9 April
2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 19 February 2008
(next to be held February 2013); prime minister appointed by the
president based on majority or plurality support in parliament; the
prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if the National
Assembly refuses to accept their program
election results: Serzh SARGSIAN elected president; percent of vote
- Serzh SARGSIAN 52.9%, Levon TER-PETROSSIAN 21.5%, Artur
BAGHDASARIAN 16.7%


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (131
seats; members elected by popular vote, 90 members elected by party
list and 41 by direct vote; to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 12 May 2007 (next to be held in the spring of
2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - HHK 33.9%, Prosperous
Armenia 15.1%, ARF (Dashnak) 13.2%, Rule of Law 7.1%, Heritage Party
6%, other 24.7%; seats by party - HHK 64, Prosperous Armenia 18, ARF
(Dashnak) 16, Rule of Law 9, Heritage Party 7, independent 17


Judicial branch:

Constitutional Court; Court of Cassation (Appeals Court)


Political parties and leaders:

Armenian National Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABYAN]; Armenian
People's Party [Tigran KARAPETYAN]; Armenian Ramkavar Azadagan Party
Alliance or HRAK (includes former Dashink Party, National Revival
Party, and Ramkavar Liberal Party); Armenian Revolutionary
Federation ("Dashnak" Party) or ARF [Hrant MARKARYAN]; Heritage
Party [Raffi HOVHANNISYAN]; National Democratic Party [Shavarsh
KOCHARIAN]; National Democratic Union or NDU [Vazgen MANUKIAN];
National Unity Party [Artashes GEGHAMYAN]; People's Party of Armenia
[Stepan DEMIRCHYAN]; Prosperous Armenia [Gagik TSAROUKYAN]; Republic
Party [Aram SARKISYAN]; Republican Party of Armenia or HHK [Serzh
SARGSIAN]; Rule of Law Party (Orinats Yerkir) [Artur BAGHDASARIAN];
Union of Constitutional Rights [Hrant KHACHATURYAN]; United Labor
Party [Gurgen ARSENYAN]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Aylentrank (Impeachment) [Nikol PASHINYAN]; Yerkrapah Union [Manvel
GRIGORIAN]


International organization participation:

ACCT (observer), ADB, BSEC, CE, CIS, CSTO, EAEC (observer), EAPC,
EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF (associate member), OPCW,
OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO,
WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Tatoul MARKARIAN
chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Marie L. YOVANOVITCH
embassy: 1 American Ave., Yerevan 0082
mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, US Department of State,
7020 Yerevan Place, Washington, DC 20521-7020
telephone: [374](10) 464-700
FAX: [374](10) 464-742


Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange


Economy
Armenia



Economy - overview:

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has made
progress in implementing many economic reforms including
privatization, price reforms, and prudent fiscal policies. The
conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region
of Nagorno-Karabakh contributed to a severe economic decline in the
early 1990s. By 1994, however, the Armenian Government launched an
ambitious IMF-sponsored economic liberalization program that
resulted in positive growth rates. Economic growth has averaged over
13% in recent years. Armenia has managed to reduce poverty, slash
inflation, stabilize its currency, and privatize most small- and
medium-sized enterprises. Under the old Soviet central planning
system, Armenia developed a modern industrial sector, supplying
machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister
republics, in exchange for raw materials and energy. Armenia has
since switched to small-scale agriculture and away from the large
agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet era. Nuclear power plants
built at Metsamor in the 1970s were closed following the 1988 Spitak
Earthquake, though they sustained no damage. One of the two reactors
was re-opened in 1995, but the Armenian government is under
international pressure to close it due to concerns that the Soviet
era design lacks important safeguards. Metsamor provides 40 percent
of the country's electricity - hydropower accounts for about
one-fourth. Economic ties with Russia remain close, especially in
the energy sector. The electricity distribution system was
privatized in 2002 and bought by Russia's RAO-UES in 2005.
Construction of a pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to
Armenia is halfway completed and is scheduled to be commissioned by
January 2009. Armenia has some mineral deposits (copper, gold,
bauxite). Pig iron, unwrought copper, and other nonferrous metals
are Armenia's highest valued exports. Armenia's severe trade
imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, remittances
from Armenians working abroad, and foreign direct investment.
Armenia joined the WTO in January 2003. The government made some
improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but
anti-corruption measures will be more difficult to implement.
Despite strong economic growth, Armenia's unemployment rate remains
high. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms in
order to improve its economic competitiveness and to build on recent
improvements in poverty and unemployment, especially given its
economic isolation from two of its nearest neighbors, Turkey and
Azerbaijan.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$17.17 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$7.974 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

13.7% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$5,800 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 17.2%
industry: 36.4%
services: 46.4% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

1.2 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 46.2%
industry: 15.6%
services: 38.2% (2006 est.)


Unemployment rate:

7.1% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

26.5% (2006 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 41.3% (2004)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

37 (2006)


Investment (gross fixed):

33.6% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $1.666 billion
expenditures: $1.735 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA
(2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.4% (2007 est.)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

17.52% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$1.507 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$765.2 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$1.256 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock


Industries:

diamond-processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging-pressing
machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk
fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry
manufacturing, software development, food processing, brandy


Industrial production growth rate:

3.2% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

5.544 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

4.539 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

322.6 million kWh; note - exports an unknown quantity to Georgia;
includes exports to Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

400.6 million kWh; note - imports an unknown quantity from Iran
(2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 42.3%
hydro: 27%
nuclear: 30.7%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

41,090 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

44,670 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

2.05 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

2.05 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006)


Current account balance:

-$571.4 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$1.2 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

pig iron, unwrought copper, nonferrous metals, diamonds, mineral
products, foodstuffs, energy


Exports - partners:

Russia 17.5%, Germany 14.7%, Netherlands 13.5%, Belgium 8.7%,
Georgia 7.6%, US 6.6%, Switzerland 4.3%, Bulgaria 4.1%, Ukraine 4%
(2007)


Imports:

$2.807 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds


Imports - partners:

Russia 15.1%, Ukraine 7.7%, Kazakhstan 7.4%, Germany 6.8%, China 6%,
France 4.6%, US 4.5%, Iraq 4.3% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

ODA, $180 million (2007)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.657 billion (December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$1.372 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$42.8 million (2005)


Currency (code):

dram (AMD)


Currency code:

AMD


Exchange rates:

drams (AMD) per US dollar - 344.06 (2007), 414.69 (2006), 457.69
(2005), 533.45 (2004), 578.76 (2003)


Communications
Armenia



Telephones - main lines in use:

603,900 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

1,185,400 (2006)


Telephone system:

general assessment: telecommunications investments have made major
inroads in modernizing and upgrading the outdated telecommunications
network inherited from the Soviet era; now 100% privately owned and
undergoing modernization and expansion; mobile-cellular services
monopoly terminated in late 2004 and a second provider began
operations in mid-2005
domestic: reliable modern landline and mobile-cellular services are
available across Yerevan in major cities and towns; significant but
ever-shrinking gaps remain in mobile-cellular coverage in rural areas
international: country code - 374; Yerevan is connected to the
Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional
international service is available by microwave radio relay and
landline connections to the other countries of the Commonwealth of
Independent States, through the Moscow international switch, and by
satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 3
(2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 9, FM 16, shortwave 1 (2006)


Radios:

850,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

48 (private television stations alongside 2 public networks; major
Russian channels widely available) (2006)


Televisions:

825,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.am


Internet hosts:

26,081 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

9 (2001)


Internet users:

172,800 (2006)


Transportation
Armenia



Airports:

12 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 10
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 2,036 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 839 km
broad gauge: 839 km 1.520-m gauge (828 km electrified)
note: some lines are out of service (2006)


Roadways:

total: 7,700 km
paved: 7,700 km (includes 1,561 km of expressways) (2006)


Military
Armenia



Military branches:

Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Nagorno-Karabakh Self Defense Force
(NKSDF), Air Force and Air Defense (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service;
2-year conscript service obligation (2007)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 809,576
females age 16-49: 870,864 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 637,776
females age 16-49: 729,846 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 30,548
female: 29,170 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

6.5% of GDP (FY01)


Transnational Issues
Armenia



Disputes - international:

Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh
and since the early 1990s, has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
continues to mediate dispute; over 800,000 mostly ethnic
Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about
230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan
into Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan seeks transit route
through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; border with Turkey
remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh dispute; ethnic Armenian groups
in Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy; Armenians
continue to emigrate, primarily to Russia, seeking employment


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 113,295 (Azerbaijan)
IDPs: 8,400 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh,
majority have returned home since 1994 ceasefire) (2007)


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Armenia is primarily a source country for women
and girls trafficked to the UAE and Turkey for the purpose of
commercial sexual exploitation; Armenian men and women are
trafficked to Turkey and Russia for the purpose of forced labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Armenia is placed on the Tier 2
Watch List for a fourth consecutive year; its efforts to increase
compliance with the minimum standards were assessed based on its
commitments to undertake future actions, particularly in the areas
of improving victim protection and assistance; while the government
elevated anti-trafficking responsibilities to the ministerial level,
adopted a new National Action Plan, and drafted a National Referral
Mechanism, it has yet to show tangible progress in identifying and
protecting victims or in tackling trafficking complicity of
government officials; the Armenian Government made some notable
improvements in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, but it
failed to demonstrate evidence of investigations, prosecutions,
convictions, and sentences of officials complicit in trafficking
(2008)


Illicit drugs:

illicit cultivation of small amount of cannabis for domestic
consumption; minor transit point for illicit drugs - mostly opium
and hashish - moving from Southwest Asia to Russia and to a lesser
extent the rest of Europe



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Aruba

Introduction
Aruba



Background:

Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the
Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main
industries. A 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity
brought on by the opening in 1924 of an oil refinery. The last
decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry.
Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a
separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in
1990.


Geography
Aruba



Location:

Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela


Geographic coordinates:

12 30 N, 69 58 W


Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


Area:

total: 193 sq km
land: 193 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

68.5 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm


Climate:

tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation


Terrain:

flat with a few hills; scant vegetation


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Jamanota 188 m


Natural resources:

NEGL; white sandy beaches


Land use:

arable land: 10.53%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 89.47% (2005)


Irrigated land:

0.01 sq km (1998 est.)


Natural hazards:

hurricanes; lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely
threatened


Environment - current issues:

NA


Geography - note:

a flat, riverless island renowned for its white sand beaches; its
tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the
Atlantic Ocean; the temperature is almost constant at about 27
degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit)


People
Aruba



Population:

101,541
note: estimate based on a revision of the base population,
fertility, and mortality numbers, as well as a revision of 1985-1999
migration estimates from outmigration to inmigration, which is
assumed to continue into the future; the new results are consistent
with the 2000 census (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 19.4% (male 9,933/female 9,747)
15-64 years: 70.3% (male 34,123/female 37,228)
65 years and over: 10.4% (male 4,189/female 6,321) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 37.6 years
male: 35.8 years
female: 39.3 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.501% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

12.81 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

7.65 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

9.85 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 14.26 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.92 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.51 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 75.06 years
male: 72.03 years
female: 78.14 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.85 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA


Nationality:

noun: Aruban(s)
adjective: Aruban; Dutch


Ethnic groups:

mixed white/Caribbean Amerindian 80%, other 20%


Religions:

Roman Catholic 80.8%, Protestant 9%, other (includes Hindu, Muslim,
Confucian, Jewish) 5.6%, none or unspecified 4.6%


Languages:

Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 66.3%,
Spanish 12.6%, English (widely spoken) 7.7%, Dutch (official) 5.8%,
other 2.2%, unspecified or unknown 5.3% (2000 census)


Literacy:

definition: NA
total population: 97.3%
male: 97.5%
female: 97.1% (2000 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

4.8% of GDP (2005)


Government
Aruba



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Aruba


Dependency status:

member country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in
internal affairs obtained in 1986 upon separation from the
Netherlands Antilles; Dutch Government responsible for defense and
foreign affairs


Government type:

parliamentary democracy


Capital:

name: Oranjestad
geographic coordinates: 12 31 N, 70 02 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)


Independence:

none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)


National holiday:

Flag Day, 18 March (1976)


Constitution:

1 January 1986


Legal system:

based on Dutch civil law system, with some English common law
influence


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April
1980); represented by Governor General Fredis REFUNJOL (since 11 May
2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Nelson O. ODUBER (since 30
October 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Staten
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed for
a six-year term by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime
minister elected by the Staten for four-year terms; election last
held in 2005 (next to be held by 2009)
election results: Nelson O. ODUBER elected prime minister; percent
of legislative vote - NA


Legislative branch:

unicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members elected by
direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 23 September 2005 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - MEP 43%, AVP 32%, MPA
7%, RED 7%, PDR 6%, OLA 4%, PPA 2%; seats by party - MEP 11, AVP 8,
MPA 1, RED 1


Judicial branch:

Common Court of Justice of Aruba (judges are appointed by the
monarch)


Political parties and leaders:

Aliansa/Aruban Social Movement or MSA [Robert WEVER]; Aruban Liberal
Organization or OLA [Glenbert CROES]; Aruban Patriotic Movement or
MPA [Monica ARENDS-KOCK]; Aruban Patriotic Party or PPA [Benny
NISBET]; Aruban People's Party or AVP [Mike EMAN]; People's
Electoral Movement Party or MEP [Nelson O. ODUBER]; Real Democracy
or PDR [Andin BIKKER]; RED [Rudy LAMPE]; Workers Political Platform
or PTT [Gregorio WOLFF]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: environmental groups


International organization participation:

Caricom (observer), ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITUC, UNESCO
(associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCL, WFTU, WMO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - Mr.
Henry BAARH, Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba at the Embassy of
the Kingdom of the Netherlands


Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Aruba; the Consul General to
Netherlands Antilles is accredited to Aruba


Flag description:

blue, with two narrow, horizontal, yellow stripes across the lower
portion and a red, four-pointed star outlined in white in the upper
hoist-side corner


Economy
Aruba



Economy - overview:

Tourism is the mainstay of the small, open Aruban economy, with
offshore banking and oil refining and storage also important. The
rapid growth of the tourism sector over the last decade has resulted
in a substantial expansion of other activities. Over 1.5 million
tourists per year visit Aruba, with 75% of those from the US.
Construction continues to boom, with hotel capacity five times the
1985 level. In addition, the country's oil refinery reopened in
1993, providing a major source of employment, foreign exchange
earnings, and growth. Tourist arrivals have rebounded strongly
following a dip after the 11 September 2001 attacks. The island
experiences only a brief low season, and hotel occupancy in 2004
averaged 80%, compared to 68% throughout the rest of the Caribbean.
The government has made cutting the budget and trade deficits a high
priority.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.258 billion (2005 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$2.258 billion (2005 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

2.4% (2005 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$21,800 (2004 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 0.4%
industry: 33.3%
services: 66.3% (2002 est.)


Labor force:

41,500 (2004 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
note: most employment is in wholesale and retail trade and repair,
followed by hotels and restaurants; oil refining


Unemployment rate:

6.9% (2005 est.)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $507.9 million
expenditures: $577.9 million (2005 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

46.3% of GDP (2005)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.4% (2005)


Central bank discount rate:

5% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

11.01% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$640.9 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$792.9 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$1.348 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

aloes; livestock; fish


Industries:

tourism, transshipment facilities, oil refining


Industrial production growth rate:

NA%


Electricity - production:

800 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

744 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

2,356 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

7,102 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

233,300 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

238,200 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006)


Exports:

$124 million f.o.b.; note - includes oil reexports (2006)


Exports - commodities:

live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery
and electrical equipment, transport equipment


Exports - partners:

Panama 29.7%, Colombia 17%, Netherlands Antilles 13.2%, US 11.3%,
Venezuela 10.9%, Netherlands 9.2% (2007)


Imports:

$1.054 billion f.o.b. (2006)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil for refining and
reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs


Imports - partners:

US 54.6%, Netherlands 12%, UK 4.7% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$11.3 million (2004)


Debt - external:

$478.6 million (2005 est.)


Currency (code):

Aruban guilder/florin (AWG)


Currency code:

AWG


Exchange rates:

Aruban guilders/florins (AWG) per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.79
(2006), 1.79 (2005), 1.79 (2004), 1.79 (2003)


Communications
Aruba



Telephones - main lines in use:

38,700 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

105,700 (2006)


Telephone system:

general assessment: modern fully automatic telecommunications system
domestic: increased competition through privatization; 3 wireless
service providers are now licensed
international: country code - 297; landing site for the PAN-AM
submarine telecommunications cable system that extends from the US
Virgin Islands through Aruba to Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and the
west coast of South America; extensive interisland microwave radio
relay links (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2004)


Radios:

50,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (1997)


Televisions:

20,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.aw


Internet hosts:

17,661 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

NA


Internet users:

24,000 (2007)


Transportation
Aruba



Airports:

1 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2007)


Ports and terminals:

Barcadera, Oranjestad, Sint Nicolaas


Military
Aruba



Military branches:

no regular indigenous military forces; the Netherlands maintains a
detachment of marines, a frigate, and an amphibious combat
detachment in the neighboring Netherlands Antilles (2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 24,585
females age 16-49: 25,742 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 20,173
females age 16-49: 21,062 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 705
female: 719 (2008 est.)


Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands


Transnational Issues
Aruba



Disputes - international:

none


Illicit drugs:

transit point for US- and Europe-bound narcotics with some
accompanying money-laundering activity; relatively high percentage
of population consumes cocaine



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Introduction
Ashmore and Cartier Islands



Background:

These uninhabited islands came under Australian authority in 1931;
formal administration began two years later. Ashmore Reef supports a
rich and diverse avian and marine habitat; in 1983, it became a
National Nature Reserve. Cartier Island, a former bombing range,
became a marine reserve in 2000.


Geography
Ashmore and Cartier Islands



Location:

Southeastern Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean, midway between
northwestern Australia and Timor island


Geographic coordinates:

12 14 S, 123 05 E


Map references:

Southeast Asia


Area:

total: 5 sq km
land: 5 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Ashmore Reef (West, Middle, and East Islets) and
Cartier Island


Area - comparative:

about eight times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

74.1 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


Climate:

tropical


Terrain:

low with sand and coral


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 3 m


Natural resources:

fish


Land use:

arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (all grass and sand) (2005)


Irrigated land:

0 sq km


Natural hazards:

surrounded by shoals and reefs that can pose maritime hazards


Environment - current issues:

illegal killing of protected wildlife by traditional Indonesian
fisherman, as well as fishing by non-traditional Indonesian vessels,
are ongoing problems


Geography - note:

Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve established in August 1983;
Cartier Island Marine Reserve established in 2000


People
Ashmore and Cartier Islands



Population:

no indigenous inhabitants
note: Indonesian fishermen are allowed access to the lagoon and
fresh water at Ashmore Reef's West Island; access to East and Middle
Islands is by permit only


Government
Ashmore and Cartier Islands



Country name:

conventional long form: Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
conventional short form: Ashmore and Cartier Islands


Dependency status:

territory of Australia; administered by the Australian
Attorney-General's Department


Legal system:

the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia and the laws of the
Northern Territory of Australia, where applicable, apply


Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (territory of Australia)


Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (territory of Australia)


Flag description:

the flag of Australia is used


Economy
Ashmore and Cartier Islands



Economy - overview:

no economic activity



Transportation
Ashmore and Cartier Islands



Ports and terminals:

none; offshore anchorage only


Military
Ashmore and Cartier Islands



Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of Australia; periodic visits by the
Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force


Transnational Issues
Ashmore and Cartier Islands



Disputes - international:

as the closest Australian territory to Indonesia, these islands
became the target of human traffickers for the landing of illegal
immigrants; in 2001, the Australian government removed these islands
from the Australian Migration Zone making illegal arrivals
ineligible for temporary visas and entry into Australia



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Atlantic Ocean

Introduction
Atlantic Ocean



Background:

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's five oceans
(after the Pacific Ocean, but larger than the Indian Ocean, Southern
Ocean, and Arctic Ocean). The Kiel Canal (Germany), Oresund
(Denmark-Sweden), Bosporus (Turkey), Strait of Gibraltar
(Morocco-Spain), and the Saint Lawrence Seaway (Canada-US) are
important strategic access waterways. The decision by the
International Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 to
delimit a fifth world ocean, the Southern Ocean, removed the portion
of the Atlantic Ocean south of 60 degrees south latitude.


Geography
Atlantic Ocean



Location:

body of water between Africa, Europe, the Southern Ocean, and the
Western Hemisphere


Geographic coordinates:

0 00 N, 25 00 W


Map references:

Political Map of the World


Area:

total: 76.762 million sq km
note: includes Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caribbean Sea, Davis Strait,
Denmark Strait, part of the Drake Passage, Gulf of Mexico, Labrador
Sea, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Norwegian Sea, almost all of the
Scotia Sea, and other tributary water bodies


Area - comparative:

slightly less than 6.5 times the size of the US


Coastline:

111,866 km


Climate:

tropical cyclones (hurricanes) develop off the coast of Africa near
Cape Verde and move westward into the Caribbean Sea; hurricanes can
occur from May to December, but are most frequent from August to
November


Terrain:

surface usually covered with sea ice in Labrador Sea, Denmark
Strait, and coastal portions of the Baltic Sea from October to June;
clockwise warm-water gyre (broad, circular system of currents) in
the northern Atlantic, counterclockwise warm-water gyre in the
southern Atlantic; the ocean floor is dominated by the Mid-Atlantic
Ridge, a rugged north-south centerline for the entire Atlantic basin


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Milwaukee Deep in the Puerto Rico Trench -8,605 m
highest point: sea level 0 m


Natural resources:

oil and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales), sand
and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules,
precious stones


Natural hazards:

icebergs common in Davis Strait, Denmark Strait, and the
northwestern Atlantic Ocean from February to August and have been
spotted as far south as Bermuda and the Madeira Islands; ships
subject to superstructure icing in extreme northern Atlantic from
October to May; persistent fog can be a maritime hazard from May to
September; hurricanes (May to December)


Environment - current issues:

endangered marine species include the manatee, seals, sea lions,
turtles, and whales; drift net fishing is hastening the decline of
fish stocks and contributing to international disputes; municipal
sludge pollution off eastern US, southern Brazil, and eastern
Argentina; oil pollution in Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Lake
Maracaibo, Mediterranean Sea, and North Sea; industrial waste and
municipal sewage pollution in Baltic Sea, North Sea, and
Mediterranean Sea


Geography - note:

major chokepoints include the Dardanelles, Strait of Gibraltar,
access to the Panama and Suez Canals; strategic straits include the
Strait of Dover, Straits of Florida, Mona Passage, The Sound
(Oresund), and Windward Passage; the Equator divides the Atlantic
Ocean into the North Atlantic Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean



Economy
Atlantic Ocean



Economy - overview:

The Atlantic Ocean provides some of the world's most heavily
trafficked sea routes, between and within the Eastern and Western
Hemispheres. Other economic activity includes the exploitation of
natural resources, e.g., fishing, dredging of aragonite sands (The
Bahamas), and production of crude oil and natural gas (Caribbean
Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and North Sea).



Transportation
Atlantic Ocean



Ports and terminals:

Alexandria (Egypt), Algiers (Algeria), Antwerp (Belgium), Barcelona
(Spain), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Casablanca (Morocco), Colon
(Panama), Copenhagen (Denmark), Dakar (Senegal), Gdansk (Poland),
Hamburg (Germany), Helsinki (Finland), Las Palmas (Canary Islands,
Spain), Le Havre (France), Lisbon (Portugal), London (UK), Marseille
(France), Montevideo (Uruguay), Montreal (Canada), Naples (Italy),
New Orleans (US), New York (US), Oran (Algeria), Oslo (Norway),
Peiraiefs or Piraeus (Greece), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Rotterdam
(Netherlands), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Stockholm (Sweden)


Transportation - note:

Kiel Canal and Saint Lawrence Seaway are two important waterways;
significant domestic commercial and recreational use of Intracoastal
Waterway on central and south Atlantic seaboard and Gulf of Mexico
coast of US; the International Maritime Bureau reports the
territorial waters of littoral states and offshore Atlantic waters
as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships,
particularly in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, the east coast
of Brazil, and the Caribbean Sea; numerous commercial vessels have
been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway;
hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargoes stolen; crews have
been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen



Transnational Issues
Atlantic Ocean



Disputes - international:

some maritime disputes (see littoral states)



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Australia

Introduction
Australia



Background:

Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia
about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in
the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770,
when Capt. James COOK took possession in the name of Great Britain.
Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they
federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new
country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop
agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major
contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. In recent
decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally
competitive, advanced market economy. It boasted one of the OECD's
fastest growing economies during the 1990s, a performance due in
large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s. Long-term
concerns include climate-change issues such as the depletion of the
ozone layer and more frequent droughts, and management and
conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.


Geography
Australia



Location:

Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific
Ocean


Geographic coordinates:

27 00 S, 133 00 E


Map references:

Oceania


Area:

total: 7,686,850 sq km
land: 7,617,930 sq km
water: 68,920 sq km
note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

25,760 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


Climate:

generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in
north


Terrain:

mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m
highest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 m


Natural resources:

bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel,
tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum
note: Australia is the world's largest net exporter of coal
accounting for 29% of global coal exports


Land use:

arable land: 6.15% (includes about 27 million hectares of cultivated
grassland)
permanent crops: 0.04%
other: 93.81% (2005)


Irrigated land:

25,450 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

398 cu km (1995)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 24.06 cu km/yr (15%/10%/75%)
per capita: 1,193 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires


Environment - current issues:

soil erosion from overgrazing, industrial development, urbanization,
and poor farming practices; soil salinity rising due to the use of
poor quality water; desertification; clearing for agricultural
purposes threatens the natural habitat of many unique animal and
plant species; the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast, the
largest coral reef in the world, is threatened by increased shipping
and its popularity as a tourist site; limited natural fresh water
resources


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population
concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; the
invigorating sea breeze known as the "Fremantle Doctor" affects the
city of Perth on the west coast, and is one of the most consistent
winds in the world


People
Australia



Population:

21,007,310 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 18.8% (male 2,022,151/female 1,919,002)
15-64 years: 67.9% (male 7,233,555/female 7,038,722)
65 years and over: 13.3% (male 1,266,166/female 1,527,714) (2008
est.)


Median age:

total: 37.1 years
male: 36.4 years
female: 37.9 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.221% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

12.55 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

6.68 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

6.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.82 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.15 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 81.53 years
male: 79.16 years
female: 84.02 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.78 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

14,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Australian(s)
adjective: Australian


Ethnic groups:

white 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%


Religions:

Catholic 26.4%, Anglican 20.5%, other Christian 20.5%, Buddhist
1.9%, Muslim 1.5%, other 1.2%, unspecified 12.7%, none 15.3% (2001
Census)


Languages:

English 79.1%, Chinese 2.1%, Italian 1.9%, other 11.1%, unspecified
5.8% (2001 Census)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 20 years
male: 20 years
female: 21 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

4.5% of GDP (2005)


Government
Australia



Country name:

conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia
conventional short form: Australia


Government type:

federal parliamentary democracy


Capital:

name: Canberra
geographic coordinates: 35 17 S, 149 13 E
time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in October; ends last
Sunday in March
note: Australia is divided into three time zones


Administrative divisions:

6 states and 2 territories*; Australian Capital Territory*, New
South Wales, Northern Territory*, Queensland, South Australia,
Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia


Dependent areas:

Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling)
Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands,
Norfolk Island, Macquarie Island


Independence:

1 January 1901 (federation of UK colonies)


National holiday:

Australia Day, 26 January (1788); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the
anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New
Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25
April (1915)


Constitution:

9 July 1900, effective 1 January 1901


Legal system:

based on English common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction,
with reservations


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen of Australia ELIZABETH II (since 6 February
1952); represented by Governor General Quentin BRYCE (since 5
September 2008)
head of government: Prime Minister Kevin RUDD (since 3 December
2007); Deputy Prime Minister Julia GILLARD (since 3 December 2007)
cabinet: prime minister nominates, from among members of Parliament,
candidates who are subsequently sworn in by the governor general to
serve as government ministers
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by
the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; following
legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of
a majority coalition is sworn in as prime minister by the governor
general


Legislative branch:

bicameral Federal Parliament consists of the Senate (76 seats; 12
members from each of the six states and 2 from each of the two
mainland territories; one-half of state members are elected every
three years by popular vote to serve six-year terms while all
territory members are elected every three years) and the House of
Representatives (150 seats; members elected by popular preferential
vote to serve terms of up to three-years; no state can have fewer
than 5 representatives)
elections: Senate - last held 24 November 2007 (next to be held no
later than 2010); House of Representatives - last held 24 November
2007 (next to be called no later than 2010)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by
party - Liberal Party-National Party coalition 37, Australian Labor
Party 32, Australian Greens 5, Family First Party 1, other 1; House
of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
Australian Labor Party 83, Liberal Party 55, National Party 10,
independents 2


Judicial branch:

High Court (the chief justice and six other justices are appointed
by the governor general)


Political parties and leaders:

Australian Democrats [Lyn ALLISON]; Australian Greens [Bob BROWN];
Australian Labor Party [Kevin RUDD]; Country Liberal Party [Jodeen
CARNEY]; Family First Party [Steve FIELDING]; Liberal Party [Malcolm
TURNBULL]; The Nationals [Warren TRUSS]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: business groups; environmental groups; social groups; trade
unions


International organization participation:

ADB, ANZUS, APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group,
BIS, C, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,
ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, Paris
Club, PCA, PIF, SAARC (observer), Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNHCR, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO, WTO, ZC


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Dennis J. RICHARDSON
chancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 797-3000
FAX: [1] (202) 797-3168
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New
York, San Francisco


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Robert D. McCALLUM, Jr.
embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital
Territory 2600
mailing address: APO AP 96549
telephone: [61] (02) 6214-5600
FAX: [61] (02) 6214-5970
consulate(s) general: Melbourne, Perth, Sydney


Flag description:

blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and a
large seven-pointed star in the lower hoist-side quadrant known as
the Commonwealth or Federation Star, representing the federation of
the colonies of Australia in 1901; the star depicts one point for
each of the six original states and one representing all of
Australia's internal and external territories; on the fly half is a
representation of the Southern Cross constellation in white with one
small five-pointed star and four larger, seven-pointed stars


Economy
Australia



Economy - overview:

Australia has an enviable, strong economy with a per capita GDP on
par with the four dominant West European economies. Robust business
and consumer confidence and high export prices for raw materials and
agricultural products are fueling the economy, particularly in
mining states. Australia's emphasis on reforms, low inflation, a
housing market boom, and growing ties with China have been key
factors behind the economy's 16 solid years of expansion. Drought,
robust import demand, and a strong currency have pushed the trade
deficit up in recent years, while infrastructure bottlenecks and a
tight labor market are constraining growth in export volumes and
stoking inflation. Australia's budget has been in surplus since 2002
due to strong revenue growth.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$773 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$908.8 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

4.3% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$37,300 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 3%
industry: 26.4%
services: 70.6% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

10.95 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 21.2%
services: 75.2% (2004 est.)


Unemployment rate:

4.4% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 25.4% (1994)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

30.5 (2006)


Investment (gross fixed):

27.3% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $321.9 billion
expenditures: $315.8 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 July - 30 June


Public debt:

15.6% of GDP
note: the Commonwealth government eliminated its net debt in 2006,
but continues a gross debt issue to support the market for risk-free
securities (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.3% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

NA


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10.02% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$298.5 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$667.2 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$1.312 trillion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits, cattle, sheep, poultry


Industries:

mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing,
chemicals, steel


Industrial production growth rate:

4.1% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

244.2 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

220 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 90.8%
hydro: 8.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.9% (2001)


Oil - production:

600,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)


Oil - consumption:

966,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - exports:

337,400 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

615,000 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

1.5 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

43.62 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

29.4 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

19.91 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

5.689 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

-$56.78 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$142.1 billion (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

coal, iron ore, gold, meat, wool, alumina, wheat, machinery and
transport equipment


Exports - partners:

Japan 18.9%, China 14.2%, South Korea 8%, US 6%, NZ 5.6%, India
5.5%, UK 4.2% (2007)


Imports:

$160 billion (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines,
telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum
products


Imports - partners:

China 15.5%, US 12.8%, Japan 9.6%, Singapore 5.6%, Germany 5.2%, UK
4.3%, Thailand 4.2% (2007)


Economic aid - donor:

ODA, $2.123 billion (2006)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$26.91 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$826.4 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$315 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$280.6 billion (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$804.1 billion (2005)


Currency (code):

Australian dollar (AUD)


Currency code:

AUD


Exchange rates:

Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar - 1.2137 (2007), 1.3285
(2006), 1.3095 (2005), 1.3598 (2004), 1.5419 (2003)


Communications
Australia



Telephones - main lines in use:

9.76 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

21.26 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: excellent domestic and international service
domestic: domestic satellite system; significant use of
radiotelephone in areas of low population density; rapid growth of
mobile cellular telephones
international: country code - 61; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3
optical telecommunications submarine cable with links to Asia, the
Middle East, and Europe; the Southern Cross fiber optic submarine
cable provides links to New Zealand and the United States; satellite
earth stations - 19 (10 Intelsat - 4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific
Ocean, 2 Inmarsat - Indian and Pacific Ocean regions, 2 Globalstar,
5 other) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 262, FM 345, shortwave 1 (1998)


Radios:

25.5 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

104 (1997)


Televisions:

10.15 million (1997)


Internet country code:

.au


Internet hosts:

11.134 million (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

571 (2002)


Internet users:

11.24 million (2007)


Transportation
Australia



Airports:

461 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 317
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 138
914 to 1,523 m: 143
under 914 m: 13 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 144
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 109
under 914 m: 16 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Pipelines:

condensate/gas 469 km; gas 26,719 km; liquid petroleum gas 240 km;
oil 3,720 km; oil/gas/water 110 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 38,550 km
broad gauge: 3,727 km 1.600-m gauge
standard gauge: 20,519 km 1.435-m gauge (1,877 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 14,074 km 1.067-m gauge (2,453 km electrified)
dual gauge: 230 km dual gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 812,972 km
paved: 341,448 km
unpaved: 471,524 km (2004)


Waterways:

2,000 km (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling
river systems) (2006)


Merchant marine:

total: 50
by type: bulk carrier 12, cargo 5, chemical tanker 1, container 1,
liquefied gas 4, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 8,
roll on/roll off 5
foreign-owned: 24 (Canada 9, France 1, Germany 2, Japan 1,
Netherlands 2, Norway 1, Singapore 1, UK 5, US 2)
registered in other countries: 28 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Belize 1,
Bermuda 1, Dominica 2, Fiji 1, Marshall Islands 1, NZ 1, Panama 4,
Singapore 12, Tonga 1, US 1, Vanuatu 2) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Brisbane, Dampier, Fremantle, Gladstone, Hay Point, Melbourne,
Newcastle, Port Hedland, Port Kembla, Port Walcott, Sydney


Military
Australia



Military branches:

Australian Defense Force (ADF): Australian Army, Royal Australian
Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Special Operations Command (2006)


Military service age and obligation:

17 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental
consent); no conscription; women allowed to serve in Army combat
units in non-combat support roles (2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 4,999,988
females age 16-49: 4,870,043 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 4,137,176
females age 16-49: 4,022,588 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 144,934
female: 137,511 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

2.4% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Australia



Disputes - international:

Timor-Leste and Australia agreed in 2005 to defer the disputed
portion of the boundary for fifty years and to split hydrocarbon
revenues evenly outside the Joint Petroleum Development Area covered
by the 2002 Timor Sea Treaty; dispute with Timor-Leste hampers
creation of a revised maritime boundary with Indonesia in the Timor
Sea; regional states continue to express concern over Australia's
2004 declaration of a 1,000-nautical mile-wide maritime
identification zone; Australia asserts land and maritime claims to
Antarctica; in 2004 Australia submitted its claims to Commission on
the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) to extend its continental
margins covering over 3.37 million square kilometers, expanding its
seabed roughly thirty percent more than its claimed exclusive
economic zone; since 2003, Australia has led the Regional Assistance
Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to maintain civil and
political order and reinforce regional security


Illicit drugs:

Tasmania is one of the world's major suppliers of licit opiate
products; government maintains strict controls over areas of opium
poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate; major
consumer of cocaine and amphetamines



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Austria

Introduction
Austria



Background:

Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire,
Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World
War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent
occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status
remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended
the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade
unification with Germany. A constitutional law that same year
declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for
Soviet military withdrawal. The Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and
Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995 have altered the
meaning of this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country,
Austria entered the EU Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.


Geography
Austria



Location:

Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia


Geographic coordinates:

47 20 N, 13 20 E


Map references:

Europe


Area:

total: 83,870 sq km
land: 82,444 sq km
water: 1,426 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maine


Land boundaries:

total: 2,562 km
border countries: Czech Republic 362 km, Germany 784 km, Hungary 366
km, Italy 430 km, Liechtenstein 35 km, Slovakia 91 km, Slovenia 330
km, Switzerland 164 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and
some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with
occasional showers


Terrain:

in the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and
northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Neusiedler See 115 m
highest point: Grossglockner 3,798 m


Natural resources:

oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony,
magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 16.59%
permanent crops: 0.85%
other: 82.56% (2005)


Irrigated land:

40 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

84 cu km (2005)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 3.67 cu km/yr (35%/64%/1%)
per capita: 448 cu m/yr (1999)


Natural hazards:

landslides; avalanches; earthquakes


Environment - current issues:

some forest degradation caused by air and soil pollution; soil
pollution results from the use of agricultural chemicals; air
pollution results from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power
stations and industrial plants and from trucks transiting Austria
between northern and southern Europe


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,
Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,
Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

landlocked; strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe
with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys; major river
is the Danube; population is concentrated on eastern lowlands
because of steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures elsewhere


People
Austria



Population:

8,205,533 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 14.8% (male 621,326/female 592,131)
15-64 years: 67.5% (male 2,783,531/female 2,753,389)
65 years and over: 17.7% (male 599,415/female 855,741) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 41.7 years
male: 40.7 years
female: 42.8 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.064% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

8.66 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

9.91 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

1.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.48 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.48 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 79.36 years
male: 76.46 years
female: 82.41 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.38 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.3% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

10,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Austrian(s)
adjective: Austrian


Ethnic groups:

Austrians 91.1%, former Yugoslavs 4% (includes Croatians, Slovenes,
Serbs, and Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, German 0.9%, other or unspecified
2.4% (2001 census)


Religions:

Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%,
unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)


Languages:

German (official nationwide) 88.6%, Turkish 2.3%, Serbian 2.2%,
Croatian (official in Burgenland) 1.6%, other (includes Slovene,
official in Carinthia, and Hungarian, official in Burgenland) 5.3%
(2001 census)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: NA
female: NA


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

5.4% of GDP (2005)


Government
Austria



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Austria
conventional short form: Austria
local long form: Republik Oesterreich
local short form: Oesterreich


Government type:

federal republic


Capital:

name: Vienna
geographic coordinates: 48 12 N, 16 22 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:

9 states (Bundeslaender, singular - Bundesland); Burgenland,
Kaernten (Carinthia), Niederoesterreich (Lower Austria),
Oberoesterreich (Upper Austria), Salzburg, Steiermark (Styria),
Tirol (Tyrol), Vorarlberg, Wien (Vienna)


Independence:

976 (Margravate of Austria established); 17 September 1156 (Duchy of
Austria founded); 11 August 1804 (Austrian Empire proclaimed); 12
November 1918 (republic proclaimed)


National holiday:

National Day, 26 October (1955); note - commemorates the passage of
the law on permanent neutrality


Constitution:

1920; revised 1929; reinstated 1 May 1945; note - during the period
1 May 1934-1 May 1945 there was a fascist (corporative) constitution
in place


Legal system:

civil law system with Roman law origin; judicial review of
legislative acts by the Constitutional Court; separate
administrative and civil/penal supreme courts; accepts compulsory
ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

16 years of age; universal; note - reduced from 18 years of age in
2007


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Heinz FISCHER (SPOe) (since 8 July 2004)
head of government: Chancellor Werner FAYMANN (SPOe) (since 2
December 2008); Vice Chancellor Josef PROELL (OeVP) (since 2
December 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers chosen by the president on the advice
of the chancellor
elections: president elected by direct popular vote for a six-year
term (eligible for a second term); presidential election last held
25 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2010); chancellor formally
chosen by the president but determined by the coalition parties
forming a parliamentary majority; vice chancellor chosen by the
president on the advice of the chancellor
election results: Heinz FISCHER elected president; percent of vote -
Heinz FISCHER 52.4%, Benita FERRERO-WALDNER 47.6%
note: government coalition - SPOe and OeVP


Legislative branch:

bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung consists of Federal
Council or Bundesrat (62 seats; members chosen by state parliaments
with each state receiving 3 to 12 members according to its
population; members serve a five- or six-year term) and the National
Council or Nationalrat (183 seats; members elected by direct popular
vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: National Council - last held 28 September 2008 (next to
be held by September 2013)
election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - SPOe
29.3%, OeVP 26%, FPOe 17.5%, BZOe 10.7%, Greens 10.4%, other 6.1%;
seats by party - SPOe 57, OeVP 51, FPOe 34, BZOe 21, Greens 20


Judicial branch:

Supreme Judicial Court or Oberster Gerichtshof; Administrative Court
or Verwaltungsgerichtshof; Constitutional Court or
Verfassungsgerichtshof


Political parties and leaders:

Alliance for the Future of Austria or BZOe [Stefan PETZNER];
Austrian People's Party or OeVP [Wilhelm MOLTERER]; Freedom Party of
Austria or FPOe [Heinz Christian STRACHE]; Social Democratic Party
of Austria or SPOe [Werner FAYMANN]; The Greens [Alexander VAN DER
BELLEN]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Austrian Trade Union Federation or OeGB (nominally independent but
primarily Social Democratic); Federal Economic Chamber;
OeVP-oriented Association of Austrian Industrialists or IV; Roman
Catholic Church, including its chief lay organization, Catholic
Action
other: three composite leagues of the Austrian People's Party or
OeVP representing business, labor, farmers, and other nongovernment
organizations in the areas of environment and human rights


International organization participation:

ACCT (observer), ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional
members), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, CERN,
EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM
(guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE,
Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN,
UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOMIG, UNTSO, UNWTO,
UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Deputy Chief of Mission
Andreas Riecken
chancery: 3524 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008-3035
telephone: [1] (202) 895-6700
FAX: [1] (202) 895-6750
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador David F. GIRARD-DICARLO
embassy: Boltzmanngasse 16, A-1090, Vienna
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [43] (1) 31339-0
FAX: [43] (1) 3100682


Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red


Economy
Austria



Economy - overview:

Austria, with its well-developed market economy and high standard of
living, is closely tied to other EU economies, especially Germany's.
The Austrian economy also benefits greatly from strong commercial
relations, especially in the banking and insurance sectors, with
central, eastern, and southeastern Europe. The economy features a
large service sector, a sound industrial sector, and a small, but
highly developed agricultural sector. Membership in the EU has drawn
an influx of foreign investors attracted by Austria's access to the
single European market and proximity to the new EU economies. The
outgoing government has successfully pursued a comprehensive
economic reform program, aimed at streamlining government and
creating a more competitive business environment, further
strengthening Austria's attractiveness as an investment location. It
has implemented effective pension reforms; however, lower taxes in
2005-06 led to a small budget deficit in 2006 and 2007. Boosted by
strong exports, growth nevertheless reached 3.3% in both 2006 and
2007, although the economy may slow in 2008 because of the strong
euro, high oil prices, and problems in international financial
markets. To meet increased competition - especially from new EU
members and Central European countries - Austria will need to
continue restructuring, emphasizing knowledge-based sectors of the
economy, and encouraging greater labor flexibility and greater labor
participation by its aging population.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$322 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$373.9 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

3.1% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$39,300 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1.6%
industry: 30.3%
services: 68% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

3.566 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 3%
industry: 27%
services: 70% (2005 est.)


Unemployment rate:

4.4% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

5.9% (2004)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 22.5% (2004)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

26 (2005)


Investment (gross fixed):

20.6% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $177.5 billion
expenditures: $179.9 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

59.1% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.2% (2007 est.)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

6.3% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

NA
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the Euro
Area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for
the 15 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual
members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi
money circulating within their own borders


Stock of quasi money:

NA


Stock of domestic credit:

$599.5 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

grains, potatoes, sugar beets, wine, fruit; dairy products, cattle,
pigs, poultry; lumber


Industries:

construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals,
chemicals, lumber and wood processing, paper and paperboard,
communications equipment, tourism


Industrial production growth rate:

5.7% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

59.31 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

62.35 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

15.51 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

22.13 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 29.3%
hydro: 67.2%
nuclear: 0%
other: 3.5% (2001)


Oil - production:

24,920 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

289,400 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - exports:

46,300 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

313,500 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

50 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

1.848 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

8.436 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

2.767 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

9.658 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

16.14 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$12.03 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$162.1 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and
paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles,
foodstuffs


Exports - partners:

Germany 29.8%, Italy 8.8%, US 4.9%, Switzerland 4.3% (2007)


Imports:

$160.3 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil
and oil products; foodstuffs


Imports - partners:

Germany 45.5%, Italy 7.1%, Switzerland 5%, Netherlands 4.3% (2007)


Economic aid - donor:

ODA, $1.498 billion (2006)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$18.22 billion (2006 est.)


Debt - external:

$752.5 billion (30 June 2007)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$222.9 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$208.1 billion (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$126.3 billion (2005)


Currency (code):

euro (EUR)


Currency code:

EUR


Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041
(2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)


Communications
Austria



Telephones - main lines in use:

3.374 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

9.768 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: highly developed and efficient
domestic: fixed-line subscribership has been in decline since the
mid-1990s with mobile-cellular subscribership eclipsing it by the
late 1990s; the fiber-optic net is very extensive; all telephone
applications and Internet services are available
international: country code - 43; satellite earth stations - 15; in
addition, there are about 600 VSATs (very small aperture terminals)
(2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 65 (plus several hundred repeaters), shortwave 1 (2001)


Radios:

6.08 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

10 (plus more than 1,000 repeaters) (2001)


Televisions:

4.25 million (1997)


Internet country code:

.at


Internet hosts:

2.806 million (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

37 (2000)


Internet users:

4.277 million (2007)


Transportation
Austria



Airports:

55 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 25
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 15 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 30
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 26 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 2,722 km; oil 663 km; refined products 157 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 6,383 km
standard gauge: 5,924 km 1.435-m gauge (3,772 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 371 km 1.000-m gauge; 88 km 0.760-m gauge (25 km
electrified) (2006)


Roadways:

total: 107,262 km
paved: 107,262 km (includes 1,677 km of expressways) (2006)


Waterways:

358 km (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 4
by type: cargo 2, container 2
foreign-owned: 2 (Netherlands 2)
registered in other countries: 4 (Cyprus 1, Malta 1, Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines 2) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Enns, Krems, Linz, Vienna


Military
Austria



Military branches:

Land Forces (KdoLdSK), Air Forces (KdoLuSK)


Military service age and obligation:

18-35 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age
for male or female voluntary service; service obligation 7 months of
training, followed by an 8-year reserve obligation (2006)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,986,411
females age 16-49: 1,944,834 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,617,385
females age 16-49: 1,583,886 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 50,869
female: 48,246 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

0.9% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Austria



Disputes - international:

while threats of international legal action never materialized in
2007, 915,220 Austrians, with the support of the newly elected
Freedom Party, signed a petition in January 2008, demanding that
Austria block the Czech Republic's accession to the EU unless Prague
closes its nuclear power plant in Temelin, bordering Austria


Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and South American
cocaine destined for Western Europe; increasing consumption of
European-produced synthetic drugs



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Azerbaijan

Introduction
Azerbaijan



Background:

Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Muslim
population - was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it regained
its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its
conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave
(largely Armenian populated). Azerbaijan has lost 16% of its
territory and must support some 600,000 internally displaced persons
as a result of the conflict. Corruption is ubiquitous, and the
government has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the
poverty rate has been reduced in recent years, the promise of
widespread wealth from development of Azerbaijan's energy sector
remains largely unfulfilled.


Geography
Azerbaijan



Location:

Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and
Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range


Geographic coordinates:

40 30 N, 47 30 E


Map references:

Asia


Area:

total: 86,600 sq km
land: 86,100 sq km
water: 500 sq km
note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the
Nagorno-Karabakh region; the region's autonomy was abolished by
Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maine


Land boundaries:

total: 2,013 km
border countries: Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia
(with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran
(with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan
exclave) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

dry, semiarid steppe


Terrain:

large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below
sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag
Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi
(Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m


Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite


Land use:

arable land: 20.62%
permanent crops: 2.61%
other: 76.77% (2005)


Irrigated land:

14,550 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

30.3 cu km (1997)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 17.25 cu km/yr (5%/28%/68%)
per capita: 2,051 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

droughts


Environment - current issues:

local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula)
(including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the
ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe
air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil
spills, from the use of DDT pesticide, and from toxic defoliants
used in the production of cotton


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are
landlocked


People
Azerbaijan



Population:

8,177,717 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 24.6% (male 1,061,318/female 947,607)
15-64 years: 68.6% (male 2,753,277/female 2,855,406)
65 years and over: 6.8% (male 208,293/female 351,816) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 27.9 years
male: 26.3 years
female: 29.7 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.723% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

17.52 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

8.32 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-1.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.14 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 56.43 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 62.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 66.31 years
male: 62.2 years
female: 71 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

2.05 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

1,400 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2001 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Azerbaijani(s)
adjective: Azerbaijani


Ethnic groups:

Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9%
(1999 census)
note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh
region


Religions:

Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other
1.8% (1995 est.)
note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan;
percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower


Languages:

Azerbaijani (Azeri) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%,
other 3.3%, unspecified 1% (1999 census)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.5%
female: 98.2% (1999 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

2.1% of GDP (2006)


Government
Azerbaijan



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan
conventional short form: Azerbaijan
local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi
local short form: Azarbaycan
former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: Baku (Baki, Baky)
geographic coordinates: 40 23 N, 49 52 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:

59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar -
singular), 1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika)
rayons: Abseron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu,
Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, Astara Rayonu, Balakan Rayonu, Barda
Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu,
Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu,
Gadabay Rayonu, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu,
Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu,
Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu,
Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax
Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu,
Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi
Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Susa Rayonu,
Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xanlar
Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimli
Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab
Rayonu
cities: Ali Bayramli Sahari, Baki Sahari, Ganca Sahari, Lankaran
Sahari, Mingacevir Sahari, Naftalan Sahari, Saki Sahari, Sumqayit
Sahari, Susa Sahari, Xankandi Sahari, Yevlax Sahari
autonomous republic: Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi


Independence:

30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)


National holiday:

Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)


Constitution:

adopted 12 November 1995


Legal system:

based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Ilham ALIYEV (since 31 October 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Artur RASIZADE (since 4 November
2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub EYYUBOV (since June 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and
confirmed by the National Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote to a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 15 October 2008
(next to be held in October 2013); prime minister and first deputy
prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the
National Assembly
election results: Ilham ALIYEV reelected president; percent of vote
- Ilham ALIYEV 88.7%, Igbal AGHAZADE 2.9%, five other candidates
with smaller percentages
note: several political parties boycotted the election due to unfair
conditions; OSCE observers concluded that the election did not meet
international standards


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members
elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 6 November 2005 (next to be held in November
2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
Yeni 58, Azadliq coalition 8, CSP 2, Motherland 2, other parties
with single seats 9, independents 42, undetermined 4


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court


Political parties and leaders:

Azadliq (Freedom) coalition (Popular Front Party, Liberal Party,
Citizens' Development Party); Azerbaijan Democratic Party or ADP
[Sardar JALALOGLU]; Azerbaijan Democratic Reforms Party (ADRP) Youth
Movement [Ramin HAJILI]; Azerbaijan Popular Front or APF, now split
in two [Ali KARIMLI, leader of "Reform" APF party; Mirmahmud
MIRALI-OGLU, leader of "Classic" APF party]; Azerbaijan Public Forum
[Eldar NAMAZOV]; Citizens' Development Party [Ali ALIYEV]; Civil
Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLY]; Dalga Youth Movement
[Vafa JAFAROVA]; Green Party [Mais GULALIYEV and Tarana MAMMADOVA];
Hope (Umid) Party [Iqbal AGAZADE]; Ireli Youth Movement [Jeyhun
OSMANLI, Roya TALIBOVA, Farhad MAMMADOV, Elnara GARIBOVA, Elnur
MAMMADOV, Ziya ALIYEV]; Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAILOV]; Liberal
Party of Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA]; Magam Youth Movement
[Emin HUSEYNOV]; Motherland Party [Fazail AGAMALI]; Musavat
(Equality) [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; Musavat Party Youth Movement
[Elnur MAMMADLI]; National Democratic Party or Grey Wolves
(Nationalist, Pan-Turkic) [Iskender HAMIDOV]; Open Society Party
[Rasul GULIYEV, in exile in the US]; Party for National Independence
of Azerbaijan or PNIA [Ayaz RUSTAMOV]; Popular Front Party Youth
Movement [Seymur KHAZIYEV]; Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan or
SDP [Araz ALIZADE and Ayaz MUTALIBOV (in exile)]; Turkish
Nationalist Party [Vugar BAYTURAN]; United Azerbaijan Party [Karrar
ABILOV]; United Azerbaijan National Unity Party [Hajibaba AZIMOV];
United Party [Tahir KARIMLI]; Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party [President
Ilham ALIYEV]; Yeni Azerbaijan Party Youth Movement [Ramil HASANOV];
Yox (No) Youth Movement [Ali ISMAYILOV]
note: opposition parties regularly factionalize and form new parties;


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (self-proclaimed); Karabakh
Liberation Organization; Sadval, Lezgin movement; Talysh
independence movement; Union of Pro-Azerbaijani Forces or UPAF


International organization participation:

ADB, BSEC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD,
ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol,
IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS
(observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Yashar ALIYEV
chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500
FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911
Consulate(s) general: Los Angeles


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Anne E. DERSE
embassy: 83 Azadlig Prospecti, Baku AZ1007
mailing address: American Embassy Baku, US Department of State, 7050
Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050
telephone: [994] (12) 4980-335 through 337
FAX: [994] (12) 4656-671


Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a
crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in red band


Economy
Azerbaijan



Economy - overview:

Azerbaijan's high economic growth in 2006 and 2007 is attributable
to large and growing oil exports. Azerbaijan's oil production
declined through 1997, but has registered an increase every year
since. Negotiation of production-sharing arrangements (PSAs) with
foreign firms, which have committed $60 billion to long-term
oilfield development, should generate the funds needed to spur
future industrial development. Oil production under the first of
these PSAs, with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company,
began in November 1997. A consortium of Western oil companies began
pumping 1 million barrels a day from a large offshore field in early
2006, through a $4 billion pipeline it built from Baku to Turkey's
Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. By 2010 revenues from this project
will double the country's current GDP. Azerbaijan shares all the
formidable problems of the former Soviet republics in making the
transition from a command to a market economy, but its considerable
energy resources brighten its long-term prospects. Baku has only
recently begun making progress on economic reform, and old economic
ties and structures are slowly being replaced. Several other
obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic progress: the need for
stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector, the
continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region,
pervasive corruption, and elevated inflation. Trade with Russia and
the other former Soviet republics is declining in importance, while
trade is building with Turkey and the nations of Europe. Long-term
prospects will depend on world oil prices, the location of new oil
and gas pipelines in the region, and Azerbaijan's ability to manage
its energy wealth.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$64.66 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$31.32 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

23.4% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$8,000 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 6.2%
industry: 63.3%
services: 30.5% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

5.243 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 41%
industry: 7%
services: 52% (2001)


Unemployment rate:

1% official rate (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

24% (2005 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 29.5% (2001)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

36.5 (2001)


Investment (gross fixed):

20% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $6.755 billion
expenditures: $8.572 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

6.7% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

16.7% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

13% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

19.13% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$4.261 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$2.593 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$5.726 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco;
cattle, pigs, sheep, goats


Industries:

petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment;
steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles


Industrial production growth rate:

25% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

23.8 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

27.5 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - exports:

800 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

500 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 89.7%
hydro: 10.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

1.099 million bbl/day (2008 est.)


Oil - consumption:

160,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - exports:

795,600 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - imports:

4,267 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

7 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

9.77 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

9.77 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2005)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$9.019 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$21.27 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs


Exports - partners:

Turkey 17.4%, Italy 15.5%, Russia 8.7%, Iran 7.2%, Indonesia 6.4%,
Israel 6.1%, Georgia 5.7%, US 4.8%, France 4.3% (2007)


Imports:

$6.045 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals


Imports - partners:

Russia 17.6%, Turkey 10.9%, Germany 8.2%, Ukraine 8.2%, UK 7.2%,
Japan 5.2%, China 4.9%, US 4.7% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

ODA, $223.4 million (2005 est.)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$4.273 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$2.439 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$7.829 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$4.912 billion (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Azerbaijani manat (AZN)


Currency code:

AZM


Exchange rates:

Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar - 0.8581 (2007), 0.8934
(2006), 4,727.1 (2005), 4,913.48 (2004), 4,910.73 (2003)
note: on 1 January 2006 Azerbaijan revalued its currency, with 5,000
old manats equal to 1 new manat


Communications
Azerbaijan



Telephones - main lines in use:

1.254 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

4.3 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: inadequate; requires considerable expansion and
modernization; teledensity of 15 main lines per 100 persons is low;
mobile-cellular penetration is increasing and is currently about 50
telephones per 100 persons
domestic: fixed-line telephony and a broad range of other telecom
services are controlled by a state-owned telecommunications monopoly
and growth has been stagnant; more competition exists in the
mobile-cellular market with three providers in 2006; satellite
service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Naxcivan
international: country code - 994; the old Soviet system of cable
and microwave is still serviceable; satellite earth stations - 2
(2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 10, FM 17, shortwave 1 (1998)


Radios:

175,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

2 (1997)


Televisions:

170,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.az


Internet hosts:

6,995 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

2 (2000)


Internet users:

1.036 million (2007)


Transportation
Azerbaijan



Airports:

35 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 27
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 7 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 3,857 km; oil 2,436 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 2,122 km
broad gauge: 2,122 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2006)


Roadways:

total: 59,141 km
paved: 29,210 km
unpaved: 29,931 km (2004)


Merchant marine:

total: 89
by type: cargo 26, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker
46, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 3
registered in other countries: 3 (Malta 2, Panama 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Baku (Baki)


Military
Azerbaijan



Military branches:

Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

men between 18 and 35 are liable for military service; 18 years of
age for voluntary military service; length of military service is 18
months and 12 months for university graduates (2006)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,278,888
females age 16-49: 2,291,770 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,696,167
females age 16-49: 1,923,556 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 94,402
female: 89,686 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

2.6% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Azerbaijan



Disputes - international:

Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh
and since the early 1990s has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan;
over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the
occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were
driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia and
Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to
connect to Naxcivan exclave; Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute;
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia have ratified Caspian seabed
delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to
insist on an even one-fifth allocation and challenges Azerbaijan's
hydrocarbon exploration in disputed waters; bilateral talks continue
with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in
the middle of the Caspian; Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to
discuss the alignment of their boundary at certain crossing areas


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 2,400 (Russia)
IDPs: 580,000-690,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh)
(2007)


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Azerbaijan is primarily a source and transit
country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of
commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; women and some
children from Azerbaijan are trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for
the purpose of sexual exploitation; men and boys are trafficked to
Russia for the purpose of forced labor; Azerbaijan serves as a
transit country for victims from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan,
and Moldova trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Azerbaijan is on the Tier 2 Watch
List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to
combat trafficking in persons, particularly efforts to investigate,
prosecute, and punish traffickers; to address complicity among law
enforcement personnel; and to adequately identify and protect
victims in Azerbaijan; the government has yet to develop a
much-needed mechanism to identify potential trafficking victims and
refer them to safety and care; poor treatment of trafficking victims
in courtrooms continues to be a problem (2008)


Illicit drugs:

limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for
CIS consumption; small government eradication program; transit point
for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia and to a lesser extent
the rest of Europe



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Bahamas, The

Introduction
Bahamas, The



Background:

Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS
first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British
settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony
in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The
Bahamas have prospered through tourism and international banking and
investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a
major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments
to the US and Europe, and its territory is used for smuggling
illegal migrants into the US.


Geography
Bahamas, The



Location:

Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast
of Florida, northeast of Cuba


Geographic coordinates:

24 15 N, 76 00 W


Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


Area:

total: 13,940 sq km
land: 10,070 sq km
water: 3,870 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Connecticut


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

3,542 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


Climate:

tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream


Terrain:

long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Alvernia, on Cat Island 63 m


Natural resources:

salt, aragonite, timber, arable land


Land use:

arable land: 0.58%
permanent crops: 0.29%
other: 99.13% (2005)


Irrigated land:

10 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

NA


Natural hazards:

hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind
damage


Environment - current issues:

coral reef decay; solid waste disposal


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain
of which 30 are inhabited


People
Bahamas, The



Population:

307,451
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 26.4% (male 40,608/female 40,506)
15-64 years: 66.9% (male 101,150/female 104,457)
65 years and over: 6.7% (male 8,472/female 12,258) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 28.4 years
male: 27.6 years
female: 29.2 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.57% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

17.06 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

9.22 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-2.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 23.67 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 28.89 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 65.72 years
male: 62.5 years
female: 69 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

2.13 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

3% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

5,600 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Bahamian(s)
adjective: Bahamian


Ethnic groups:

black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%


Religions:

Baptist 35.4%, Anglican 15.1%, Roman Catholic 13.5%, Pentecostal
8.1%, Church of God 4.8%, Methodist 4.2%, other Christian 15.2%,
none or unspecified 2.9%, other 0.8% (2000 census)


Languages:

English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.6%
male: 94.7%
female: 96.5% (2003 est.)


Education expenditures:

3.6% of GDP (2000)


Government
Bahamas, The



Country name:

conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas
conventional short form: The Bahamas


Government type:

constitutional parliamentary democracy


Capital:

name: Nassau
geographic coordinates: 25 05 N, 77 21 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard
Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends
first Sunday in November


Administrative divisions:

21 districts; Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bimini, Cat Island,
Exuma, Freeport, Fresh Creek, Governor's Harbour, Green Turtle Cay,
Harbour Island, High Rock, Inagua, Kemps Bay, Long Island, Marsh
Harbour, Mayaguana, New Providence, Nichollstown and Berry Islands,
Ragged Island, Rock Sound, Sandy Point, San Salvador and Rum Cay


Independence:

10 July 1973 (from UK)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 10 July (1973)


Constitution:

10 July 1973


Legal system:

based on English common law


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor General Arthur D. HANNA (since 1 February
2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Hubert A. INGRAHAM (since 4 May
2007)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the prime
minister's recommendation
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by
the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the
majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually
appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister
recommends the deputy prime minister


Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (16 seats; members
appointed by the governor general upon the advice of the prime
minister and the opposition leader to serve five-year terms) and the
House of Assembly (41 seats; members elected by direct popular vote
to serve five-year terms); the government may dissolve the
Parliament and call elections at any time
elections: last held 2 May 2007 (next to be held by May 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - FNM 49.86%, PLP 47.02%;
seats by party - FNM 23, PLP 18


Judicial branch:

Privy Council in London; Courts of Appeal; Supreme (lower) Court;
Magistrates' Courts


Political parties and leaders:

Free National Movement or FNM [Hubert INGRAHAM]; Progressive Liberal
Party or PLP [Perry CHRISTIE]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Friends of the Environment
other: trade unions


International organization participation:

ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory),
ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol,
IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory),
UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
WTO (observer)


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Cornelius A. SMITH
chancery: 2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 319-2660
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2668
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Ned L. SIEGEL
embassy: 42 Queen Street, Nassau, New Providence
mailing address: local or express mail address: P. O. Box N-8197,
Nassau; US Department of State, 3370 Nassau Place, Washington, DC
20521-3370
telephone: [1] (242) 322-1181, 328-2206 (after hours)
FAX: [1] (242) 328-2206


Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of aquamarine (top), gold, and
aquamarine, with a black equilateral triangle based on the hoist side


Economy
Bahamas, The



Economy - overview:

The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an
economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism
together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts
for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half
of the archipelago's labor force. Steady growth in tourism receipts
and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences
had led to solid GDP growth in recent years, but tourist arrivals
have been on the decline since 2006. Financial services constitute
the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy and, when
combined with business services, account for about 36% of GDP.
However, since December 2000, when the government enacted new
regulations on the financial sector, many international businesses
have left The Bahamas. Manufacturing and agriculture combined
contribute approximately a tenth of GDP and show little growth,
despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. Overall growth
prospects in the short run rest heavily on the fortunes of the
tourism sector. Tourism, in turn, depends on growth in the US, the
source of more than 80% of the visitors.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$8.553 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$6.586 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

2.8% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$28,000 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 3%
industry: 7%
services: 90% (2001 est.)


Labor force:

181,900 (2006)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture 5%, industry 5%, tourism 50%, other services 40% (2005
est.)


Unemployment rate:

7.6% (2006 est.)


Population below poverty line:

9.3% (2004)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: 27% (2000)


Budget:

revenues: $1.03 billion
expenditures: $1.03 billion (FY04/05)


Fiscal year:

1 July - 30 June


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.4% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

5.25% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

5.5% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$1.274 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$4.324 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$7.395 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

citrus, vegetables; poultry


Industries:

tourism, banking, cement, oil transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite,
pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe


Industrial production growth rate:

NA%


Electricity - production:

2.05 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

1.793 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

26,830 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

transshipments of 38,740 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

69,780 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Current account balance:

-$1.442 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$674 million (2006)


Exports - commodities:

mineral products and salt, animal products, rum, chemicals, fruit
and vegetables


Exports - partners:

US 20.4%, Singapore 15.5%, Spain 14.5%, Poland 14.3%, Germany 6.6%,
Guatemala 5.7%, Switzerland 5.2% (2007)


Imports:

$2.401 billion (2006)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral
fuels; food and live animals


Imports - partners:

US 26.7%, South Korea 14.1%, Japan 13.5%, Italy 7.5%, Singapore
5.2%, Venezuela 4.5%, Spain 4.3% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$4.78 million (2004)


Debt - external:

$342.6 million (2004 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Bahamian dollar (BSD)


Currency code:

BSD


Exchange rates:

Bahamian dollars (BSD) per US dollar - 1 (2007), 1 (2006), 1 (2005),
1 (2004), 1 (2003)


Communications
Bahamas, The



Telephones - main lines in use:

132,900 (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

374,000 (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: modern facilities
domestic: totally automatic system; highly developed; the Bahamas
Domestic Submarine Network links 14 of the islands and is designed
to satisfy increasing demand for voice and broadband internet
services
international: country code - 1-242; landing point for the Americas
Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic submarine cable
that provides links to South and Central America, parts of the
Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 3, FM 5, shortwave 0 (2006)


Radios:

215,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

2 (2006)


Televisions:

67,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.bs


Internet hosts:

41 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

19 (2000)


Internet users:

120,000 (2007)


Transportation
Bahamas, The



Airports:

62 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 24
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 38
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 22 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 2,717 km
paved: 1,560 km
unpaved: 1,133 km (2002)


Merchant marine:

total: 1,223
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 210, cargo 226, carrier 2,
chemical tanker 88, combination ore/oil 12, container 65, liquefied
gas 77, passenger 109, passenger/cargo 35, petroleum tanker 209,
refrigerated cargo 119, roll on/roll off 16, specialized tanker 3,
vehicle carrier 51
foreign-owned: 1,150 (Angola 6, Belgium 15, Bermuda 12, Brazil 2,
Canada 84, China 10, Croatia 1, Cuba 1, Cyprus 25, Denmark 67,
Finland 9, France 30, Germany 44, Greece 209, Hong Kong 30, Iceland
1, Indonesia 2, Ireland 2, Isle of Man 1, Italy 4, Japan 87, Jordan
2, Kenya 1, Malaysia 13, Monaco 15, Montenegro 2, Netherlands 9,
Nigeria 2, Norway 189, Poland 17, Russia 4, Saudi Arabia 16,
Singapore 17, Slovenia 1, South Africa 1, Spain 14, Sweden 4,
Switzerland 1, Thailand 5, Trinidad and Tobago 1, Turkey 8, UAE 23,
UK 56, US 106, Venezuela 1)
registered in other countries: 12 (Bolivia 1, Panama 9, Peru 1,
Portugal 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Freeport, Nassau, South Riding Point


Military
Bahamas, The



Military branches:

Royal Bahamian Defense Force: Land Force, Navy, Air Wing (2007)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age (est.); no conscription (2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 80,200 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 50,282 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 3,016
female: 3,024 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

0.5% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Bahamas, The



Disputes - international:

disagrees with the US on the alignment the northern axis of a
potential maritime boundary; continues to monitor and interdict drug
dealers and Haitian and Cuban refugees in Bahamian waters


Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and
Europe; offshore financial center



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Bahrain

Introduction
Bahrain



Background:

In 1783, the al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians.
In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of
treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a
British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in
1971. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf
countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign
affairs among its larger neighbors. Facing declining oil reserves,
Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has
transformed itself into an international banking center. King HAMAD
bin Isa al-Khalifa, after coming to power in 1999, pushed economic
and political reforms to improve relations with the Shia community.
Shia political societies participated in 2006 parliamentary and
municipal elections. Al Wifaq, the largest Shia political society,
won the largest number of seats in the elected chamber of the
legislature. However, Shi'a discontent has resurfaced in recent
years with street demonstrations and occasional low-level violence.


Geography
Bahrain



Location:

Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia


Geographic coordinates:

26 00 N, 50 33 E


Map references:

Middle East


Area:

total: 665 sq km
land: 665 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

3.5 times the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

161 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined


Climate:

arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers


Terrain:

mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m


Natural resources:

oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls


Land use:

arable land: 2.82%
permanent crops: 5.63%
other: 91.55% (2005)


Irrigated land:

40 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

0.1 cu km (1997)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.3 cu km/yr (40%/3%/57%)
per capita: 411 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

periodic droughts; dust storms


Environment - current issues:

desertification resulting from the degradation of limited arable
land, periods of drought, and dust storms; coastal degradation
(damage to coastlines, coral reefs, and sea vegetation) resulting
from oil spills and other discharges from large tankers, oil
refineries, and distribution stations; lack of freshwater resources
(groundwater and seawater are the only sources for all water needs)


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone
Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic
location in Persian Gulf, through which much of the Western world's
petroleum must transit to reach open ocean


People
Bahrain



Population:

718,306
note: includes 235,108 non-nationals (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 26.4% (male 95,709/female 93,747)
15-64 years: 69.8% (male 288,957/female 212,706)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 14,224/female 12,963) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 29.9 years
male: 33 years
female: 26.4 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.337% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

17.26 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

4.29 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.36 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.1 male(s)/female
total population: 1.25 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 15.64 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.27 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.92 years
male: 72.41 years
female: 77.5 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

2.53 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

fewer than 600 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Bahraini(s)
adjective: Bahraini


Ethnic groups:

Bahraini 62.4%, non-Bahraini 37.6% (2001 census)


Religions:

Muslim (Shia and Sunni) 81.2%, Christian 9%, other 9.8% (2001 census)


Languages:

Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.5%
male: 88.6%
female: 83.6% (2001 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 16 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

3.9% of GDP (1991)


Government
Bahrain



Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain
conventional short form: Bahrain
local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn
local short form: Al Bahrayn
former: Dilmun


Government type:

constitutional monarchy


Capital:

name: Manama
geographic coordinates: 26 14 N, 50 34 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

5 governorates; Asamah, Janubiyah, Muharraq, Shamaliyah, Wasat
note: each governorate administered by an appointed governor


Independence:

15 August 1971 (from UK)


National holiday:

National Day, 16 December (1971); note - 15 August 1971 was the date
of independence from the UK, 16 December 1971 was the date of
independence from British protection


Constitution:

adopted 14 February 2002


Legal system:

based on Islamic law and English common law; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

20 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa al-Khalifa (since 6 March 1999);
Heir Apparent Crown Prince SALMAN bin Hamad (son of the monarch,
born 21 October 1969)
head of government: Prime Minister KHALIFA bin Salman al-Khalifa
(since 1971); Deputy Prime Ministers ALI bin Khalifa bin Salman
al-Khalifa, MUHAMMAD bin Mubarak al-Khalifa, Jawad al-ARAIDH
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by
the monarch


Legislative branch:

bicameral legislature consists of the Consultative Council (40
members appointed by the King) and the Council of Representatives or
Chamber of Deputies (40 seats; members directly elected to serve
four-year terms)
elections: Council of Representatives - last held November-December
2006 (next election to be held in 2010)
election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by
party - NA; seats by party - al Wifaq (Shia) 17, al Asala (Sunni
Salafi) 5, al Minbar (Sunni Muslim Brotherhood) 7, independents 11;
note - seats by party as of February 2007 - al Wifaq 17, al Asala 8,
al Minbar 7, al Mustaqbal (Moderate Sunni pro-government) 4,
unassociated independents (all Sunni) 3, independent affiliated with
al Wifaq (Sunni oppositionist) 1


Judicial branch:

High Civil Appeals Court


Political parties and leaders:

political parties prohibited but political societies were legalized
per a July 2005 law


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Shia activists; Sunni Islamist legislators
other: several small leftist and other groups are active


International organization participation:

ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt
(signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO,
Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA,
NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU,
WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Houda Ezra Ibrahim NUNU
chancery: 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 342-1111
FAX: [1] (202) 362-2192
consulate(s) general: New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador J. Adam ERELI
embassy: Building #979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli Sports Club),
Block 331, Zinj District, Manama
mailing address: PSC 451, Box 660, FPO AE 09834-5100; international
mail: American Embassy, Box 26431, Manama
telephone: [973] 1724-2700
FAX: [973] 1727-0547


Flag description:

red, the traditional color for flags of Persian Gulf states, with a
white serrated band (five white points) on the hoist side; the five
points represent the five pillars of Islam


Economy
Bahrain



Economy - overview:

With its highly developed communication and transport facilities,
Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms with business in the
Gulf. Petroleum production and refining account for over 60% of
Bahrain's export receipts, over 70% of government revenues, and 11%
of GDP (exclusive of allied industries), underpinning Bahrain's
strong economic growth in recent years. Aluminum is Bahrain's second
major export after oil. Other major segments of Bahrain's economy
are the financial and construction sectors. Bahrain is focused on
Islamic banking and is competing on an international scale with
Malaysia as a worldwide banking center. Bahrain is actively pursuing
the diversification and privatization of its economy to reduce the
country's dependence on oil. As part of this effort, in August 2006
Bahrain and the US implemented a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the
first FTA between the US and a Gulf state. Continued strong growth
hinges on Bahrain's ability to acquire new natural gas supplies as
feedstock to support its expanding petrochemical and aluminum
industries. Unemployment, especially among the young, and the
depletion of oil and underground water resources are long-term
economic problems.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$24.01 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$19.66 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

6.7% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$33,900 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 0.3%
industry: 43.6%
services: 56% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

437,000
note: 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national
(2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 1%
industry: 79%
services: 20% (1997 est.)


Unemployment rate:

15% (2005 est.)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Investment (gross fixed):

22.3% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $5.418 billion
expenditures: $4.968 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

31.2% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.3% (2007 est.)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

8.35% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$4.169 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$10.63 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$10.32 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp, fish


Industries:

petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron
pelletization, fertilizers, Islamic and offshore banking, insurance,
ship repairing, tourism


Industrial production growth rate:

5.2% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

9.233 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

8.742 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

48,610 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

32,830 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

238,900 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

221,500 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

124.6 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

11.33 billion cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

11.33 billion cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

92.03 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$2.907 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$13.79 billion (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum, textiles


Exports - partners:

Saudi Arabia 3.5%, US 2.5%, UAE 2.5% (2007)


Imports:

$10.93 billion (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

crude oil, machinery, chemicals


Imports - partners:

Saudi Arabia 37.7%, Japan 7.2%, US 6.2%, Germany 4.7%, UK 4.5%, UAE
4.2%, China 4.1% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$103.9 million (2004)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$4.101 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$7.858 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$13.31 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$7.72 billion (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$21.12 billion (2006)


Currency (code):

Bahraini dinar (BHD)


Currency code:

BHD


Exchange rates:

Bahraini dinars (BHD) per US dollar - 0.376 (2007), 0.376 (2006),
0.376 (2005), 0.376 (2004), 0.376 (2003)


Communications
Bahrain



Telephones - main lines in use:

194,200 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.116 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: modern system
domestic: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network
with rapidly growing use of mobile-cellular telephones
international: country code - 973; landing point for the Fiber-Optic
Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides
links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and US; tropospheric scatter to
Qatar and UAE; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite
earth station - 1 (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)


Radios:

338,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

4 (1997)


Televisions:

275,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.bh


Internet hosts:

2,621 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2000)


Internet users:

250,000 (2007)


Transportation
Bahrain



Airports:

3 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 3
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 20 km; oil 52 km (2007)


Roadways:

total: 3,498 km
paved: 2,768 km
unpaved: 730 km (2003)


Merchant marine:

total: 9
by type: bulk carrier 4, container 4, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 6 (Kuwait 5, UAE 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Mina' Salman, Sitrah


Military
Bahrain



Military branches:

Bahrain Defense Forces (BDF): Ground Force (includes Air Defense),
Naval Force, Air Force, National Guard


Military service age and obligation:

17 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for
NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 210,938
females age 16-49: 170,471 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 171,536
females age 16-49: 142,714 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 6,543
female: 6,429 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

4.5% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Bahrain



Disputes - international:

none


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Bahrain is a destination country for men and
women trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude and
commercial sexual exploitation; men and women from Africa, South
Asia, and Southeast Asia migrate voluntarily to Bahrain to work as
laborers or domestic servants where some face conditions of
involuntary servitude such as unlawful withholding of passports,
restrictions on movements, non-payment of wages, threats, and
physical or sexual abuse; women from Thailand, Morocco, Eastern
Europe, and Central Asia are trafficked to Bahrain for the purpose
of commercial sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Bahrain is on the Tier 2 Watch List
for failing to show evidence of increased efforts to combat human
trafficking, particularly efforts that enforce laws against
trafficking in persons, and that prevent the punishment of victims
of trafficking; during 2007, Bahrain passed a comprehensive law
prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons; the government also
established a specialized anti-trafficking unit within the Ministry
of Interior to investigate trafficking crimes; however, the
government did not report any prosecutions or convictions for
trafficking offenses during 2007, despite reports of a substantial
problem of involuntary servitude and sex trafficking (2008)



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Bangladesh

Introduction
Bangladesh



Background:

Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in
the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region
and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East
Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu)
and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became
East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part
country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the
Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from
its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A
military-backed caretaker regime suspended planned parliamentary
elections in January 2007 in an effort to reform the political
system and root out corruption; the regime has pledged new
democratic elections by the end of 2008. About a third of this
extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy
season, hampering economic development.


Geography
Bangladesh



Location:

Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India


Geographic coordinates:

24 00 N, 90 00 E


Map references:

Asia


Area:

total: 144,000 sq km
land: 133,910 sq km
water: 10,090 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Iowa


Land boundaries:

total: 4,246 km
border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km


Coastline:

580 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin


Climate:

tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March
to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)


Terrain:

mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m


Natural resources:

natural gas, arable land, timber, coal


Land use:

arable land: 55.39%
permanent crops: 3.08%
other: 41.53% (2005)


Irrigated land:

47,250 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

1,210.6 cu km (1999)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 79.4 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%)
per capita: 560 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

droughts, cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during
the summer monsoon season


Environment - current issues:

many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate
flood-prone land; waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water;
water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use
of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally
occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling
water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil
degradation and erosion; deforestation; severe overpopulation


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing
from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel
of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty
into the Bay of Bengal


People
Bangladesh



Population:

153,546,896 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 33.4% (male 26,364,370/female 24,859,792)
15-64 years: 63.1% (male 49,412,903/female 47,468,013)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 2,912,321/female 2,529,502) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 22.8 years
male: 22.8 years
female: 22.9 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

2.022% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

28.86 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

8 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-0.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.15 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 57.45 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58.44 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 56.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 63.21 years
male: 63.14 years
female: 63.28 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

3.08 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

13,000 (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

650 (2001 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in
some locations
water contact disease: leptospirosis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Bangladeshi(s)
adjective: Bangladeshi


Ethnic groups:

Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims)
(1998)


Religions:

Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1% (1998)


Languages:

Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 43.1%
male: 53.9%
female: 31.8% (2003 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 8 years
male: 8 years
female: 8 years (2004)


Education expenditures:

2.7% of GDP (2005)


Government
Bangladesh



Country name:

conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
conventional short form: Bangladesh
local long form: Gana Prajatantri Banladesh
local short form: Banladesh
former: East Bengal, East Pakistan


Government type:

parliamentary democracy


Capital:

name: Dhaka
geographic coordinates: 23 43 N, 90 24 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

6 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet


Independence:

16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan); note - 26 March 1971 is the
date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is known
as Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state
of Bangladesh


National holiday:

Independence Day, 26 March (1971); note - 26 March 1971 is the date
of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is Victory Day
and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh


Constitution:

4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972; suspended following
coup of 24 March 1982, restored 10 November 1986; amended many times


Legal system:

based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Iajuddin AHMED (since 6 September 2002)
note: the country has a caretaker government until a general
election is held; Iajuddin AHMED remains as President and Minister
of Defense, and all other Cabinet portfolios are held by Caretaker
Advisers (CAs); the Chief CA, Fakhruddin AHMED, is roughly
equivalent to a prime minister
elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year
term (eligible for a second term); election scheduled for 16
September 2002 was not held since Iajuddin AHMED was the only
presidential candidate; he was sworn in on 6 September 2002 (next
election NA); following legislative elections, the leader of the
party that wins the most seats is usually appointed prime minister
by the president
election results: Iajuddin AHMED declared president-elect by the
Election Commission; he ran unopposed as president; percent of
National Parliament vote - NA


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad; 300 seats elected
by popular vote from single territorial constituencies; members
serve five-year terms; note - parliament not in session during the
extended caretaker regime
elections: last held 1 October 2001 (the scheduled January 2007
election has been postponed until 29 December 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - BNP and alliance
partners 41%, AL 40%, other 19%; seats by party - BNP 193, AL 58, JI
17, JP (Ershad faction) 14, IOJ 2, JP (Manzur) 4, other 12; note -
the election of October 2001 brought to power a majority BNP
government aligned with three other smaller parties - JI, IOJ, and
Jatiya Party (Manzur)


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (the chief justices and other judges are appointed by
the president)


Political parties and leaders:

Awami League or AL [Sheikh HASINA]; Bangladesh Communist Party or
BCP [Manjurul A. KHAN]; Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda
ZIA]; Islami Oikya Jote or IOJ [Mufti Fazlul Haq AMINI];
Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh or JIB [Matiur Rahman NIZAMI]; Jatiya
Party or JP (Ershad faction) [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD]; Jatiya Party
(Manzur faction) [Naziur Rahman MANZUR]; Liberal Democratic Party or
LDP [Badrudozza CHOWDHURY and Oli AHMED]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Advocacy to End Gender-based Violence through the MoWCA (Ministry of
Women's and Children's Affairs)
other: environmentalists; Islamist groups; religious leaders;
teachers; union leaders


International organization participation:

ADB, ARF, BIMSTEC, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt
(signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO,
IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT,
MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNWTO,
UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador M. Humayun KABIR
chancery: 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-0183
FAX: [1] (202) 244-7830/2771
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador James F. MORIARTY
embassy: Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212
mailing address: G. P. O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000
telephone: [880] (2) 885-5500
FAX: [880] (2) 882-3744


Flag description:

green field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side
of center; the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice
to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush
vegetation of Bangladesh


Economy
Bangladesh



Economy - overview:

The economy has grown 5-6% over the past few years despite
inefficient state-owned enterprises, delays in exploiting natural
gas resources, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation
of economic reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and
inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is
generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of
Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as
the single-most-important product. Garment exports and remittances
from Bangladeshis working overseas, mainly in the Middle East and
East Asia, fuel economic growth.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$208.3 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$72.42 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

6.3% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,400 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 19%
industry: 28.7%
services: 52.3% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

69.4 million
note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman,
Qatar, and Malaysia; workers' remittances estimated at $4.8 billion
in 2005-06. (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 63%
industry: 11%
services: 26% (FY95/96)


Unemployment rate:

2.5% (includes underemployment) (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

45% (2004 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.7%
highest 10%: 27.9% (2000)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

33.4 (2000)


Investment (gross fixed):

24.3% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $7.01 billion
expenditures: $9.464 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 July - 30 June


Public debt:

37.4% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

9.1% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

5% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

16% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$8.444 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$32.4 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$40.15 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses,
oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry


Industries:

cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint,
cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar


Industrial production growth rate:

8.4% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

22.78 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

21.37 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 93.7%
hydro: 6.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

6,746 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

89,940 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

1,351 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

83,220 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

28 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

15.7 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

15.7 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

141.6 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$804.7 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$12.45 billion (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood


Exports - partners:

US 23%, Germany 13%, UK 9.1%, France 5.5%, Belgium 4% (2007)


Imports:

$16.67 billion (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles,
foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement


Imports - partners:

China 15%, India 14.3%, Kuwait 8.3%, Singapore 6.2%, Hong Kong 4.2%
(2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$1.321 billion (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$5.278 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$21.23 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$4.971 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$104 million (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$3.61 billion (2006)


Currency (code):

taka (BDT)


Currency code:

BDT


Exchange rates:

taka (BDT) per US dollar - 69.893 (2007), 69.031 (2006), 64.328
(2005), 59.513 (2004), 58.15 (2003)


Communications
Bangladesh



Telephones - main lines in use:

1.187 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

34.37 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: inadequate for a modern country; fixed-line
telephone density remains less than 1 per 100 persons;
mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly
and is approaching 25 per 100 persons
domestic: modernizing; introducing digital systems; trunk systems
include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some
fiber-optic cable in cities
international: country code - 880; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4
fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe,
the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 6;
international radiotelephone communications and landline service to
neighboring countries (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 15, FM 13, shortwave 2 (2006)


Radios:

6.15 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

15 (1999)


Televisions:

770,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.bd


Internet hosts:

1,440 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

10 (2000)


Internet users:

500,000 (2007)


Transportation
Bangladesh



Airports:

16 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 15
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 5 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 2,644 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 2,768 km
broad gauge: 946 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,822 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 239,226 km
paved: 22,726 km
unpaved: 216,500 km (2003)


Waterways:

8,370 km
note: includes up to 3,060 km main cargo routes; network reduced to
5,200 km in dry season (2006)


Merchant marine:

total: 40
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 27, container 5, passenger/cargo 1,
petroleum tanker 4
foreign-owned: 1 (China 1)
registered in other countries: 10 (Comoros 2, Honduras 1, Malta 2,
Panama 2, Singapore 2, Togo 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Chittagong, Mongla Port


Transportation - note:

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of
Bangladesh as high risk for armed robbery against ships; numerous
commercial vessels have been attacked both at anchor and while
underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen


Military
Bangladesh



Military branches:

Bangladesh Defense Force: Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy,
Bangladesh Air Force (Bangladesh Biman Bahini, BAF) (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

16 years of age for voluntary military service; 17 years of age for
officers (both with parental consent); conscription legally possible
in emergency, but has never been implemented (2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 41,199,340 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 31,968,168 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 1,311,850
female: 1,246,012 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.5% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Bangladesh



Disputes - international:

discussions with India remain stalled to delimit a small section of
river boundary, exchange territory for 51 small Bangladeshi exclaves
in India and 111 small Indian exclaves in Bangladesh, allocate
divided villages, and stop illegal cross-border trade, migration,
violence, and transit of terrorists through the porous border;
Bangladesh protests India's fencing and walling off high-traffic
sections of the porous boundary; a joint Bangladesh-India boundary
commission resurveyed and reconstructed 92 missing pillars in 2007;
dispute with India over New Moore/South Talpatty/Purbasha Island in
the Bay of Bengal deters maritime boundary delimitation; after 21
years, Bangladesh resumes talks with Burma on delimiting a maritime
boundary


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 26,268 (Burma)
IDPs: 65,000 (land conflicts, religious persecution) (2007)


Illicit drugs:

transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Barbados

Introduction
Barbados



Background:

The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in
1627. Slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island
until 1834 when slavery was abolished. The economy remained heavily
dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of the
20th century. The gradual introduction of social and political
reforms in the 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from the
UK in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the
sugar industry in economic importance.


Geography
Barbados



Location:

Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela


Geographic coordinates:

13 10 N, 59 32 W


Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


Area:

total: 431 sq km
land: 431 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

97 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


Climate:

tropical; rainy season (June to October)


Terrain:

relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Hillaby 336 m


Natural resources:

petroleum, fish, natural gas


Land use:

arable land: 37.21%
permanent crops: 2.33%
other: 60.46% (2005)


Irrigated land:

50 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

0.1 cu km (2003)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.09 cu km/yr (33%/44%/22%)
per capita: 333 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides


Environment - current issues:

pollution of coastal waters from waste disposal by ships; soil
erosion; illegal solid waste disposal threatens contamination of
aquifers


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

easternmost Caribbean island


People
Barbados



Population:

281,968 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 19.3% (male 27,270/female 27,193)
15-64 years: 71.7% (male 99,357/female 102,683)
65 years and over: 9% (male 9,856/female 15,609) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 35.4 years
male: 34.2 years
female: 36.4 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.36% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

12.48 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

8.58 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.63 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 11.05 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.21 years
male: 71.2 years
female: 75.24 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.65 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.5% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

2,500 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)
adjective: Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial)


Ethnic groups:

black 90%, white 4%, Asian and mixed 6%


Religions:

Protestant 63.4% (Anglican 28.3%, Pentecostal 18.7%, Methodist 5.1%,
other 11.3%), Roman Catholic 4.2%, other Christian 7%, other 4.8%,
none or unspecified 20.6% (2008 est.)


Languages:

English


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.7% (2002 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2001)


Education expenditures:

6.9% of GDP (2005)


Government
Barbados



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Barbados


Government type:

parliamentary democracy


Capital:

name: Bridgetown
geographic coordinates: 13 06 N, 59 37 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

11 parishes and 1 city*; Bridgetown*, Christ Church, Saint Andrew,
Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy,
Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas


Independence:

30 November 1966 (from UK)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 30 November (1966)


Constitution:

30 November 1966


Legal system:

English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts; accepts
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor General Sir Clifford Straughn HUSBANDS
(since 1 June 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister David THOMPSON (since 16 January
2008)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of
the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by
the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the
majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually
appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister
recommends the deputy prime minister


Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (21 seats; members
appointed by the governor general - 12 on the advice of the Prime
Minister, 2 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 7 at his
discretion) and the House of Assembly (30 seats; members are elected
by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held 15 January 2008 (next to be
called in 2013)
election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - DLP
52.5%, BLP 47.3%; seats by party - DLP 20, BLP 10


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Judicature (judges are appointed by the Service
Commissions for the Judicial and Legal Services); Caribbean Court of
Justice is the highest court of appeal


Political parties and leaders:

Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Mia MOTTLEY]; Democratic Labor Party or
DLP [David THOMPSON]; People's Empowerment Party or PEP [David
COMISSIONG]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Barbados Secondary Teachers' Union or BSTU [Patrick FROST]; Barbados
Union of Teachers or BUT [Herbert GITTENS]; Congress of Trade Unions
and Staff Associations of Barbados or CTUSAB, (includes the BWU,
NUPW, BUT, and BSTU) [Leroy TROTMAN]; Barbados Workers Union or BWU
[Leroy TROTMAN]; Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMISSIONG];
National Union of Public Workers [Joseph GODDARD]


International organization participation:

ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO,
UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael Ian KING
chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-9200
FAX: [1] (202) 332-7467
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
consulate(s): Los Angeles


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Mary M. OURISMAN
embassy: U.S. Embassy, Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB
14006
mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown BB 11000; CMR 1014, APO
AA 34055
telephone: [1] (246) 227-4399
FAX: [1] (246) 431-0179


Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and blue with
the head of a black trident centered on the gold band; the trident
head represents independence and a break with the past (the colonial
coat of arms contained a complete trident)


Economy
Barbados



Economy - overview:

Historically, the Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane
cultivation and related activities. However, production in recent
years has diversified into light industry and tourism, with about
three-quarters of GDP and 80% of exports being attributed to
services. Growth has rebounded since 2003, bolstered by increases in
construction projects and tourism revenues - reflecting its success
in the higher-end segment. The country enjoys one of the highest per
capita incomes in the region and an investment grade rating which
benefits from its political stability and stable institutions.
Offshore finance and information services are important foreign
exchange earners and thrive from having the same time zone as
eastern US financial centers and a relatively highly educated
workforce. The government continues its efforts to reduce
unemployment, to encourage direct foreign investment, and to
privatize remaining state-owned enterprises.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$5.31 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$3.739 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

4.3% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$18,900 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 6%
industry: 16%
services: 78% (2000 est.)


Labor force:

128,500 (2001 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 10%
industry: 15%
services: 75% (1996 est.)


Unemployment rate:

10.7% (2003 est.)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $847 million (including grants)
expenditures: $886 million (2000 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.5% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

12% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10.8% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$1.478 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$2.717 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$3.533 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

sugarcane, vegetables, cotton


Industries:

tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export


Industrial production growth rate:

-3.2% (2000 est.)


Electricity - production:

1.003 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

939.9 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

1,111 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

8,674 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

1,750 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

10,710 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

2.2 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

29.17 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

29.17 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

141.6 million cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

-$254 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$385 million (2006)


Exports - commodities:

manufactures, sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages,
chemicals, electrical components


Exports - partners:

Trinidad and Tobago 15.5%, Jamaica 13.5%, UK 9.4%, US 9.3%, Brazil
8.3%, Saint Lucia 7.2%, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4.5% (2007)


Imports:

$1.586 billion (2006)


Imports - commodities:

consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials,
chemicals, fuel, electrical components


Imports - partners:

US 30.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 27.6%, UK 6.5% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$2.07 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$620 million (2007)


Debt - external:

$668 million (2003)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$5.513 billion (2005)


Currency (code):

Barbadian dollar (BBD)


Currency code:

BBD


Exchange rates:

Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar - NA (2007), 2 (2006), 2
(2005), 2 (2004), 2 (2003)


Communications
Barbados



Telephones - main lines in use:

134,900 (2005)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

237,100 (2006)


Telephone system:

general assessment: fixed-line teledensity of roughly 50 per 100
persons; mobile-cellular telephone density of about 85 per 100
persons
domestic: island-wide automatic telephone system
international: country code - 1-246; landing point for the East
Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other
islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin
Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 1 (Intelsat
-Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia
(2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 6, shortwave 0 (2004)


Radios:

237,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (plus 2 cable channels) (2004)


Televisions:

76,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.bb


Internet hosts:

104 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

19 (2000)


Internet users:

160,000 (2005)


Transportation
Barbados



Airports:

1 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 1,600 km
paved: 1,600 km (2004)


Merchant marine:

total: 85
by type: bulk carrier 15, cargo 50, chemical tanker 7, passenger 1,
passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 6, roll
on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 80 (Canada 9, Greece 12, India 1, Iran 2, Lebanon 1,
Norway 38, Sweden 7, Syria 1, UK 9)
registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Bridgetown


Military
Barbados



Military branches:

Royal Barbados Defense Force: Troops Command, Barbados Coast Guard
(2007)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger requires
parental consent); no conscription (2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 75,265
females age 16-49: 75,389 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 58,556
females age 16-49: 58,143 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 2,157
female: 2,155 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

0.5% of GDP (2006 est.)


Military - note:

the Royal Barbados Defense Force includes a land-based Troop Command
and a small Coast Guard; the primary role of the land element is to
defend the island against external aggression; the Command consists
of a single, part-time battalion with a small regular cadre that is
deployed throughout the island; it increasingly supports the police
in patrolling the coastline to prevent smuggling and other illicit
activities (2007)


Transnational Issues
Barbados



Disputes - international:

Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago abide by the April 2006 Permanent
Court of Arbitration decision delimiting a maritime boundary and
limiting catches of flying fish in Trinidad and Tobago's exclusive
economic zone; joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's
claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under
the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which permits
Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion
of the eastern Caribbean Sea


Illicit drugs:

one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for
Europe and the US; offshore financial center



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Belarus

Introduction
Belarus



Background:

After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus
attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political
and economic ties to Russia than any of the other former Soviet
republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state union
on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic
integration. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the
accord, serious implementation has yet to take place. Since his
election in July 1994 as the country's first president, Alexandr
LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian
means. Government restrictions on freedom of speech and the press,
peaceful assembly, and religion continue.


Geography
Belarus



Location:

Eastern Europe, east of Poland


Geographic coordinates:

53 00 N, 28 00 E


Map references:

Europe


Area:

total: 207,600 sq km
land: 207,600 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Kansas


Land boundaries:

total: 3,306 km
border countries: Latvia 171 km, Lithuania 680 km, Poland 605 km,
Russia 959 km, Ukraine 891 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between
continental and maritime


Terrain:

generally flat and contains much marshland


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m
highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m


Natural resources:

forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas,
granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay


Land use:

arable land: 26.77%
permanent crops: 0.6%
other: 72.63% (2005)


Irrigated land:

1,310 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

58 cu km (1997)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 2.79 cu km/yr (23%/47%/30%)
per capita: 286 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

NA


Environment - current issues:

soil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country
contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at
Chornobyl' in northern Ukraine


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Sulfur 85, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian
terrain and for its 11,000 lakes


People
Belarus



Population:

9,685,768 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 14.4% (male 717,885/female 677,254)
15-64 years: 70.9% (male 3,333,699/female 3,531,920)
65 years and over: 14.7% (male 459,627/female 965,383) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 38.4 years
male: 35.4 years
female: 41.3 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

-0.393% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

9.62 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

13.92 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

0.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female
total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 6.53 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.56 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 70.34 years
male: 64.63 years
female: 76.4 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.23 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.3% (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

15,000 (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,000 (2001 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Belarusian(s)
adjective: Belarusian


Ethnic groups:

Belarusian 81.2%, Russian 11.4%, Polish 3.9%, Ukrainian 2.4%, other
1.1% (1999 census)


Religions:

Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant,
Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)


Languages:

Belarusian, Russian, other


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.4% (1999 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

6.1% of GDP (2006)


Government
Belarus



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Belarus
conventional short form: Belarus
local long form: Respublika Byelarus'
local short form: Byelarus'
former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic


Government type:

republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship


Capital:

name: Minsk
geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:

6 provinces (voblastsi, singular - voblasts') and 1 municipality*
(horad); Brest, Homyel', Horad Minsk*, Hrodna, Mahilyow, Minsk,
Vitsyebsk
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their
administrative centers


Independence:

25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note - 3 July 1944 was the date
Minsk was liberated from German troops, 25 August 1991 was the date
of independence from the Soviet Union


Constitution:

15 March 1994; revised by national referendum of 24 November 1996
giving the presidency greatly expanded powers and became effective
27 November 1996; revised again 17 October 2004 removing
presidential term limits


Legal system:

based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)
head of government: Prime Minister Sergey SIDORSKIY (since 19
December 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir SEMASHKO (since
December 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term;
first election took place 23 June and 10 July 1994; according to the
1994 constitution, the next election should have been held in 1999,
however, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via a
November 1996 referendum; subsequent election held 9 September 2001;
an October 2004 referendum ended presidential term limits and
allowed the president to run in a third election, which was held on
19 March 2006; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed
by the president
election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO reelected president; percent
of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 82.6%, Aleksandr MILINKEVICH 6%,
Aleksandr KOZULIN 2.3%; note - election marred by electoral fraud


Legislative branch:

bicameral National Assembly or Natsionalnoye Sobranie consists of
the Council of the Republic or Soviet Respubliki (64 seats; 56
members elected by regional councils and eight members appointed by
the president, to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of
Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members elected
by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Palata Predstaviteley - last held 28 September 2008 (next
to be held fall of 2012); international observers widely denounced
the elections as flawed and undemocratic based on massive government
falsification; pro-LUKASHENKO candidates won all 110 seats
election results: Soviet Respubliki - percent of vote by party - NA;
seats by party - NA; Palata Predstaviteley - percent of vote by
party - NA; seats by party - NA


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president);
Constitutional Court (half of the judges appointed by the president
and half appointed by the Chamber of Representatives)


Political parties and leaders:

pro-government parties: Agrarian Party or AP [Mikhail SHIMANSKY];
Belarusian Communist Party or KPB; Belarusian Patriotic Movement
(Belarusian Patriotic Party) or BPR [Nikolay ULAKHOVICH, chairman];
Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus [Sergey GAYDUKEVICH]; Party of
Labor and Justice [Viktor SOKOLOV]; Social-Sports Party [Vladimir
ALEXANDROVICH]
opposition parties: Belarusian Christian Democracy Party
(unregistered) [Pavel SEVERINETS]; Belarusian Party of Communists or
PKB [Sergey KALYAKIN]; Belarusian Party of Labor (unregistered)
[Aleksandr BUKHVOSTOV, Leonid LEMESHONAK]; Belarusian Popular Front
or BPF [Vintsyuk VYACHORKA]; Belarusian Social-Democratic Gramada
[Stanislav SHUSHKEVICH]; Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada
(People's Assembly) or BSDPH [Aleksandr KOZULIN; Anatoliy LEVKOVICH,
acting]; Green Party [Oleg GROMYKO]; Party of Freedom and Progress
(unregistered) [Vladimir NOVOSYAD]; United Civic Party or UCP
[Anatoliy LEBEDKO]; Women's Party "Nadezhda" [Valentina MATUSEVICH,
chairperson]
other opposition includes: Christian Conservative BPF [Zyanon
PAZNIAK]; Ecological Party of Greens [Mikhail KARTASH]; Party of
Popular Accord [Sergey YERMAKK]; Republican Party [Vladimir BELAZOR]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs [Sergey MATSKEVICH]; Belarusian
Congress of Democratic Trade Unions [Aleksandr YAROSHUK]; Belarusian
Helsinki Committee [Tatiana PROTKO]; Belarusian Organization of
Working Women [Irina ZHIKHAR]; Charter 97 [Andrey SANNIKOV]; For
Freedom (unregistered) [Aleksandr MILINKEVICH]; Lenin Communist
Union of Youth (youth wing of the Belarusian Party of Communists or
PKB); National Strike Committee of Entrepreneurs [Aleksandr
VASILYEV, Valery LEVONEVSKY]; Partnership NGO [Nikolay ASTREYKA];
Perspektiva kiosk watchdog NGO [Anatol SHUMCHENKO]; Vyasna [Ales
BYALATSKY]; Women's Independent Democratic Movement [Ludmila
PETINA]; Youth Front (Malady Front) [Dmitriy DASHKEVICH, Sergey
BAKHUN]; Zubr youth group [Vladimir KOBETS]


International organization participation:

BSEC (observer), CEI, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA,
IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMSO, Interpol, IOC,
IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
(observer)


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Mikhail KHVOSTOV
chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 986-1604
FAX: [1] (202) 986-1805
consulate(s) general: New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jonathan
MOORE
embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya Street, Minsk 220002
mailing address: PSC 78, Box B Minsk, APO 09723
telephone: [375] (17) 210-12-83, 217-7347, 217-7348
FAX: [375] (17) 234-7853


Flag description:

red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the
width of the red band; a white vertical stripe on the hoist side
bears Belarusian national ornamentation in red


Economy
Belarus



Economy - overview:

Belarus has seen little structural reform since 1995, when President
LUKASHENKO launched the country on the path of "market socialism."
In keeping with this policy, LUKASHENKO reimposed administrative
controls over prices and currency exchange rates and expanded the
state's right to intervene in the management of private enterprises.
Since 2005, the government has re-nationalized a number of private
companies. In addition, businesses have been subject to pressure by
central and local governments, e.g., arbitrary changes in
regulations, numerous rigorous inspections, retroactive application
of new business regulations, and arrests of "disruptive" businessmen
and factory owners. A wide range of redistributive policies has
helped those at the bottom of the ladder; the Gini coefficient is
among the lowest in the world. Because of these restrictive economic
policies, Belarus has had trouble attracting foreign investment.
Nevertheless, GDP growth has been strong in recent years, reaching
nearly 7% in 2007, despite the roadblocks of a tough, centrally
directed economy with a high, but decreasing, rate of inflation.
Belarus receives heavily discounted oil and natural gas from Russia
and much of Belarus' growth can be attributed to the re-export of
Russian oil at market prices. Trade with Russia - by far its largest
single trade partner - decreased in 2007, largely as a result of a
change in the way the Value Added Tax (VAT) on trade was collected.
Russia has introduced an export duty on oil shipped to Belarus,
which will increase gradually through 2009, and a requirement that
Belarusian duties on re-exported Russian oil be shared with Russia -
80% will go to Russia in 2008, and 85% in 2009. Russia also
increased Belarusian natural gas prices from $47 per thousand cubic
meters (tcm) to $100 per tcm in 2007, and plans to increase prices
gradually to world levels by 2011. Russia's recent policy of
bringing energy prices for Belarus to world market levels may result
in a slowdown in economic growth in Belarus over the next few years.
Some policy measures, including tightening of fiscal and monetary
policies, improving energy efficiency, and diversifying exports,
have been introduced, but external borrowing has been the main
mechanism used to manage the growing pressures on the economy.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$103.5 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$44.77 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

8.2% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$10,600 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 8.7%
industry: 40.6%
services: 50.6% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

4.3 million (31 December 2005)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 14%
industry: 34.7%
services: 51.3% (2003 est.)


Unemployment rate:

1.6% officially registered unemployed; large number of underemployed
workers (2005)


Population below poverty line:

27.1% (2003 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 23.5% (2002)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

29.7 (2002)


Investment (gross fixed):

30.8% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $20.75 billion
expenditures: $20.87 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

8.4% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

10% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

8.58% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$4.065 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$6.823 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$12.16 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk


Industries:

metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers,
motorcycles, televisions, synthetic fibers, fertilizer, textiles,
radios, refrigerators


Industrial production growth rate:

5% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

29.91 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

30.43 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

5.789 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - imports:

10.15 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 99.5%
hydro: 0.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.4% (2001)


Oil - production:

33,700 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

179,700 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

256,400 bbl/day (2005 est.)


Oil - imports:

394,100 bbl/day (2005 est.)


Oil - proved reserves:

198 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

164 million cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

21.76 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

21.6 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

2.832 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

-$2.876 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$24.47 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals,
textiles, foodstuffs


Exports - partners:

Russia 36.5%, Netherlands 17.8%, UK 6.3%, Ukraine 6.1%, Poland 5%,
Latvia 4.1% (2007)


Imports:

$28.32 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs,
metals


Imports - partners:

Russia 59.9%, Germany 7.6%, Ukraine 5.4% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$53.76 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$4.266 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$7.347 billion (31 December 2007)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Belarusian ruble (BYB/BYR)


Currency code:

BYB/BYR


Exchange rates:

Belarusian rubles (BYB/BYR) per US dollar - 2,145 (2007), 2,144.6
(2006), 2,150 (2005), 2,160.26 (2004), 2,051.27 (2003)


Communications
Belarus



Telephones - main lines in use:

3.672 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

5.96 million (2006)


Telephone system:

general assessment: Belarus lags behind its neighbors in upgrading
telecommunications infrastructure; state-owned Beltelcom is the sole
provider of fixed-line local and long distance service; fixed-line
teledensity of roughly 35 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone
density of about 60 per 100 persons; modernization of the network
progressing with roughly two-thirds of switching equipment now
digital
domestic: fixed-line penetration is improving although rural areas
continue to be underserved; 3 GSM wireless networks are experiencing
rapid growth; strict government controls on telecommunications
technologies
international: country code - 375; Belarus is a member of the
Trans-European Line (TEL), Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line,
and has access to the Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); 3 fiber-optic
segments provide connectivity to Latvia, Poland, Russia, and
Ukraine; worldwide service is available to Belarus through this
infrastructure; additional analog lines to Russia; Intelsat,
Eutelsat, and Intersputnik earth stations (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 28, FM 37, shortwave 11 (1998)


Radios:

3.02 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

47 (plus 27 repeaters) (1995)


Televisions:

2.52 million (1997)


Internet country code:

.by


Internet hosts:

68,118 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

23 (2002)


Internet users:

6 million (2007)


Transportation
Belarus



Airports:

67 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 36
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 22
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 7 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 31
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 27 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 5,250 km; oil 1,528 km; refined products 1,730 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 5,512 km
broad gauge: 5,497 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified)
standard gauge: 15 km 1.435 m (2006)


Roadways:

total: 94,797 km
paved: 84,028 km
unpaved: 10,769 km (2005)


Waterways:

2,500 km (use limited by location on perimeter of country and by
shallowness) (2003)


Ports and terminals:

Mazyr


Military
Belarus



Military branches:

Belarus Armed Forces: Land Force, Air and Air Defense Force (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18-27 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript
service obligation - 18 months (2005)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,491,643
females age 16-49: 2,528,779 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,727,974
females age 16-49: 2,093,106 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 64,232
female: 60,788 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.4% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Belarus



Disputes - international:

Boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania in 2006; 1997 boundary
delimitation treaty with Ukraine remains unratified over unresolved
financial claims, preventing demarcation and diminishing border
security


Illicit drugs:

limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for the
domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to and via
Russia, and to the Baltics and Western Europe; a small and lightly
regulated financial center; new anti-money-laundering legislation
does not meet international standards; few investigations or
prosecutions of money-laundering activities



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Belgium

Introduction
Belgium



Background:

Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was
occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country
prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically
advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions
between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the
French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to
constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition
and autonomy.


Geography
Belgium



Location:

Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the
Netherlands


Geographic coordinates:

50 50 N, 4 00 E


Map references:

Europe


Area:

total: 30,528 sq km
land: 30,278 sq km
water: 250 sq km


Area - comparative:

about the size of Maryland


Land boundaries:

total: 1,385 km
border countries: France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km,
Netherlands 450 km


Coastline:

66.5 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: geographic coordinates define outer limit
continental shelf: median line with neighbors


Climate:

temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy


Terrain:

flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged
mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: North Sea 0 m
highest point: Signal de Botrange 694 m


Natural resources:

construction materials, silica sand, carbonates


Land use:

arable land: 27.42%
permanent crops: 0.69%
other: 71.89%
note: includes Luxembourg (2005)


Irrigated land:

400 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

20.8 cu km (2005)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 7.44 cu km/yr (13%/85%/1%)
per capita: 714 cu m/yr (1998)


Natural hazards:

flooding is a threat along rivers and in areas of reclaimed coastal
land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes


Environment - current issues:

the environment is exposed to intense pressures from human
activities: urbanization, dense transportation network, industry,
extensive animal breeding and crop cultivation; air and water
pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries;
uncertainties regarding federal and regional responsibilities (now
resolved) had slowed progress in tackling environmental challenges


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,
Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources,
Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change,
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

crossroads of Western Europe; most West European capitals within
1,000 km of Brussels, the seat of both the European Union and NATO


People
Belgium



Population:

10,403,951 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 16.3% (male 864,287/female 828,435)
15-64 years: 66.3% (male 3,476,802/female 3,416,383)
65 years and over: 17.5% (male 751,745/female 1,066,299) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 41.4 years
male: 40.2 years
female: 42.7 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.106% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

10.22 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

10.38 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.06 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 79.07 years
male: 75.9 years
female: 82.38 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.65 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

10,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Belgian(s)
adjective: Belgian


Ethnic groups:

Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%


Religions:

Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%


Languages:

Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less
than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

6% of GDP (2004)


Government
Belgium



Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium
conventional short form: Belgium
local long form: Royaume de Belgique/Koninkrijk Belgie
local short form: Belgique/Belgie


Government type:

federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy


Capital:

name: Brussels
geographic coordinates: 50 50 N, 4 20 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:

10 provinces (French: provinces, singular - province; Dutch:
provincies, singular - provincie) and 3 regions* (French: regions;
Dutch: gewesten); Brussels* (Bruxelles) capital region; Flanders*
region (five provinces): Antwerpen (Antwerp), Limburg,
Oost-Vlaanderen (East Flanders), Vlaams-Brabant (Flemish Brabant),
West-Vlaanderen (West Flanders); Wallonia* region (five provinces):
Brabant Wallon (Walloon Brabant), Hainaut, Liege, Luxembourg, Namur
note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered
devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of
government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a
complex division of responsibilities


Independence:

4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from
the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King LEOPOLD I ascended to the
throne)


National holiday:

21 July (1831) ascension to the Throne of King LEOPOLD I


Constitution:

7 February 1831; amended many times; revised 14 July 1993 to create
a federal state


Legal system:

based on civil law system influenced by English constitutional
theory; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction, with reservations


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory


Executive branch:

chief of state: King ALBERT II (since 9 August 1993); Heir Apparent
Prince PHILIPPE, son of the monarch
head of government: Prime Minister Yves LETERME (20 March 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers are formally appointed by the monarch
elections: the monarchy is hereditary and constitutional; following
legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the
leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister
by the monarch and then approved by parliament


Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate or Senaat in Dutch, Senat
in French (71 seats; 40 members are directly elected by popular
vote, 31 are indirectly elected; members serve four-year terms) and
a Chamber of Deputies or Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers in Dutch,
Chambre des Representants in French (150 seats; members are directly
elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation
to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate and Chamber of Deputies - last held 10 June 2007
(next to be held no later than June 2011)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CDV/N-VA
19.4%, Open VLD 12.4%, MR 12.3%, VB 11.9%, PS 10.2%, SP.A-Spirit
10%, CDH 5.9%, Ecolo 5.8%, Groen! 3.6%, Dedecker List 3.4%, FN 2.3%,
other 2.8%; seats by party - CDV/N-VA 9, Open VLD 5, MR 6, VB 5, PS
4, SP.A-Spririt 4, CDH 2, Ecolo 2, Groen! 1, Dedecker List 1, FN 1
(note - there are also 31 indirectly elected senators); Chamber of
Deputies - percent of vote by party - CDV/N-VA 18.5%, MR 12.5%, VB
12%, Open VLD 11.8%, PS 10.9%, SP.A-Spirit 10.3%, CDH 6.1%, Ecolo
5.1%, Dedecker List 4%, Groen! 4%, FN 2%, other 2.8%; seats by party
- CDV/N-VA 30, MR 23, VB 17, Open VLD 18, PS 20, SP.A-Spirit 14, CDH
10, Ecolo 8, Dedecker List 5, Groen! 4, FN 1
note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered
devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of
government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a
complex division of responsibilities; this reality leaves six
governments each with its own legislative assembly


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Justice or Hof van Cassatie (in Dutch) or Cour de
Cassation (in French) (judges are appointed for life by the
government; candidacies have to be submitted by the High Justice
Council)


Political parties and leaders:

Flemish parties: Christian Democratic and Flemish or CDV [Marianne
THYSSEN]; Dedecker List [Jean-Marie DEDECKER]; Flemish Liberals and
Democrats or Open VLD [Bart SOMERS]; Groen! [Mieke VOGELS] (formerly
AGALEV, Flemish Greens); New Flemish Alliance or N-VA [Bart DE
WEVER]; Social Progressive Alternative or SP.A [Caroline GENNEZ];
VlaamsProgressieven (Flemish Progressives) or VP [Bettina GEYSEN] -
formerly Spirit; Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) or VB [Bruno
VALKENIERS]
Francophone parties: Ecolo (Francophone Greens) [Jean-Michel JAVAUX,
Isabelle DURANT, Claude BROUIR]; Humanist and Democratic Center or
CDH [Joelle MILQUET]; National Front or FN [Daniel HUYGENS]; Reform
Movement or MR [Didier REYNDERS]; Socialist Party or PS [Elio DI
RUPO]; other minor parties


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Christian, Socialist, and Liberal Trade Unions; Federation of
Belgian Industries
other: numerous other associations representing bankers,
manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical
professions; various organizations represent the cultural interests
of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as Pax Christi
and groups representing immigrants


International organization participation:

ACCT, ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members),
Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA,
EU, FAO, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM,
IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS
(observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen
Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary),
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WADB
(nonregional), WCL, WCO, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Dominique STRUYE DE SWIELANDE
chancery: 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 333-6900
FAX: [1] (202) 333-3079
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
consulate(s): Atlanta


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Sam FOX
embassy: 27 Boulevard du Regent [Regentlaan], B-1000 Brussels
mailing address: PSC 82, Box 002, APO AE 09710
telephone: [32] (2) 508-2111
FAX: [32] (2) 511-2725


Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red
note: the design was based on the flag of France


Economy
Belgium



Economy - overview:

This modern, private-enterprise economy has capitalized on its
central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and
diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated
mainly in the populous Flemish area in the north. With few natural
resources, Belgium must import substantial quantities of raw
materials and export a large volume of manufactures, making its
economy unusually dependent on the state of world markets. Roughly
three-quarters of its trade is with other EU countries. Public debt
is more than 85% of GDP. On the positive side, the government has
succeeded in balancing its budget, and income distribution is
relatively equal. Belgium began circulating the euro currency in
January 2002. Economic growth in 2001-03 dropped sharply because of
the global economic slowdown, with moderate recovery in 2004-07.
Economic growth and foreign direct investment are expected to slow
down in 2008, due to credit tightening, falling consumer and
business confidence, and above average inflation. However, with the
successful negotiation of the 2008 budget and devolution of power
within the government, political tensions seem to be easing and
could lead to an improvement in the economic outlook for 2008.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$376.5 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$453.6 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

2.8% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$36,200 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 24.5%
services: 74.4% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

4.94 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 2%
industry: 25%
services: 73% (2007 est.)


Unemployment rate:

7.5% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

15.2% (2007 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 28.4% (2006)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

28 (2005)


Investment (gross fixed):

21.3% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $220.1 billion
expenditures: $221 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

84.6% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.8% (2007 est.)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

6.98% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

NA
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the Euro
Area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for
the 15 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual
members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi
money circulating within their own borders


Stock of quasi money:

NA


Stock of domestic credit:

$767.7 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal,
pork, milk


Industries:

engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly,
transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and
beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum


Industrial production growth rate:

2.8% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

82.94 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

85.54 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

9.035 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

15.78 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 38.4%
hydro: 0.6%
nuclear: 59.3%
other: 1.8% (2001)


Oil - production:

8,671 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

628,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - exports:

528,700 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

1.119 million bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

17.39 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

17.34 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006)


Current account balance:

$3.282 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$322.2 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, chemicals, diamonds, metals and metal
products, foodstuffs


Exports - partners:

Germany 19.5%, France 16.7%, Netherlands 11.9%, UK 7.6%, US 5.7%,
Italy 5.2% (2007)


Imports:

$323.2 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, chemicals, diamonds, pharmaceuticals,
foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products


Imports - partners:

Germany 17.7%, Netherlands 17.6%, France 11.2%, UK 6.2%, US 5.4%,
Ireland 4.9%, China 4.1% (2007)


Economic aid - donor:

ODA, $1.978 billion (2006)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$16.51 billion (2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$1.313 trillion (30 June 2007)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$678.2 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$540.1 billion (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$422.7 billion (2006)


Currency (code):

euro (EUR)


Currency code:

EUR


Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041
(2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)


Communications
Belgium



Telephones - main lines in use:

4.668 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

10.23 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: highly developed, technologically advanced, and
completely automated domestic and international telephone and
telegraph facilities
domestic: nationwide cellular telephone system; extensive cable
network; limited microwave radio relay network
international: country code - 32; landing point for a number of
submarine cables that provide links to Europe, the Middle East, and
Asia; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat - 3) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 7, FM 79, shortwave 1 (1998)


Radios:

8.075 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

25 (plus 10 repeaters) (1997)


Televisions:

4.72 million (1997)


Internet country code:

.be


Internet hosts:

3.841 million (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

61 (2000)


Internet users:

5.22 million (2007)


Transportation
Belgium



Airports:

43 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 27
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 9 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 15 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 1,562 km; oil 158 km; refined products 535 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 3,536 km
standard gauge: 3,536 km 1.435-m gauge (2,950 km electrified) (2006)


Roadways:

total: 152,256 km
paved: 119,079 km (includes 1,763 km of expressways)
unpaved: 33,177 km (2006)


Waterways:

2,043 km (1,528 km in regular commercial use) (2006)


Merchant marine:

total: 79
by type: bulk carrier 20, cargo 9, chemical tanker 1, container 6,
liquefied gas 20, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 11, roll on/roll off
10
foreign-owned: 6 (Denmark 4, France 2)
registered in other countries: 111 (Bahamas 15, Cyprus 2, France 6,
Gibraltar 2, Greece 16, Hong Kong 3, Liberia 4, Luxembourg 7, Malta
15, Mozambique 2, Netherlands 2, Netherlands Antilles 1, Panama 2,
Portugal 1, Portugal 7, Russia 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines 8, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 8, Vanuatu
4) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Antwerp, Gent, Liege, Zeebrugge


Military
Belgium



Military branches:

Belgian Armed Forces: Land Operations Command, Naval Operations
Command, Air Operations Command (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription
suspended (2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,407,128
females age 16-49: 2,340,039 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,973,167
females age 16-49: 1,915,990 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 64,659
female: 61,881 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Belgium



Disputes - international:

none


Illicit drugs:

growing producer of synthetic drugs and cannabis; transit point for
US-bound ecstasy; source of precursor chemicals for South American
cocaine processors; transshipment point for cocaine, heroin,
hashish, and marijuana entering Western Europe; despite a
strengthening of legislation, the country remains vulnerable to
money laundering related to narcotics, automobiles, alcohol, and
tobacco; significant domestic consumption of ecstasy



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Belize

Introduction
Belize



Background:

Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline
at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish
disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally
became the colony of British Honduras in 1854. Territorial disputes
between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize
until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until
1992. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current
concerns include an unsustainable foreign debt, high unemployment,
growing involvement in the South American drug trade, growing urban
crime, and increasing incidences of HIV/AIDS.


Geography
Belize



Location:

Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and
Mexico


Geographic coordinates:

17 15 N, 88 45 W


Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


Area:

total: 22,966 sq km
land: 22,806 sq km
water: 160 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Massachusetts


Land boundaries:

total: 516 km
border countries: Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 250 km


Coastline:

386 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south; note - from
the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's
territorial sea is 3 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act,
1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for
negotiating a definitive agreement on territorial differences with
Guatemala
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


Climate:

tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry
season (February to May)


Terrain:

flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Doyle's Delight 1,160 m


Natural resources:

arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 3.05%
permanent crops: 1.39%
other: 95.56% (2005)


Irrigated land:

30 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

18.6 cu km (2000)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.15 cu km/yr (7%/73%/20%)
per capita: 556 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal
flooding (especially in south)


Environment - current issues:

deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents,
agricultural runoff; solid and sewage waste disposal


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

only country in Central America without a coastline on the North
Pacific Ocean


People
Belize



Population:

301,270 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 38.4% (male 58,987/female 56,674)
15-64 years: 58.1% (male 88,521/female 86,450)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 5,095/female 5,543) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 20.1 years
male: 20 years
female: 20.3 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

2.207% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

27.84 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

5.77 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

NA (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 23.65 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.35 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 20.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 68.19 years
male: 66.39 years
female: 70.08 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

3.44 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

2.4% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

3,600 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and
typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Belizean(s)
adjective: Belizean


Ethnic groups:

mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7%
(2000 census)


Religions:

Roman Catholic 49.6%, Protestant 27% (Pentecostal 7.4%, Anglican
5.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5.2%, Mennonite 4.1%, Methodist 3.5%,
Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%), other 14%, none 9.4% (2000)


Languages:

Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9%
(official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown
0.2% (2000 census)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.9%
male: 76.7%
female: 77.1% (2000 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2004)


Education expenditures:

5.3% of GDP (2004)


Government
Belize



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Belize
former: British Honduras


Government type:

parliamentary democracy


Capital:

name: Belmopan
geographic coordinates: 17 15 N, 88 46 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard
Time)


Administrative divisions:

6 districts; Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, Toledo


Independence:

21 September 1981 (from UK)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 21 September (1981)


Constitution:

21 September 1981


Legal system:

English law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor General Sir Colville YOUNG, Sr. (since 17
November 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Dean BARROW (since 8 February
2008); Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar VEGA (since 12 February 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of
the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by
the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the
majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually
appointed prime minister by the governor general; prime minister
recommends the deputy prime minister


Legislative branch:

bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (12 seats;
members appointed by the governor general - 6 on the advice of the
prime minister, 3 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and
1 each on the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and
Evangelical Association of Churches, the Belize Chamber of Commerce
and Industry and the Belize Better Business Bureau, and the National
Trade Union Congress and the Civil Society Steering Committee; to
serve five-year terms) and the House of Representatives (31 seats;
members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 6 February 2008
(next to be held in 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
UDP 25, PUP 6


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Judicature (the chief justice is appointed by the
governor general on the advice of the prime minister); Court of
Appeal


Political parties and leaders:

National Alliance for Belizean Rights or NABR; National Reform Party
or NRP [Cornelius DUECK]; People's National Party or PNP [Wil
MAHEIA]; People's United Party or PUP [Said MUSA]; United Democratic
Party or UDP [Dean BARROW]; Vision Inspired by the People or VIP
[Paul MORGAN]; We the People Reform Movement or WTP [Hipolito
BAUTISTA]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Society for the Promotion of Education and Research or SPEAR
[Gustavo PERERA]; Association of Concerned Belizeans or ACB [David
VASQUEZ]; National Trade Union Congress of Belize or NTUC/B [Rene
GOMEZ]


International organization participation:

ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM,
IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, ITUC,
LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Nestor MENDEZ
chancery: 2535 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-9636
FAX: [1] (202) 332-6888
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Robert J. DIETER
embassy: Floral Park Road, Belmopan City, Cayo District
mailing address: P.O. Box 497, Belmopan City, Cayo District, Belize
telephone: [501] 822-4011
FAX: [501] 822-4012


Flag description:

blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges;
centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of
arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany
tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the
Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland


Economy
Belize



Economy - overview:

In this small, essentially private-enterprise economy, tourism is
the number one foreign exchange earner followed by exports of marine
products, citrus, cane sugar, bananas, and garments. The
government's expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, initiated in
September 1998, led to sturdy GDP growth averaging nearly 4% in
1999-2007. Oil discoveries in 2006 bolstered the economic growth in
2006 and 2007. Major concerns continue to be the sizable trade
deficit and unsustainable foreign debt. In February 2007, the
government restructured nearly all of its public external commercial
debt, which will reduce interest payments and relieve liquidity
concerns. A key short-term objective remains the reduction of
poverty with the help of international donors.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.444 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.274 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

2.2% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$7,900 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 21.3%
industry: 13.7%
services: 65% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

113,000
note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel
(2006 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 22.5%
industry: 15.2%
services: 62.3% (2005 est.)


Unemployment rate:

9.4% (2006)


Population below poverty line:

33.5% (2002 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Investment (gross fixed):

19.7% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $307 million
expenditures: $344 million (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.3% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

12% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

14.33% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$323.9 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$549 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$877.6 million (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

bananas, cacao, citrus, sugar; fish, cultured shrimp; lumber;
garments


Industries:

garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil


Industrial production growth rate:

0.5% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

213.5 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

193.3 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 59.9%
hydro: 40.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

3,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

7,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

1,960 bbl/day (2006)


Oil - imports:

7,122 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

6.7 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Current account balance:

-$43 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$429 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood


Exports - partners:

US 28.7%, UK 16.3%, Thailand 5.8%, Cote d'Ivoire 5.4%, Finland 4.2%,
Spain 4% (2007)


Imports:

$642 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods; fuels,
chemicals, pharmaceuticals; food, beverages, tobacco


Imports - partners:

US 31.2%, Mexico 13.6%, Cuba 8.5%, Guatemala 8%, Russia 4.6% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$12.91 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$109 million (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$1.2 billion (June 2005 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Belizean dollar (BZD)


Currency code:

BZD


Exchange rates:

Belizean dollars (BZD) per US dollar - 2 (2007), 2 (2006), 2 (2005),
2 (2004), 2 (2003)


Communications
Belize



Telephones - main lines in use:

33,900 (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

118,300 (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: above-average system; fixed-line teledensity of
12 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density of about 40
per 100 persons
domestic: trunk network depends primarily on microwave radio relay
international: country code - 501; landing point for the Americas
Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic
telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to South and
Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth
station - 8 (Intelsat - 2, unknown - 6) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2006)


Radios:

133,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

5 (2006)


Televisions:

41,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.bz


Internet hosts:

2,751 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

2 (2000)


Internet users:

32,000 (2007)


Transportation
Belize



Airports:

44 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 40
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 27 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 3,007 km
paved: 575 km
unpaved: 2,432 km (2006)


Waterways:

825 km (navigable only by small craft) (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 216
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 32, cargo 152, chemical
tanker 2, container 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated
cargo 12, roll on/roll off 5, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 178 (Australia 1, China 71, Croatia 2, Cyprus 1,
Estonia 6, Greece 1, Iceland 2, Italy 3, Japan 8, South Korea 1,
Latvia 12, Norway 3, Peru 1, Russia 31, Singapore 2, Spain 1, Turkey
15, Ukraine 7, UAE 5, UK 5) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Belize City, Big Creek


Military
Belize



Military branches:

Belize Defense Force (BDF): Army, BDF Air Wing, BDF Volunteer Guard
(2007)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; laws allow for
conscription only if volunteers are insufficient; conscription has
never been implemented; volunteers typically outnumber available
positions by 3:1 (2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 74,605
females age 16-49: 72,926 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 54,627
females age 16-49: 53,500 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 3,580
female: 3,449 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.4% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Belize



Disputes - international:

OAS-initiated Agreement on the Framework for Negotiations and
Confidence Building Measures saw cooperation in repatriation of
Guatemalan squatters and other areas, but Guatemalan land and
maritime claims in Belize and the Caribbean Sea remain unresolved;
the Line of Adjacency created under the 2002 Differendum serves in
lieu of the contiguous international boundary to control squatting
in the sparsely inhabited rain forests of Belize's border region;
Honduras claims Belizean-administered Sapodilla Cays in its
constitution but agreed to a joint ecological park under the
Differendum


Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for cocaine; small-scale illicit producer of
cannabis, primarily for local consumption; money-laundering activity
related to narcotics trafficking and offshore sector



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Benin

Introduction
Benin



Background:

Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African
kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French
Colony in 1872 and achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the
Republic of Benin. A succession of military governments ended in
1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment
of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to
representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free
elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as
president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa
from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by
elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were
alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006
and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and
independent. YAYI has begun a high profile fight against corruption
and has strongly promoted accelerating Benin's economic growth.


Geography
Benin



Location:

Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and
Togo


Geographic coordinates:

9 30 N, 2 15 E


Map references:

Africa


Area:

total: 112,620 sq km
land: 110,620 sq km
water: 2,000 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Pennsylvania


Land boundaries:

total: 1,989 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 306 km, Niger 266 km, Nigeria 773 km,
Togo 644 km


Coastline:

121 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 200 nm


Climate:

tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north


Terrain:

mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Sokbaro 658 m


Natural resources:

small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber


Land use:

arable land: 23.53%
permanent crops: 2.37%
other: 74.1% (2005)


Irrigated land:

120 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

25.8 cu km (2001)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.13 cu km/yr (32%/23%/45%)
per capita: 15 cu m/yr (2001)


Natural hazards:

hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to
March


Environment - current issues:

inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife
populations; deforestation; desertification


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural
harbors, river mouths, or islands


People
Benin



Population:

8,532,547
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 45.5% (male 1,978,897/female 1,901,005)
15-64 years: 51.9% (male 2,195,667/female 2,236,458)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 91,213/female 129,307) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 17.1 years
male: 16.7 years
female: 17.6 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

3.01% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

39.8 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

9.69 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 66.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 69.68 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 62.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 58.56 years
male: 57.42 years
female: 59.76 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

5.58 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.9% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

68,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

5,800 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Beninese (singular and plural)
adjective: Beninese


Ethnic groups:

Fon and related 39.2%, Adja and related 15.2%, Yoruba and related
12.3%, Bariba and related 9.2%, Peulh and related 7%, Ottamari and
related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4%, Dendi and related 2.5%,
other 1.6% (includes Europeans), unspecified 2.9% (2002 census)


Religions:

Christian 42.8% (Catholic 27.1%, Celestial 5%, Methodist 3.2%, other
Protestant 2.2%, other 5.3%), Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, other
15.5% (2002 census)


Languages:

French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in
south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 34.7%
male: 47.9%
female: 23.3% (2002 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 7 years
male: 9 years
female: 6 years (2001)


Education expenditures:

4.4% of GDP (2004)


Government
Benin



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Benin
conventional short form: Benin
local long form: Republique du Benin
local short form: Benin
former: Dahomey


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: Porto-Novo (official capital)
geographic coordinates: 6 29 N, 2 37 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
note: Cotonou (seat of government)


Administrative divisions:

12 departments; Alibori, Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines,
Kouffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou


Independence:

1 August 1960 (from France)


National holiday:

National Day, 1 August (1960)


Constitution:

adopted by referendum 2 December 1990


Legal system:

based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Thomas YAYI Boni (since 6 April 2006);
note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government
head of government: President Thomas YAYI Boni (since 6 April 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); runoff election held 19 March 2006
(next to be held in March 2011)
election results: Thomas YAYI Boni elected president; percent of
vote - Thomas YAYI Boni 74.5%, Adrien HOUNGBEDJI 25.5%


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats;
members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 31 March 2007 (next to be held by March 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
FCBE 35, ADD 20, PRD 10, other and independents 18


Judicial branch:

Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle; Supreme Court or
Cour Supreme; High Court of Justice


Political parties and leaders:

Alliance for Dynamic Democracy or ADD; Alliance of Progress Forces
or AFP; African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP [Sefou
FAGBOHOUN]; Benin Renaissance or RB [Rosine SOGLO]; Democratic
Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]; Force Cowrie for an
Emerging Benin or FCBE; Impulse for Progress and Democracy or IPD
[Theophile NATA]; Key Force or FC [Lazare SÈHOUÉTO]; Movement for
the People's Alternative or MAP [Olivier CAPO-CHICHI]; Rally for
Democracy and Progress or RDP [Dominique HOUNGNINOU]; Social
Democrat Party or PSD [Bruno AMOUSSOU]; Union for the Relief or UPR
[Issa SALIFOU]; Union for Democracy and National Solidarity or UDS
[Sacca LAFIA]
note: approximately 20 additional minor parties


Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: economic groups; environmentalists; political groups;
teachers' unions and other educational groups


International organization participation:

ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD,
ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA,
MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional),
WAEMU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Cyrille Segbe OGUIN
chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Gayleatha B. BROWN
embassy: Rue Caporal Bernard Anani, Cotonou
mailing address: 01 B. P. 2012, Cotonou
telephone: [229] 21-30-06-50
FAX: [229] 21-30-03-84


Flag description:

two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red (bottom) with a
vertical green band on the hoist side


Economy
Benin



Economy - overview:

The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on
subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade.
Growth in real output has averaged around 5% in the past seven
years, but rapid population growth has offset much of this increase.
Inflation has subsided over the past several years. In order to
raise growth still further, Benin plans to attract more foreign
investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the
development of new food processing systems and agricultural
products, and encourage new information and communication
technology. Specific projects to improve the business climate by
reforms to the land tenure system, the commercial justice system,
and the financial sector were included in Benin's $307 million
Millennium Challenge Account grant signed in February 2006. The 2001
privatization policy continues in telecommunications, water,
electricity, and agriculture though the government annulled the
privatization of Benin's state cotton company in November 2007 after
the discovery of irregularities in the bidding process. The Paris
Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation,
with Benin benefiting from a G8 debt reduction announced in July
2005, while pressing for more rapid structural reforms. An
insufficient electrical supply continues to adversely affect Benin's
economic growth though the government recently has taken steps to
increase domestic power production.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$12 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$5.433 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

4.5% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,400 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 33.2%
industry: 14.5%
services: 52.3% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

5.38 million (2007 est.)


Unemployment rate:

NA%


Population below poverty line:

37.4% (2007 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 29% (2003)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

36.5 (2003)


Investment (gross fixed):

19.3% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $959.2 million
expenditures: $1.211 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.3% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

4.25% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

NA


Stock of money:

$1.324 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$627.2 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$520.6 million (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts,
cashews; livestock


Industries:

textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement


Industrial production growth rate:

4.5% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

120 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

595 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

590 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 14.2%
hydro: 85.8%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

9,232 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - exports:

6,484 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

16,830 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - proved reserves:

8 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

1.133 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

-$441 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$586 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood


Exports - partners:

China 24.7%, India 8.2%, Niger 6.6%, Togo 5.4%, Nigeria 5.3%,
Belgium 4.6% (2007)


Imports:

$1.085 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products


Imports - partners:

China 44.5%, France 8.2%, US 6.5%, Thailand 6.3%, Malaysia 4.8%
(2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$374.7 million (2006)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.209 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$1.2 billion (2007)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible
authority is the Central Bank of the West African States


Currency code:

XOF


Exchange rates:

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 493.51
(2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)
note: since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc has been pegged to the
euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro


Communications
Benin



Telephones - main lines in use:

110,300 (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.895 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: inadequate; fixed-line network characterized by
aging, deteriorating equipment with fixed-line teledensity stuck at
1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership is
increasing
domestic: system of open-wire, microwave radio relay, and cellular
connections; multiple mobile-cellular providers
international: country code - 229; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC
fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and
Asia; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat-Atlantic Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1, FM 34, shortwave 1 (2007)


Radios:

660,000 (2000)


Television broadcast stations:

6 (2007)


Televisions:

66,000 (2000)


Internet country code:

.bj


Internet hosts:

848 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

4 (2002)


Internet users:

150,000 (2007)


Transportation
Benin



Airports:

5 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007)


Railways:

total: 758 km
narrow gauge: 758 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 16,000 km
paved: 1,400 km
unpaved: 14,600 km (2006)


Waterways:

150 km (on River Niger along northern border) (2005)


Ports and terminals:

Cotonou


Military
Benin



Military branches:

Benin Armed Forces (FAB): Army (l'Arme de Terre), Benin Navy (Forces
Navales Beninois, FNB), Benin People's Air Force (Force Aerienne
Populaire de Benin, FAPB) (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

21 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; in
practice, volunteers may be taken at the age of 18; both sexes are
eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months
(2006)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,908,457
females age 16-49: 1,882,421 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,173,742
females age 16-49: 1,162,113 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 97,543
female: 94,008 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.7% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Benin



Disputes - international:

in September 2007, Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) intervened to attempt to resolve the dispute over two
villages along the Benin-Burkina Faso border that remain from 2005
ICJ decision; much of Benin-Niger boundary, including tripoint with
Nigeria, remains undemarcated; in 2005, Nigeria ceded thirteen
villages to Benin, but border relations remain strained by rival
cross-border gang clashes; talks continue between Benin and Togo on
funding the Adjrala hydroelectric dam on the Mona River


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 9,444 (Togo) (2007)


Illicit drugs:

transshipment point used by Nigerian traffickers for narcotics
destined for Western Europe; vulnerable to money laundering due to
poorly enforced financial regulations



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Bermuda

Introduction
Bermuda



Background:

Bermuda was first settled in 1609 by shipwrecked English colonists
headed for Virginia. Tourism to the island to escape North American
winters first developed in Victorian times. Tourism continues to be
important to the island's economy, although international business
has overtaken it in recent years. Bermuda has developed into a
highly successful offshore financial center. Although a referendum
on independence from the UK was soundly defeated in 1995, the
present government has reopened debate on the issue.


Geography
Bermuda



Location:

North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of
South Carolina (US)


Geographic coordinates:

32 20 N, 64 45 W


Map references:

North America


Area:

total: 53.3 sq km
land: 53.3 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

about one-third the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

103 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


Climate:

subtropical; mild, humid; gales, strong winds common in winter


Terrain:

low hills separated by fertile depressions


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Town Hill 76 m


Natural resources:

limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism


Land use:

arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 80% (55% developed, 45% rural/open space) (2005)


Irrigated land:

NA


Natural hazards:

hurricanes (June to November)


Environment - current issues:

sustainable development


Geography - note:

consists of about 138 coral islands and islets with ample rainfall,
but no rivers or freshwater lakes; some land was leased by US
Government from 1941 to 1995


People
Bermuda



Population:

66,536 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 18% (male 6,055/female 5,954)
15-64 years: 69.1% (male 22,795/female 23,189)
65 years and over: 12.8% (male 3,728/female 4,815) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 41 years
male: 40.1 years
female: 41.8 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.546% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

11.15 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

7.98 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

2.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 7.87 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.31 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 78.3 years
male: 76.15 years
female: 80.48 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.88 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.297% (2005)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

163 (2005)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

392 (2005)


Nationality:

noun: Bermudian(s)
adjective: Bermudian


Ethnic groups:

black 54.8%, white 34.1%, mixed 6.4%, other races 4.3%, unspecified
0.4% (2000 census)


Religions:

Anglican 23%, Roman Catholic 15%, African Methodist Episcopal 11%,
other Protestant 18%, other 12%, unaffiliated 6%, unspecified 1%,
none 14% (2000 census)


Languages:

English (official), Portuguese


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 99% (2005 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2005)


Education expenditures:

1.2% of GDP (2006)


Government
Bermuda



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Bermuda
former: Somers Islands


Dependency status:

overseas territory of the UK


Government type:

parliamentary; self-governing territory


Capital:

name: Hamilton
geographic coordinates: 32 17 N, 64 47 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends
first Sunday in November


Administrative divisions:

9 parishes and 2 municipalities*; Devonshire, Hamilton, Hamilton*,
Paget, Pembroke, Saint George*, Saint George's, Sandys, Smith's,
Southampton, Warwick


Independence:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


National holiday:

Bermuda Day, 24 May


Constitution:

8 June 1968; amended 1989 and 2003


Legal system:

English law


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor Sir Richard GOZNEY (since 12 December 2007)
head of government: Premier Ewart BROWN (since 30 October 2006);
Deputy Premier Paula COX
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the premier, appointed by the governor
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the
monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority
party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed
premier by the governor


Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (11 seats; members
appointed by the governor, the premier, and the opposition) and the
House of Assembly (36 seats; members are elected by popular vote to
serve up to five-year terms)
elections: last general election held 18 December 2007 (next to be
held not later than 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - PLP 52.5%, UBP 47.3%;
seats by party - PLP 22, UBP 14


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrate Courts


Political parties and leaders:

Progressive Labor Party or PLP [Ewart BROWN]; United Bermuda Party
or UBP [Kim SWAN]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Bermuda Employer's Union [Eddie SAINTS]; Bermuda Industrial Union or
BIU [Derrick BURGESS]; Bermuda Public Services Union or BPSU [Ed
BALL]; Bermuda Union of Teachers [Michael CHARLES]


International organization participation:

Caricom (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ITUC, UPU, WCO, WFTU


Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Consul General Gregory W. SLAYTON
consulate(s) general: Crown Hill, 16 Middle Road, Devonshire DVO3
mailing address: P. O. Box HM325, Hamilton HMBX; American Consulate
General Hamilton, US Department of State, 5300 Hamilton Place,
Washington, DC 20520-5300
telephone: [1] (441) 295-1342
FAX: [1] (441) 295-1592, [1] (441) 296-9233


Flag description:

red, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and
the Bermudian coat of arms (white and green shield with a red lion
holding a scrolled shield showing the sinking of the ship Sea
Venture off Bermuda in 1609) centered on the outer half of the flag


Economy
Bermuda



Economy - overview:

Bermuda enjoys the third highest per capita income in the world,
more than 50% higher than that of the US. Its economy is primarily
based on providing financial services for international business and
luxury facilities for tourists. A number of reinsurance companies
relocated to the island following the 11 September 2001 attacks and
again after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, contributing to the
expansion of an already robust international business sector.
Bermuda's tourism industry - which derives over 80% of its visitors
from the US - continues to struggle but remains the island's number
two industry. Most capital equipment and food must be imported.
Bermuda's industrial sector is small, although construction
continues to be important; the average cost of a house in June 2003
had risen to $976,000. Agriculture is limited with only 20% of the
land being arable.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$4.5 billion (2004 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$NA


GDP - real growth rate:

4.6% (2004 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$69,900 (2004 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1%
industry: 10%
services: 89% (2002 est.)


Labor force:

38,360 (2004)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture and fishing 3%, laborers 17%, clerical 19%, professional
and technical 21%, administrative and managerial 15%, sales 7%,
services 19% (2004 est.)


Unemployment rate:

2.1% (2004 est.)


Population below poverty line:

19% (2000)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $738 million
expenditures: $665 million (FY04/05)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.8% (November 2005)


Agriculture - products:

bananas, vegetables, citrus, flowers; dairy products, honey


Industries:

international business, tourism, light manufacturing


Industrial production growth rate:

NA%


Electricity - production:

675.6 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

619.8 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

4,566 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

4,378 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Exports:

$763 million (2006)


Exports - commodities:

reexports of pharmaceuticals


Exports - partners:

Spain 13.8%, Germany 11.7%, Switzerland 8.8%, Denmark 6.6%, UK 6%
(2007)


Imports:

$1.162 billion (2006)


Imports - commodities:

clothing, fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction
materials, chemicals, food and live animals


Imports - partners:

South Korea 36.4%, US 15.7%, Germany 13.2%, Italy 11.8% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$90,000 (2004)


Debt - external:

$160 million (FY99/00)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$NA


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$NA


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$2.125 billion (2005)


Currency (code):

Bermudian dollar (BMD)


Currency code:

BMD


Exchange rates:

Bermudian dollars (BMD) per US dollar - 1.0000 (fixed rate pegged to
the US dollar)


Communications
Bermuda



Telephones - main lines in use:

57,700 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

60,100 (2006)


Telephone system:

general assessment: good
domestic: fully automatic digital telephone system; fiber optic
trunk lines
international: country code - 1-441; landing point for the
Atlantica-1 telecommunications submarine cable that extends from the
US to Brazil; satellite earth stations - 3 (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 5, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2005)


Radios:

82,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

3 (2005)


Televisions:

66,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.bm


Internet hosts:

1,628 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

20 (2000)


Internet users:

48,000 (2007)


Transportation
Bermuda



Airports:

1 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 447 km
paved: 447 km
note: public roads - 225 km; private roads - 222 km (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 137
by type: bulk carrier 23, chemical tanker 3, container 22, liquefied
gas 33, passenger 24, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 18,
refrigerated cargo 9
foreign-owned: 115 (Australia 1, China 10, France 1, Germany 22,
Greece 9, Hong Kong 4, Ireland 1, Israel 3, Japan 2, Nigeria 11,
Norway 5, Sweden 20, UK 3, US 23)
registered in other countries: 50 (Bahamas 12, Marshall Islands 4,
Philippines 34) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Hamilton, Saint George


Military
Bermuda



Military branches:

Bermuda Regiment (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18-23 years of age; eligible men required to register for
conscription as needed into the Bermuda Regiment, which is largely
voluntary; term of service 39 months (2007)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 15,623 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 12,682 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 426
female: 445 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

0.11% of GDP (2005 est.)


Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the UK


Transnational Issues
Bermuda



Disputes - international:

none



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Bhutan

Introduction
Bhutan



Background:

In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under
which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding
some border land to British India. Under British influence, a
monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later, a treaty was signed
whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal
affairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs.
This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years
later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan
annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country
received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and
foreign relations. A refugee issue of over 100,000 Bhutanese in
Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of the refugees are housed in seven
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
camps. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the
government's draft constitution - which would introduce major
democratic reforms - and pledged to hold a national referendum for
its approval. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his
son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience
as head of state before the democratic transition. In early 2007,
India and Bhutan renegotiated their treaty to allow Bhutan greater
autonomy in conducting its foreign policy, although Thimphu
continues to coordinate policy decisions in this area with New
Delhi. In July 2007, seven ministers of Bhutan's ten-member cabinet
resigned to join the political process, and the cabinet acted as a
caretaker regime until democratic elections for seats to the
country's first parliament were completed in March 2008. The king
ratified the country's first constitution in July 2008.


Geography
Bhutan



Location:

Southern Asia, between China and India


Geographic coordinates:

27 30 N, 90 30 E


Map references:

Asia


Area:

total: 47,000 sq km
land: 47,000 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

about one-half the size of Indiana


Land boundaries:

total: 1,075 km
border countries: China 470 km, India 605 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in
central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas


Terrain:

mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Drangme Chhu 97 m
highest point: Kula Kangri 7,553 m


Natural resources:

timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbonate


Land use:

arable land: 2.3%
permanent crops: 0.43%
other: 97.27% (2005)


Irrigated land:

400 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

95 cu km (1987)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.43 cu km/yr (5%/1%/94%)
per capita: 199 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the country's
name, which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent
landslides during the rainy season


Environment - current issues:

soil erosion; limited access to potable water


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea


Geography - note:

landlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls
several key Himalayan mountain passes


People
Bhutan



Population:

682,321
note: the Factbook population estimate is consistent with the first
modern census of Bhutan, conducted in 2005; previous Factbook
population estimates for this country, which were on the order of
three times the total population reported here, were based on
Bhutanese government publications that did not include the census
(July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 30.8% (male 107,360/female 103,093)
15-64 years: 63.7% (male 231,323/female 203,649)
65 years and over: 5.4% (male 19,561/female 17,335) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 23.5 years
male: 24.1 years
female: 22.8 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.301% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

20.56 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

7.54 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

NA (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.13 male(s)/female
total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 51.92 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 53.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 65.53 years
male: 64.75 years
female: 66.35 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

2.48 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

fewer than 100 (1999 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Bhutanese


Ethnic groups:

Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35% (includes Lhotsampas - one of several
Nepalese ethnic groups), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%


Religions:

Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%


Languages:

Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese
speak various Nepalese dialects


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47%
male: 60%
female: 34% (2003 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 10 years
male: 11 years
female: 10 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

7% of GDP (2005)


Government
Bhutan



Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan
conventional short form: Bhutan
local long form: Druk Gyalkhap
local short form: Druk Yul


Government type:

in transition to constitutional monarchy; special treaty
relationship with India


Capital:

name: Thimphu
geographic coordinates: 27 29 N, 89 36 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

20 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha,
Chirang, Daga, Gasa, Geylegphug, Ha, Lhuntshi, Mongar, Paro,
Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Shemgang, Tashigang,
Tashi Yangtse, Thimphu, Tongsa, Wangdi Phodrang


Independence:

1907 (became a unified kingdom under its first hereditary king)


National holiday:

National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17
December (1907)


Constitution:

ratified 23 July 2008


Legal system:

based on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14
December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the
throne on 14 December 2006 and his son immediately succeeded him
head of government: Prime Minister Jigme THINLEY (since 9 April 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog) nominated by the
monarch, approved by the National Assembly; members serve fixed,
five-year terms; note - there is also a Royal Advisory Council
(Lodoi Tsokde), members nominated by the monarch
elections: the monarch is hereditary, but democratic reforms in July
1998 grant the National Assembly authority to remove the monarch
with two-thirds vote; election of a new National Assembly occurred
in March 2008; the leader of the majority party is nominated as the
prime minister


Legislative branch:

new bicameral Parliament consists of the non-partisan National
Council (25 seats; 20 members elected by each of the 20 electoral
districts (dzongkhags) for four-year terms and 5 members nominated
by the King); and the National Assembly (47 seats; members elected
by direct, popular vote for five-year terms)
elections: National Council elections last held on 31 December 2007
and 29 January 2008 (next to be held by December 2012); National
Assembly elections last held on 24 March 2008 (next to be held by
March 2013)
election results: National Council - NA; National Assembly - percent
of vote by party - DPT 67%, PDP 33%; seats by party - DPT 45, PDP 2


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Appeal (the monarch); High Court (judges appointed
by the monarch); note - the draft constitution establishes a Supreme
Court, which will serve as chief court of appeal


Political parties and leaders:

Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party (Druk Phuensum Tshogpa) or DPT
[Jigme THINLEY]; People's Democratic Party or PDP [Sangay NGEDUP]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

United Front for Democracy (exiled)
other: Buddhist clergy; ethnic Nepalese organizations leading
militant antigovernment campaign; Indian merchant community


International organization participation:

ADB, BIMSTEC, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IMF,
Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, NAM,
OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO,
WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)


Diplomatic representation in the US:

none; note - the Permanent Mission to the UN for Bhutan has consular
jurisdiction in the US; address: 763 First Avenue, New York, NY
10017; telephone [1] (212) 682-2268; FAX [1] (212) 661-0551
consulate(s) general: New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US and Bhutan have no formal diplomatic relations, although
informal contact is maintained between the Bhutanese and US Embassy
in New Delhi (India)


Flag description:

divided diagonally from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper
triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along
the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from
the hoist side


Economy
Bhutan



Economy - overview:

The economy, one of the world's smallest and least developed, is
based on agriculture and forestry, which provide the main livelihood
for more than 60% of the population. Agriculture consists largely of
subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Rugged mountains dominate
the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure
difficult and expensive. The economy is closely aligned with India's
through strong trade and monetary links and dependence on India's
financial assistance. The industrial sector is technologically
backward, with most production of the cottage industry type. Most
development projects, such as road construction, rely on Indian
migrant labor. Model education, social, and environment programs are
underway with support from multilateral development organizations.
Each economic program takes into account the government's desire to
protect the country's environment and cultural traditions. For
example, the government, in its cautious expansion of the tourist
sector, encourages visits by upscale, environmentally conscientious
tourists. Detailed controls and uncertain policies in areas such as
industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper
foreign investment. Hydropower exports to India had a major impact
on growth in 2007.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$3.359 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.308 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

22.4% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$5,200 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 22.3%
industry: 37.9%
services: 39.8% (2006)


Labor force:

NA
note: major shortage of skilled labor


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 63%
industry: 6%
services: 31% (2004 est.)


Unemployment rate:

2.5% (2004)


Population below poverty line:

31.7% (2003)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $272 million
expenditures: $350 million
note: the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of
Bhutan's budget expenditures (2005)


Fiscal year:

1 July - 30 June


Public debt:

81.4% of GDP (2004)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.9% (2007 est.)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

14% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$381.1 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$220.3 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$169.9 million (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs


Industries:

cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages,
calcium carbide, tourism


Industrial production growth rate:

9.3% (1996 est.)


Electricity - production:

4.475 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

528.8 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - exports:

3.644 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

11 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 0.1%
hydro: 99.9%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

1,250 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

1,152 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Current account balance:

$116 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$350 million f.o.b. (2006)


Exports - commodities:

electricity (to India), cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts,
cement, fruit, precious stones, spices


Exports - partners:

India 58.6%, Hong Kong 30.1%, Bangladesh 7.3% (2007)


Imports:

$320 million c.i.f. (2006)


Imports - commodities:

fuel and lubricants, grain, aircraft, machinery and parts, vehicles,
fabrics, rice


Imports - partners:

India 74.5%, Japan 7.4%, Sweden 3.2% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$941.2 million; note - substantial aid from India (2006)


Debt - external:

$713.3 million (2006)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

ngultrum (BTN); Indian rupee (INR)


Currency code:

BTN; INR


Exchange rates:

ngultrum (BTN) per US dollar - 41.487 (2007), 45.279 (2006), 44.101
(2005), 45.317 (2004), 46.583 (2003)
note: the ngultrum is pegged to the Indian rupee


Communications
Bhutan



Telephones - main lines in use:

29,900 (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

149,400 (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: urban towns and district headquarters have
telecommunications services
domestic: very low teledensity; domestic service is very poor
especially in rural areas; wireless service available since 2003
international: country code - 975; international telephone and
telegraph service via landline and microwave relay through India;
satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 0, FM 9, shortwave 1 (2007)


Radios:

37,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (2007)


Televisions:

11,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.bt


Internet hosts:

9,046 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

NA


Internet users:

40,000 (2007)


Transportation
Bhutan



Airports:

2 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 8,050 km
paved: 4,991 km
unpaved: 3,059 km (2003)


Military
Bhutan



Military branches:

Royal Bhutan Army (includes Royal Bodyguard and Royal Bhutan Police)
(2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription
(2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 190,104
females age 16-49: 167,289 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 146,063
females age 16-49: 131,193 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 7,847
female: 7,530 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Bhutan



Disputes - international:

Bhutan cooperates with India to expel Indian Nagaland separatists;
lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China
continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to
resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic
discrepancies, the largest of which lie in Bhutan's northwest and
along the Chumbi salient



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Bolivia

Introduction
Bolivia



Background:

Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away
from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has
consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and countercoups.
Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have
faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and
illegal drug production. In December 2005, Bolivians elected
Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - by the
widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule
in 1982 - after he ran on a promise to change the country's
traditional political class and empower the nation's poor majority.
However, since taking office, his controversial strategies have
exacerbated racial and economic tensions between the Amerindian
populations of the Andean west and the non-indigenous communities of
the eastern lowlands.


Geography
Bolivia



Location:

Central South America, southwest of Brazil


Geographic coordinates:

17 00 S, 65 00 W


Map references:

South America


Area:

total: 1,098,580 sq km
land: 1,084,390 sq km
water: 14,190 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly less than three times the size of Montana


Land boundaries:

total: 6,940 km
border countries: Argentina 832 km, Brazil 3,423 km, Chile 860 km,
Paraguay 750 km, Peru 1,075 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid


Terrain:

rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills,
lowland plains of the Amazon Basin


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Rio Paraguay 90 m
highest point: Nevado Sajama 6,542 m


Natural resources:

tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron,
lead, gold, timber, hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 2.78%
permanent crops: 0.19%
other: 97.03% (2005)


Irrigated land:

1,320 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

622.5 cu km (2000)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 1.44 cu km/yr (13%/7%/81%)
per capita: 157 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

flooding in the northeast (March-April)


Environment - current issues:

the clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international
demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil
erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including
slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of biodiversity;
industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and
irrigation


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life
Conservation


Geography - note:

landlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest
navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru


People
Bolivia



Population:

9,247,816 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 33.5% (male 1,580,887/female 1,519,960)
15-64 years: 61.8% (male 2,800,457/female 2,912,375)
65 years and over: 4.7% (male 192,701/female 241,436) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 22.6 years
male: 21.9 years
female: 23.3 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.383% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

22.31 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

7.35 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-1.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 49.09 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 52.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 45.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 66.53 years
male: 63.86 years
female: 69.33 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

2.67 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

4,900 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 500 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and
typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Bolivian(s)
adjective: Bolivian


Ethnic groups:

Quechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%,
Aymara 25%, white 15%


Religions:

Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist) 5%


Languages:

Spanish 60.7% (official), Quechua 21.2% (official), Aymara 14.6%
(official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2% (2001 census)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.7%
male: 93.1%
female: 80.7% (2001 census)


Education expenditures:

6.4% of GDP (2003)


Government
Bolivia



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Bolivia
conventional short form: Bolivia
local long form: Republica de Bolivia
local short form: Bolivia


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: La Paz (administrative capital)
geographic coordinates: 16 30 S, 68 09 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
note: Sucre (constitutional capital)


Administrative divisions:

9 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Beni,
Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz,
Tarija


Independence:

6 August 1825 (from Spain)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 6 August (1825)


Constitution:

2 February 1967; revised in August 1994; possible referendum on new
constitution to be held in 2008


Legal system:

based on Spanish law and Napoleonic Code; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age, universal and compulsory (married); 21 years of
age, universal and compulsory (single)


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22 January
2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January 2006);
note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22
January 2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January
2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket
by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 18
December 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: Juan Evo MORALES Ayma elected president; percent
of vote - Juan Evo MORALES Ayma 53.7%; Jorge Fernando QUIROGA
Ramirez 28.6%; Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana 7.8%; Michiaki NAGATANI
Morishit 6.5%; Felipe QUISPE Huanca 2.2%; Guildo ANGULA Cabrera 0.7%


Legislative branch:

bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of Chamber
of Senators or Camara de Senadores (27 seats; members are elected by
proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year
terms) and Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (130 seats; 70
members are directly elected from their districts and 60 are elected
by proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year
terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies - last held
18 December 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party -
NA; seats by party - PODEMOS 13, MAS 12, UN 1, MNR 1; Chamber of
Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MAS 73,
PODEMOS 43, UN 8, MNR 6


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges appointed for 10-year terms
by National Congress); District Courts (one in each department);
provincial and local courts (to try minor cases); Constitutional
Tribunal (five primary or titulares and five alternate or suplente
magistrates appointed by Congress; to rule on constitutional
issues); National Electoral Court (six members elected by Congress,
Supreme Court, the President, and the political party with the
highest vote in the last election for 4-year terms)


Political parties and leaders:

Free Bolivia Movement or MBL [Franz BARRIOS]; Movement Toward
Socialism or MAS [Juan Evo MORALES Ayma]; Movement Without Fear or
MSM [Juan DEL GRANADO]; National Revolutionary Movement or MNR
[Mirta QUEVEDO]; National Unity [Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana]; Poder
Democratico Nacional or PODEMOS [Jorge Fernando QUIROGA Ramirez];
Social Alliance [Rene JOAQUINO]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Sole Confederation of Campesino Workers of Bolivia or CSUTCB
other: Cocalero groups; indigenous organizations; labor unions


International organization participation:

CAN, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC,
IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent),
ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINURCAT,
MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI,
UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Erika DUENAS
chancery: 3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-4410
FAX: [1] (202) 328-3712
consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York,
Oklahoma City, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Krishna URS
embassy: Avenida Arce 2780, Casilla 425, La Paz
mailing address: P. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032
telephone: [591] (2) 216-8000
FAX: [591] (2) 216-8111


Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with
the coat of arms centered on the yellow band
note: similar to the flag of Ghana, which has a large black
five-pointed star centered in the yellow band


Economy
Bolivia



Economy - overview:

Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin
America. Following a disastrous economic crisis during the early
1980s, reforms spurred private investment, stimulated economic
growth, and cut poverty rates in the 1990s. The period 2003-05 was
characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent
protests against plans - subsequently abandoned - to export
Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves to large northern
hemisphere markets. In 2005, the government passed a controversial
hydrocarbons law that imposed significantly higher royalties and
required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts
to surrender all production to the state energy company, which was
made the sole exporter of natural gas. The law also required that
the state energy company regain control over the five companies that
were privatized during the 1990s - a process that is still underway.
In 2006, higher earnings for mining and hydrocarbons exports pushed
the current account surplus to about 12% of GDP and the government's
higher tax take produced a fiscal surplus after years of large
deficits. Debt relief from the G8 - announced in 2005 - also has
significantly reduced Bolivia's public sector debt burden. Private
investment as a share of GDP, however, remains among the lowest in
Latin America, and inflation reached double-digit levels in 2007.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$39.75 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$13.19 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

4.6% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$4,400 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 14.5%
industry: 30.5%
services: 55% (2006 est.)


Labor force:

4.377 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 40%
industry: 17%
services: 43% (2006 est.)


Unemployment rate:

7.5% in urban areas; widespread underemployment (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

60% (2006 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 0.3%
highest 10%: 47.2% (2002)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

59.2 (2006)


Investment (gross fixed):

16.1% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $5.723 billion
expenditures: $5.495 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

46.3% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

8.7% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

12.86% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$3.032 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$4.729 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$4.759 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

soybeans, coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes;
timber


Industries:

mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco,
handicrafts, clothing


Industrial production growth rate:

1.1% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

5.668 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

5.092 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 44.4%
hydro: 54%
nuclear: 0%
other: 1.5% (2001)


Oil - production:

61,790 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

31,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - exports:

18,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - imports:

8,600 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - proved reserves:

465 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

14.7 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

3 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

11.7 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

750.4 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$1.796 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$4.49 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

natural gas, soybeans and soy products, crude petroleum, zinc ore,
tin


Exports - partners:

Brazil 46%, US 9.8%, Japan 7.6%, Argentina 5.8%, South Korea 4.8%,
Peru 4.1% (2007)


Imports:

$3.249 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

petroleum products, plastics, paper, aircraft and aircraft parts,
prepared foods, automobiles, insecticides, soybeans


Imports - partners:

Brazil 29.9%, Argentina 16.2%, Chile 10.5%, US 9.8%, Peru 8.1% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$582.9 million (2005 est.)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$5.318 billion (31 October 2007)


Debt - external:

$4.495 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$6.88 billion (31 December 2004)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$NA


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$2.2 billion (2005)


Currency (code):

boliviano (BOB)


Currency code:

BOB


Exchange rates:

bolivianos (BOB) per US dollar - 7.8616 (2007), 8.0159 (2006),
8.0661 (2005), 7.9363 (2004), 7.6592 (2003)


Communications
Bolivia



Telephones - main lines in use:

678,200 (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

3.254 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: privatization begun in 1995; reliability has
steadily improved; new subscribers face bureaucratic difficulties;
most telephones are concentrated in La Paz and other cities;
mobile-cellular telephone use expanding rapidly; fixed-line
teledensity of 7 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density
of 35 per 100 persons
domestic: primary trunk system, which is being expanded, employs
digital microwave radio relay; some areas are served by fiber-optic
cable; mobile cellular systems are being expanded
international: country code - 591; satellite earth station - 1
Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 171, FM 73, shortwave 77 (1999)


Radios:

5.25 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

48 (1997)


Televisions:

900,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.bo


Internet hosts:

68,428 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

9 (2000)


Internet users:

1 million (2007)


Transportation
Bolivia



Airports:

1,061 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 16
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1,045
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 57
914 to 1,523 m: 183
under 914 m: 800 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 4,860 km; liquid petroleum gas 47 km; oil 2,475 km; refined
products 1,589 km; unknown (oil/water) 247 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 3,504 km
narrow gauge: 3,504 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 62,479 km
paved: 3,749 km
unpaved: 58,730 km (2004)


Waterways:

10,000 km (commercially navigable) (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 23
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 11, carrier 1, passenger/cargo 1,
petroleum tanker 7, refrigerated cargo 1, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 7 (Bahamas 1, China 1, Iran 1, Singapore 1, Syria 2,
Taiwan 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Puerto Aguirre (inland port on the Paraguay/Parana waterway at the
Bolivia/Brazil border); Bolivia has free port privileges in maritime
ports in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay


Military
Bolivia



Military branches:

Bolivian Armed Forces: Bolivian Army (Ejercito Boliviano), Bolivian
Navy (Armada Boliviana; includes marines), Bolivian Air Force
(Fuerza Aerea Boliviana, FAB) (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for 12-month compulsory military service; when
annual number of volunteers falls short of goal, compulsory
recruitment is effected, including conscription of boys as young as
14; 15-19 years of age for voluntary premilitary service, provides
exemption from further military service (2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,295,746
females age 16-49: 2,366,828 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,600,219
females age 16-49: 1,815,514 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 107,051
female: 103,620 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.9% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Bolivia



Disputes - international:

Chile and Peru rebuff Bolivia's reactivated claim to restore the
Atacama corridor, ceded to Chile in 1884, but Chile offers instead
unrestricted but not sovereign maritime access through Chile for
Bolivian natural gas and other commodities; an accord placed the
long-disputed Isla Suárez/Ilha de Guajará-Mirim, a fluvial island on
the Río Mamoré, under Bolivian administration in 1958, but
sovereignty remains in dispute


Illicit drugs:

world's third-largest cultivator of coca (after Colombia and Peru)
with an estimated 29,500 hectares under cultivation in 2007, a
slight increase over 2006; third largest producer of cocaine,
estimated at 120 metric tons of potential pure cocaine in 2007;
transit country for Peruvian and Colombian cocaine destined for
Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Europe; cultivation
generally increasing since 2000, despite eradication and alternative
crop programs; weak border controls; some money-laundering activity
related to narcotics trade, especially along the borders with Brazil
and Paraguay; major cocaine consumption (2007)



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Bosnia and Herzegovina

Introduction
Bosnia and Herzegovina



Background:

Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991
was followed by a declaration of independence from the former
Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic
Serbs. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia and
Montenegro - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning
the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form
a "Greater Serbia." In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the
number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement
creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties initialed
a peace agreement that brought to a halt three years of interethnic
civil strife (the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December
1995). The Dayton Peace Accords retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's
international boundaries and created a joint multi-ethnic and
democratic government charged with conducting foreign, diplomatic,
and fiscal policy. Also recognized was a second tier of government
comprised of two entities roughly equal in size: the Bosniak/Croat
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb-led
Republika Srpska (RS). The Federation and RS governments were
charged with overseeing most government functions. The Office of the
High Representative (OHR) was established to oversee the
implementation of the civilian aspects of the agreement. In 1995-96,
a NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops
served in Bosnia to implement and monitor the military aspects of
the agreement. IFOR was succeeded by a smaller, NATO-led
Stabilization Force (SFOR) whose mission was to deter renewed
hostilities. European Union peacekeeping troops (EUFOR) replaced
SFOR in December 2004; their mission is to maintain peace and
stability throughout the country. EUFOR's mission changed from
peacekeeping to civil policing in October 2007, with its presence
reduced from nearly 7,000 to 2,500 troops.


Geography
Bosnia and Herzegovina



Location:

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia


Geographic coordinates:

44 00 N, 18 00 E


Map references:

Europe


Area:

total: 51,209.2 sq km
land: 51,197 sq km
water: 12.2 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than West Virginia


Land boundaries:

total: 1,538 km
border countries: Croatia 932 km, Montenegro 249 km, Serbia 357 km


Coastline:

20 km


Maritime claims:

no data available


Climate:

hot summers and cold winters; areas of high elevation have short,
cool summers and long, severe winters; mild, rainy winters along
coast


Terrain:

mountains and valleys


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maglic 2,386 m


Natural resources:

coal, iron ore, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, cobalt,
manganese, nickel, clay, gypsum, salt, sand, forests, hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 19.61%
permanent crops: 1.89%
other: 78.5% (2005)


Irrigated land:

30 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

37.5 cu km (2003)


Natural hazards:

destructive earthquakes


Environment - current issues:

air pollution from metallurgical plants; sites for disposing of
urban waste are limited; water shortages and destruction of
infrastructure because of the 1992-95 civil strife; deforestation


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

within Bosnia and Herzegovina's recognized borders, the country is
divided into a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation (about 51% of the
territory) and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska or RS (about
49% of the territory); the region called Herzegovina is contiguous
to Croatia and Montenegro, and traditionally has been settled by an
ethnic Croat majority in the west and an ethnic Serb majority in the
east


People
Bosnia and Herzegovina



Population:

4,590,310 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 14.7% (male 347,679/female 326,091)
15-64 years: 70.6% (male 1,634,053/female 1,606,341)
65 years and over: 14.7% (male 277,504/female 398,642) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 39.4 years
male: 38.2 years
female: 40.5 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.666% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

8.82 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

8.54 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

6.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 9.34 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.71 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 78.33 years
male: 74.74 years
female: 82.19 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.24 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

900 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

100 (2001 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Bosnian(s), Herzegovinian(s)
adjective: Bosnian, Herzegovinian


Ethnic groups:

Bosniak 48%, Serb 37.1%, Croat 14.3%, other 0.6% (2000)
note: Bosniak has replaced Muslim as an ethnic term in part to avoid
confusion with the religious term Muslim - an adherent of Islam


Religions:

Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, other 14%


Languages:

Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.7%
male: 99%
female: 94.4% (2000 est.)


Education expenditures:

NA


Government
Bosnia and Herzegovina



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Bosnia and Herzegovina
local long form: none
local short form: Bosna i Hercegovina
former: People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Socialist
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina


Government type:

emerging federal democratic republic


Capital:

name: Sarajevo
geographic coordinates: 43 52 N, 18 25 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:

2 first-order administrative divisions and 1 internationally
supervised district* - Brcko district (Brcko Distrikt)*, the
Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federacija Bosna
i Hercegovina) and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska; note -
Brcko district is in northeastern Bosnia and is an administrative
unit under the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the district
remains under international supervision


Independence:

1 March 1992 (from Yugoslavia; referendum for independence completed
1 March 1992; independence declared 3 March 1992)


National holiday:

National Day, 25 November (1943)


Constitution:

the Dayton Agreement, signed 14 December 1995 in Paris, included a
new constitution now in force; note - each of the entities also has
its own constitution


Legal system:

based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age, universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Chairman of the Presidency Nebojsa RADMANOVIC
(chairman since 6 November 2008; presidency member since 1 October
2006 - Serb); other members of the three-member presidency rotating
(every eight months): Haris SILAJDZIC (presidency member since 1
October 2006 - Bosniak); and Zeljko KOMSIC (presidency member since
1 October 2006 - Croat)
head of government: Chairman of the Council of Ministers Nikola
SPIRIC (since 11 January 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the council chairman;
approved by the National House of Representatives
elections: the three members of the presidency (one Bosniak, one
Croat, one Serb) are elected by popular vote for a four-year term
(eligible for a second term, but then ineligible for four years);
the chairmanship rotates every eight months and resumes where it
left off following each national election; election last held 1
October 2006 (next to be held in 2010); the chairman of the Council
of Ministers is appointed by the presidency and confirmed by the
National House of Representatives
election results: percent of vote - Nebojsa RADMANOVIC with 53.3% of
the votes for the Serb seat; Zeljko KOMSIC received 39.6% of the
votes for the Croat seat; Haris SILAJDZIC received 62.8% of the
votes for the Bosniak seat
note: President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Borjana
KRISTO (since 21 February 2007); Vice Presidents Spomenka MICIC
(since NA 2007) and Mirsad KEBO (since NA 2007); President of the
Republika Srpska: Rajko KUSMANOVIC (since 28 December 2007)


Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliamentary Assembly or Skupstina consists of the
national House of Representatives or Predstavnicki Dom (42 seats, 28
seats allocated for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 14
seats for the Republika Srpska; members elected by popular vote on
the basis of proportional representation, to serve four-year terms);
and the House of Peoples or Dom Naroda (15 seats, 5 Bosniak, 5
Croat, 5 Serb; members elected by the Bosniak/Croat Federation's
House of Representatives and the Republika Srpska's National
Assembly to serve four-year terms); note - Bosnia's election law
specifies four-year terms for the state and first-order
administrative division entity legislatures
elections: national House of Representatives - elections last held 1
October 2006 (next to be held in 2010); House of Peoples - last
constituted in January 2003 (next to be constituted in 2007)
election results: national House of Representatives - percent of
vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - SDA 9, SBH
8, SNSD 7, SDP 5, SDS 3, HDZ-BH 3, HDZ1990 2, other 5; House of
Peoples - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by
party/coalition - NA
note: the Bosniak/Croat Federation has a bicameral legislature that
consists of a House of Representatives (98 seats; members elected by
popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections last held 1
October 2006 (next to be held in October 2010); percent of vote by
party - NA; seats by party/coalition - SDA 28, SBH 24, SDP 17,
HDZ-BH 8, HDZ100 7, other 14; and a House of Peoples (58 seats - 17
Bosniak, 17 Croat, 17 Serb, 7 other); last constituted December
2002; the Republika Srpska has a National Assembly (83 seats;
members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections
last held 1 October 2006 (next to be held in the fall of 2010);
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party/coalition - SNSD 41,
SDS 17, PDP 8, DNS 4, SBH 4, SPRS 3, SDA 3, other 3; as a result of
the 2002 constitutional reform process, a 28-member Republika Srpska
Council of Peoples (COP) was established in the Republika Srpska
National Assembly including eight Croats, eight Bosniaks, eight
Serbs, and four members of the smaller communities


Judicial branch:

BH Constitutional Court (consists of nine members: four members are
selected by the Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of Representatives,
two members by the Republika Srpska's National Assembly, and three
non-Bosnian members by the president of the European Court of Human
Rights); BH State Court (consists of nine judges and three divisions
- Administrative, Appellate and Criminal - having jurisdiction over
cases related to state-level law and appellate jurisdiction over
cases initiated in the entities); a War Crimes Chamber opened in
March 2005
note: the entities each have a Supreme Court; each entity also has a
number of lower courts; there are 10 cantonal courts in the
Federation, plus a number of municipal courts; the Republika Srpska
has five municipal courts


Political parties and leaders:

Alliance of Independent Social Democrats or SNSD [Milorad DODIK];
Bosnian Party or BOSS [Mirnes AJANOVIC]; Civic Democratic Party or
GDS [Ibrahim SPAHIC]; Croat Christian Democratic Union of Bosnia and
Herzegovina or HKDU [Marin TOPIC]; Croat Party of Rights or HSP
[Zvonko JURISIC]; Croat Peasants Party or HSS [Marko TADIC];
Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina or HDZ-BH
[Dragan COVIC]; Croatian Democratic Union 1990 or HDZ1990 [Bozo
LJUBIC]; Croatian Democratic Union 100 or HDZ100; Croatian Peoples
Union [Milenko BRKIC]; Democratic National Union or DNZ [Rifet
DOLIC]; Democratic Peoples Alliance or DNS [Marko PAVIC]; Liberal
Democratic Party or LDS [Rasim KADIC]; New Croat Initiative or NHI
[Kresimir ZUBAK]; Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina or SBH [Haris
SILAJDZIC]; Party for Democratic Action or SDA [Sulejman TIHIC];
Party of Democratic Progress or PDP [Mladen IVANIC]; Serb Democratic
Party or SDS [Mladen BOSIC]; Serb Radical Party of the Republika
Srpska or SRS-RS [Milanko MIHAJLICA]; Serb Radical Party-Dr.
Vojislav Seselj or SRS-VS [Radislav KANJERIC]; Social Democratic
Party of BIH or SDP [Zlatko LAGUMDZIJA]; Social Democratic Union or
SDU [Sejfudin TOKIC]; Socialist Party of Republika Srpska or SPRS
[Petar DJOKIC]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: displaced persons associations; student councils; war veterans


International organization participation:

BIS, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM,
IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,
ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUC, NAM (observer), OAS (observer),
OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO,
UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Bisera TURKOVIC
chancery: 2109 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 337-1500
FAX: [1] (202) 337-1502
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Charles L. ENGLISH
embassy: Alipasina 43, 71000 Sarajevo
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [387] (33) 445-700
FAX: [387] (33) 659-722
branch office(s): Banja Luka, Mostar


Flag description:

a wide medium blue vertical band on the fly side with a yellow
isosceles triangle abutting the band and the top of the flag; the
remainder of the flag is medium blue with seven full five-pointed
white stars and two half stars top and bottom along the hypotenuse
of the triangle


Economy
Bosnia and Herzegovina



Economy - overview:

Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked next to Macedonia as the poorest
republic in the old Yugoslav federation. Although agriculture is
almost all in private hands, farms are small and inefficient, and
the republic traditionally is a net importer of food. The private
sector is growing and foreign investment is slowly increasing, but
government spending, at nearly 40% of adjusted GDP, remains
unreasonably high. The interethnic warfare in Bosnia caused
production to plummet by 80% from 1992 to 1995 and unemployment to
soar. With an uneasy peace in place, output recovered in 1996-99 at
high percentage rates from a low base; but output growth slowed in
2000-02. Part of the lag in output was made up in 2003-07 when GDP
growth exceeded 5% per year. National-level statistics are limited
and do not capture the large share of black market activity. The
konvertibilna marka (convertible mark or BAM)- the national currency
introduced in 1998 - is pegged to the euro, and confidence in the
currency and the banking sector has increased. Implementing
privatization, however, has been slow, particularly in the
Federation, although more successful in the Republika Srpska.
Banking reform accelerated in 2001 as all the Communist-era payments
bureaus were shut down; foreign banks, primarily from Western
Europe, now control most of the banking sector. A sizeable current
account deficit and high unemployment rate remain the two most
serious macroeconomic problems. On 1 January 2006 a new value-added
tax (VAT) went into effect. The VAT has been successful in capturing
much of the gray market economy and has developed into a significant
and predictable source of revenues for all layers of government.
Bosnia and Herzegovina became a full member of the Central European
Free Trade Agreement in September 2007. The country receives
substantial reconstruction assistance and humanitarian aid from the
international community but will have to prepare for an era of
declining assistance.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$27.7 billion
note: Bosnia has a large informal sector that could also be as much
as 50% of official GDP (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$14.78 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

6% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$6,100 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 10.2%
industry: 23.9%
services: 66% (2006 est.)


Labor force:

1.026 million (2001)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%


Unemployment rate:

45.5% official rate; grey economy may reduce actual unemployment to
25-30% (31 December 2004 est.)


Population below poverty line:

25% (2004 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.9%
highest 10%: 21.4% (2001)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

26.2 (2001)


Budget:

revenues: $7.094 billion
expenditures: $7.137 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

34% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.6% (2007 est.)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

7.17% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$5.13 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$5.597 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$8.895 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables; livestock


Industries:

steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, vehicle
assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, tank and
aircraft assembly, domestic appliances, oil refining


Industrial production growth rate:

6.7% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

12.84 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

8.501 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

5.123 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - imports:

3.015 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 53.5%
hydro: 46.5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

27,590 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

27,370 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

400 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2005)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006)


Current account balance:

-$1.939 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$4.243 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

metals, clothing, wood products


Exports - partners:

Croatia 21%, Slovenia 16.5%, Italy 16.1%, Germany 13.3%, Austria
9.6%, Hungary 5.7% (2007)


Imports:

$9.947 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs


Imports - partners:

Croatia 24.7%, Slovenia 13.3%, Germany 13.1%, Italy 10.4%, Austria
7%, Turkey 6.5%, Hungary 5.4% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$546.1 million (2005 est.)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$4.525 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$6.734 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

konvertibilna marka (convertible mark) (BAM)


Currency code:

BAM


Exchange rates:

konvertibilna markas (BAM) per US dollar - 1.4419 (2007), 1.5576
(2006), 1.5727 (2005), 1.5752 (2004), 1.7329 (2003)
note: the convertible mark is pegged to the euro


Communications
Bosnia and Herzegovina



Telephones - main lines in use:

1.065 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

2.45 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: post-war reconstruction of the
telecommunications network, aided by a internationally sponsored
program under ERBD, resulted in sharp increases in the number of
main telephone lines available; mobile cellular subscribership has
been increasing rapidly
domestic: fixed-line teledensity roughly 25 per 100 persons;
mobile-cellular telephone density exceeds 50 per 100 persons
international: country code - 387; no satellite earth stations (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 8, FM 16, shortwave 1 (1998)


Radios:

940,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

33 (plus 277 repeaters) (September 1995)


Televisions:

NA


Internet country code:

.ba


Internet hosts:

56,032 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

3 (2000)


Internet users:

1.055 million (2007)


Transportation
Bosnia and Herzegovina



Airports:

28 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 12 (2007)


Heliports:

5 (2007)


Railways:

total: 608 km
standard gauge: 608 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 21,846 km
paved: 11,425 km (4,714 km of interurban roads)
unpaved: 10,421 km (2006)


Waterways:

Sava River (northern border) open to shipping but use limited (2006)


Ports and terminals:

Bosanska Gradiska, Bosanski Brod, Bosanski Samac, and Brcko (all
inland waterway ports on the Sava), Orasje


Military
Bosnia and Herzegovina



Military branches:

Bosnia and Herzegovina Armed Forces (OSBiH): Army of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Air and Air Defense Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Zrakoplovstvo i Protuzracna Obrana, ZPO) (2007)


Military service age and obligation:

17 years of age for voluntary military service in the Federation and
in the Republika Srpska; conscription abolished January 2006;
4-month service obligation (2006)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,212,007
females age 16-49: 1,170,645 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 996,225
females age 16-49: 962,927 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 30,246
female: 28,189 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

4.5% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Bosnia and Herzegovina



Disputes - international:

sections along the Drina River remain in dispute between Bosnia and
Herzegovina and Serbia; discussions continue with Croatia on several
small disputed sections of the boundary related to maritime access
that hinder final ratification of the 1999 border agreement


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 7,269 (Croatia)
IDPs: 131,600 (Bosnian Croats, Serbs, and Muslims displaced in
1992-95 war) (2007)


Illicit drugs:

increasingly a transit point for heroin being trafficked to Western
Europe; minor transit point for marijuana; remains highly vulnerable
to money-laundering activity given a primarily cash-based and
unregulated economy, weak law enforcement, and instances of
corruption



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Botswana

Introduction
Botswana



Background:

Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted
its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of
uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and
significant capital investment have created one of the most dynamic
economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining,
dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due
to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature
preserves. Botswana has one of the world's highest known rates of
HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and
comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.


Geography
Botswana



Location:

Southern Africa, north of South Africa


Geographic coordinates:

22 00 S, 24 00 E


Map references:

Africa


Area:

total: 600,370 sq km
land: 585,370 sq km
water: 15,000 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Texas


Land boundaries:

total: 4,013 km
border countries: Namibia 1,360 km, South Africa 1,840 km, Zimbabwe
813 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

semiarid; warm winters and hot summers


Terrain:

predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in
southwest


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m
highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m


Natural resources:

diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore,
silver


Land use:

arable land: 0.65%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 99.34% (2005)


Irrigated land:

10 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

14.7 cu km (2001)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.19 cu km/yr (41%/18%/41%)
per capita: 107 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west,
carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure
visibility


Environment - current issues:

overgrazing; desertification; limited fresh water resources


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country


People
Botswana



Population:

1,842,323
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 35.2% (male 329,418/female 318,160)
15-64 years: 60.9% (male 566,239/female 556,286)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 29,165/female 43,055) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 21.2 years
male: 21 years
female: 21.4 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.434% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

22.96 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

14.02 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

5.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa
and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 44.01 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 44.94 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 43.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 50.16 years
male: 51.28 years
female: 49.02 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

2.66 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

37.3% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

350,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

33,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and
typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
adjective: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)


Ethnic groups:

Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including
Kgalagadi and white 7%


Religions:

Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6%
(2001 census)


Languages:

Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1%
(official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.2%
male: 80.4%
female: 81.8% (2003 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2005)


Education expenditures:

8.7% of GDP (2007)


Government
Botswana



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Botswana
conventional short form: Botswana
local long form: Republic of Botswana
local short form: Botswana
former: Bechuanaland


Government type:

parliamentary republic


Capital:

name: Gaborone
geographic coordinates: 24 45 S, 25 55 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

9 districts and 5 town councils*; Central, Francistown*, Gaborone*,
Ghanzi, Jwaneng*, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse*, Northeast,
Northwest, Selebi-Pikwe*, Southeast, Southern


Independence:

30 September 1966 (from UK)


National holiday:

Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)


Constitution:

March 1965, effective 30 September 1966


Legal system:

based on Roman-Dutch law and local customary law; judicial review
limited to matters of interpretation; accepts compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction, with reservations


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA (since 1 April
2008); Vice President Mompati MERAFHE (since 1 April 2008); note -
the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA (since 1 April
2008); Vice President Mompati MERAFHE (since 1 April 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president indirectly elected for a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 20 October 2004
(next to be held in October 2009); vice president appointed by the
president
election results: Festus G. MOGAE elected president; percent of
National Assembly vote - 52%


Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Chiefs (a largely
advisory 15-member body with 8 permanent members consisting of the
chiefs of the principal tribes, and 7 non-permanent members serving
5-year terms, consisting of 4 elected subchiefs and 3 members
selected by the other 12 members) and the National Assembly (63
seats, 57 members are directly elected by popular vote, 4 are
appointed by the majority party, and 2, the President and
Attorney-General, serve as ex-officio members; members serve
five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly elections last held 30 October 2004
(next to be held in October 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - BDP 51.7%, BNF 26.1%,
BCP 16.6%, other 5%; seats by party - BDP 44, BNF 12, BCP 1


Judicial branch:

High Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrates' Courts (one in each
district)


Political parties and leaders:

Botswana Alliance Movement or BAM [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO];
Botswana Congress Party or BCP [Otlaadisa KOOSALETSE]; Botswana
Democratic Party or BDP [Festus G. MOGAE]; Botswana National Front
or BNF [Otswoletse MOUPO]; Botswana Peoples Party or BPP; MELS
Movement of Botswana or MELS; New Democratic Front or NDF
note: a number of minor parties joined forces in 1999 to form the
BAM but did not capture any parliamentary seats - includes the
United Action Party [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]; the Independence
Freedom Party or IFP [Motsamai MPHO]; the Botswana Progressive Union
[D. K. KWELE]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

First People of the Kalahari (Bushman organization); Pitso Ya Ba
Tswana; Society for the Promotion of Ikalanga Language (Kalanga
elites)
other: diamond mining companies


International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS,
UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Lapologang Caesar LEKOA
chancery: 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 244-4990
FAX: [1] (202) 244-4164


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen J. NOLAN
embassy: Embassy Enclave (off Khama Crescent), Gaborone
mailing address: Embassy Enclave, P. O. Box 90, Gaborone
telephone: [267] 395-3982
FAX: [267] 395-6947


Flag description:

light blue with a horizontal white-edged black stripe in the center


Economy
Botswana



Economy - overview:

Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth
rates since independence in 1966, though growth slowed to 4.7%
annually in 2006-07. Through fiscal discipline and sound management,
Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in
the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of nearly
$15,000 in 2007. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the
best credit risk in Africa. Diamond mining has fueled much of the
expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP and
for 70-80% of export earnings. Tourism, financial services,
subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors. On
the downside, the government must deal with high rates of
unemployment and poverty. Unemployment officially was 23.8% in 2004,
but unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%. HIV/AIDS infection
rates are the second highest in the world and threaten Botswana's
impressive economic gains. An expected leveling off in diamond
mining production overshadows long-term prospects.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$26.04 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$12.31 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

4.8% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$14,300 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1.6%
industry: 51.5% (including 36% mining)
services: 46.9% (2006 est.)


Labor force:

288,400 formal sector employees (2004)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%


Unemployment rate:

7.5% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

30.3% (2003)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

63 (1993)


Investment (gross fixed):

19.2% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $4.741 billion
expenditures: $3.816 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Public debt:

5.4% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

7.1% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

14.5% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

16.22% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$1.026 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$4.336 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

NA


Agriculture - products:

livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts


Industries:

diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock
processing; textiles


Industrial production growth rate:

4.2% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

979 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

2.574 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

1.959 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

11,640 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

14,500 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Current account balance:

$1.973 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$5.025 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles


Exports - partners:

European Free Trade Association (EFTA) 87%, Southern African Customs
Union (SACU) 7%, Zimbabwe 4% (2006)


Imports:

$3.403 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment,
textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products,
metal and metal products


Imports - partners:

Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 74%, EFTA 17%, Zimbabwe 4%
(2006)


Economic aid - recipient:

$70.89 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$9.79 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$408 million (31 December 2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$3.947 billion (2006)


Currency (code):

pula (BWP)


Currency code:

BWP


Exchange rates:

pulas (BWP) per US dollar - 6.2035 (2007), 5.8447 (2006), 5.1104
(2005), 4.6929 (2004), 4.9499 (2003)


Communications
Botswana



Telephones - main lines in use:

136,900 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.427 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: the system is expanding with the growth of
mobile-cellular service and participation in regional development;
system is fully digital with fiber-optic cables linking the major
population centers in the east; fixed-line connections declined in
recent years and now stand at roughly 8 per 100 persons;
mobile-cellular telephone density currently is about 80 per 100
persons
domestic: small system of open-wire lines, microwave radio relay
links, and a few radiotelephone communication stations;
mobile-cellular service is growing fast
international: country code - 267; international calls are made via
satellite, using international direct dialing; 2 international
exchanges; digital microwave radio relay links to Namibia, Zambia,
Zimbabwe, and South Africa; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat
(Indian Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 8, FM 13, shortwave 4 (2001)


Radios:

252,720 (2000)


Television broadcast stations:

2 (1 state-owned, 1 private)


Televisions:

31,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.bw


Internet hosts:

6,374 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

11 (2001)


Internet users:

80,000 (2007)


Transportation
Botswana



Airports:

85 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 74
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 54
under 914 m: 17 (2007)


Railways:

total: 888 km
narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 25,798 km
paved: 8,410 km
unpaved: 17,388 km (2005)


Military
Botswana



Military branches:

Botswana Defense Force: Ground Forces, Air Wing (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18 is the apparent age of voluntary military service; the official
qualifications for determining minimum age are unknown (2001)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 487,853
females age 16-49: 464,278 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 290,093
females age 16-49: 257,700 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 23,007
female: 22,551 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

3.3% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Botswana



Disputes - international:

Botswana still struggles to seal its border from thousands of
Zimbabweans who flee economic collapse and political persecution;
Namibia has long supported, and in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections
to, plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the
Zambezi River at Kazungula crossing, thereby de facto recognizing
the short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Bouvet Island

Introduction
Bouvet Island



Background:

This uninhabited volcanic island is almost entirely covered by
glaciers and is difficult to approach. It was discovered in 1739 by
a French naval officer after whom the island was named. No claim was
made until 1825, when the British flag was raised. In 1928, the UK
waived its claim in favor of Norway, which had occupied the island
the previous year. In 1971, Norway designated Bouvet Island and the
adjacent territorial waters a nature reserve. Since 1977, it has run
an automated meteorological station on the island.


Geography
Bouvet Island



Location:

island in the South Atlantic Ocean, southwest of the Cape of Good
Hope (South Africa)


Geographic coordinates:

54 26 S, 3 24 E


Map references:

Antarctic Region


Area:

total: 49 sq km
land: 49 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

29.6 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 4 nm


Climate:

antarctic


Terrain:

volcanic; coast is mostly inaccessible


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: South Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Olav Peak 935 m


Natural resources:

none


Land use:

arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (93% ice) (2005)


Irrigated land:

0 sq km


Natural hazards:

NA


Environment - current issues:

NA


Geography - note:

covered by glacial ice; declared a nature reserve Norway


People
Bouvet Island



Population:

uninhabited


Government
Bouvet Island



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Bouvet Island


Dependency status:

territory of Norway; administered by the Polar Department of the
Ministry of Justice and Police from Oslo


Legal system:

the laws of Norway, where applicable, apply


Flag description:

the flag of Norway is used


Economy
Bouvet Island



Economy - overview:

no economic activity; declared a nature reserve


Communications
Bouvet Island



Internet country code:

.bv


Internet hosts:

6 (2008)


Communications - note:

automatic meteorological station


Transportation
Bouvet Island



Ports and terminals:

none; offshore anchorage only


Military
Bouvet Island



Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of Norway


Transnational Issues
Bouvet Island



Disputes - international:

none



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Brazil

Introduction
Brazil



Background:

Following three centuries under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became
an independent nation in 1822 and a republic in 1889. By far the
largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil overcame
more than half a century of military intervention in the governance
of the country when in 1985 the military regime peacefully ceded
power to civilian rulers. Brazil continues to pursue industrial and
agricultural growth and development of its interior. Exploiting vast
natural resources and a large labor pool, it is today South
America's leading economic power and a regional leader. Highly
unequal income distribution and crime remain pressing problems.


Geography
Brazil



Location:

Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean


Geographic coordinates:

10 00 S, 55 00 W


Map references:

South America


Area:

total: 8,511,965 sq km
land: 8,456,510 sq km
water: 55,455 sq km
note: includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas,
Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao
Paulo


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than the US


Land boundaries:

total: 16,885 km
border countries: Argentina 1,261 km, Bolivia 3,423 km, Colombia
1,644 km, French Guiana 730 km, Guyana 1,606 km, Paraguay 1,365 km,
Peru 2,995 km, Suriname 593 km, Uruguay 1,068 km, Venezuela 2,200 km


Coastline:

7,491 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin


Climate:

mostly tropical, but temperate in south


Terrain:

mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills,
mountains, and narrow coastal belt


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico da Neblina 3,014 m


Natural resources:

bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum,
tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber


Land use:

arable land: 6.93%
permanent crops: 0.89%
other: 92.18% (2005)


Irrigated land:

29,200 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

8,233 cu km (2000)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 59.3 cu km/yr (20%/18%/62%)
per capita: 318 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south


Environment - current issues:

deforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers a
multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; there
is a lucrative illegal wildlife trade; air and water pollution in
Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities; land
degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining
activities; wetland degradation; severe oil spills


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with
every South American country except Chile and Ecuador


People
Brazil



Population:

196,342,592
note: Brazil conducted a census in August 2000, which reported a
population of 169,799,170; that figure was about 3.3% lower than
projections by the US Census Bureau, and is close to the implied
underenumeration of 4.6% for the 1991 census; estimates for this
country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality
due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant
mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and
changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would
otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 27% (male 26,986,909/female 25,961,947)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 64,939,225/female 66,157,812)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 5,182,987/female 7,113,707) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 28.3 years
male: 27.5 years
female: 29 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.228% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

18.72 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

6.35 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-0.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 23.33 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 71.71 years
male: 68.15 years
female: 75.45 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

2.22 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.7% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

660,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

15,000 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Brazilian(s)
adjective: Brazilian


Ethnic groups:

white 53.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, black 6.2%,
other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, unspecified 0.7%
(2000 census)


Religions:

Roman Catholic (nominal) 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, Spiritualist 1.3%,
Bantu/voodoo 0.3%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.2%, none 7.4% (2000
census)


Languages:

Portuguese (official and most widely spoken language); note - less
common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German,
Italian, Japanese, English, and a large number of minor Amerindian
languages


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.6%
male: 88.4%
female: 88.8% (2004 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2005)


Education expenditures:

4% of GDP (2004)


Government
Brazil



Country name:

conventional long form: Federative Republic of Brazil
conventional short form: Brazil
local long form: Republica Federativa do Brasil
local short form: Brasil


Government type:

federal republic


Capital:

name: Brasilia
geographic coordinates: 15 47 S, 47 55 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins third Sunday in October; ends
third Sunday in February
note: Brazil is divided into four time zones, including one for the
Fernando de Noronha Islands


Administrative divisions:

26 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district*
(distrito federal); Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara,
Distrito Federal*, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso,
Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco,
Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul,
Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins


Independence:

7 September 1822 (from Portugal)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 7 September (1822)


Constitution:

5 October 1988


Legal system:

based on Roman codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

voluntary between 16 and 18 years of age and over 70; compulsory
over 18 and under 70 years of age; note - military conscripts do not
vote


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Luiz Inacio "LULA" DA SILVA (since 1
January 2003); Vice President Jose ALENCAR (since 1 January 2003);
note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government
head of government: President Luiz Inacio "LULA" DA SILVA (since 1
January 2003); Vice President Jose ALENCAR (since 1 January 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket
by popular vote for a single four-year term; election last held 1
October 2006 with runoff 29 October 2006 (next to be held 3 October
2010 and, if necessary, 31 October 2010)
election results: Luiz Inacio "LULA" DA SILVA (PT) reelected
president - 60.83%, Geraldo ALCKMIN (PSDB) 39.17%


Legislative branch:

bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the
Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats; 3 members from each
state and federal district elected according to the principle of
majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third and two-thirds elected
every four years, alternately) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara
dos Deputados (513 seats; members are elected by proportional
representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: Federal Senate - last held 1 October 2006 for one-third
of the Senate (next to be held in October 2010 for two-thirds of the
Senate); Chamber of Deputies - last held 1 October 2006 (next to be
held in October 2010)
election results: Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA;
seats by party - PFL 6, PSDB 5, PMDB 4, PTB 3, PT 2, PDT 1, PSB 1,
PL 1, PPS 1, PRTB 1, PP 1, PCdoB 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of
vote by party - NA; seats by party - PMDB 89, PT 83, PFL 65, PSDB
65, PP 42, PSB 27, PDT 24, PL 23, PTB 22, PPS 21, PCdoB 13, PV 13,
PSC 9, other 17; note - as of 1 January 2008: Federal Senate - seats
by party - PMDB 20, DEM (formerly PFL) 14, PSDB 13, PT 12, PTB 6,
PDT 5, PR 4, PRB 2, PSB 2, PCdoB 1, PP 1, PSOL 1; Chamber of
Deputies - seats by party - PMDB 90, PT 83, PSDB 64, DEM (formerly
PFL) 62, PP 41, PR 34, PSB 28, PDT 23, PTB 21, PPS 17, PV 13, PCdoB
13, PSC 7, PAN 4, PSOL 3, PMN 3, PTC 3, PHS 2, PTdoB 1, PRB 1


Judicial branch:

Supreme Federal Tribunal or STF (11 ministers are appointed for life
by the president and confirmed by the Senate); Higher Tribunal of
Justice; Regional Federal Tribunals (judges are appointed for life);
note - though appointed "for life," judges, like all federal
employees, have a mandatory retirement age of 70


Political parties and leaders:

Brazilian Democratic Movement Party or PMDB [Federal Deputy Michel
TEMER]; Brazilian Labor Party or PTB [Roberto JEFFERSON]; Brazilian
Renewal Labor Party or PRTB [Jose Levy FIDELIX da Cruz]; Brazilian
Republican Party or PRB [Vitor Paulo Araujo DOS SANTOS]; Brazilian
Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Senator Sergio GUERRA]; Brazilian
Socialist Party or PSB [Governor Eduardo Henrique Accioly CAMPOS];
Christian Labor Party or PTC [Daniel TOURINHO]; Communist Party of
Brazil or PCdoB [Jose Renato RABELO]; Democratic Labor Party or PDT
[Carlos Roberto LUPI]; the Democrats or DEM (formerly Liberal Front
Party or PFL) [Federal Deputy Rodrigo MAIA]; Freedom and Socialism
Party or PSOL [Heloisa HELENA]; Green Party or PV [Jose Luiz de
Franca PENNA]; Humanist Party of Solidarity or PHS [Paulo Roberto
MATOS]; Labor Party of Brazil or PTdoB [Luis Henrique de Oliveira
RESENDE]; Liberal Front Party or PFL (now known as the Democrats or
DEM); National Mobilization Party or PMN [Oscar Noronha FILHO];
Party of the Republic or PR [Sergio TAMER]; Popular Socialist Party
or PPS [Federal Deputy Fernando CORUJA]; Progressive Party or PP
[Francisco DORNELLES]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Vitor Jorge
Abdala NOSSEIS]; Workers' Party or PT [Ricardo Jose Ribeiro BERZOINI]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Landless Workers' Movement or MST
other: labor unions and federations; large farmers' associations;
religious groups including evangelical Christian churches and the
Catholic Church


International organization participation:

AfDB (nonregional members), BIS, CAN (associate), CPLP, FAO, G-15,
G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC,
IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO,
ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURCAT, MINURSO, MINUSTAH,
NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMIS,
UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar PATRIOTA
chancery: 3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 238-2700
FAX: [1] (202) 238-2827
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami,
New York, San Francisco


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Clifford M. SOBEL
embassy: Avenida das Nacoes, Quadra 801, Lote 3, Distrito Federal
Cep 70403-900, Brasilia
mailing address: Unit 3500, APO AA 34030
telephone: [55] (61) 3312-7000
FAX: [55] (61) 3225-9136
consulate(s) general: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo
consulate(s): Recife


Flag description:

green with a large yellow diamond in the center bearing a blue
celestial globe with 27 white five-pointed stars (one for each state
and the Federal District) arranged in the same pattern as the night
sky over Brazil; the globe has a white equatorial band with the
motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO (Order and Progress)


Economy
Brazil



Economy - overview:

Characterized by large and well-developed agricultural, mining,
manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that
of all other South American countries and is expanding its presence
in world markets. Having weathered 2001-03 financial turmoil,
capital inflows are regaining strength and the currency has resumed
appreciating. The appreciation has slowed export volume growth, but
since 2004, Brazil's growth has yielded increases in employment and
real wages. The resilience in the economy stems from
commodity-driven current account surpluses, and sound macroeconomic
policies that have bolstered international reserves to historically
high levels, reduced public debt, and allowed a significant decline
in real interest rates. A floating exchange rate, an
inflation-targeting regime, and a tight fiscal policy are the three
pillars of the economic program. From 2003 to 2007, Brazil ran
record trade surpluses and recorded its first current account
surpluses since 1992. Productivity gains coupled with high commodity
prices contributed to the surge in exports. Brazil improved its debt
profile in 2006 by shifting its debt burden toward real denominated
and domestically held instruments. "LULA" DA SILVA restated his
commitment to fiscal responsibility by maintaining the country's
primary surplus during the 2006 election. Following his second
inauguration, "LULA" DA SILVA announced a package of further
economic reforms to reduce taxes and increase investment in
infrastructure. The government's goal of achieving strong growth
while reducing the debt burden is likely to create inflationary
pressures.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.849 trillion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.314 trillion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

5.4% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$9,500 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 5.5%
industry: 28.7%
services: 65.8% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

99.23 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 20%
industry: 14%
services: 66% (2003 est.)


Unemployment rate:

9.3% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

31% (2005)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 0.9%
highest 10%: 44.8% (2004)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

56.7 (2005)


Investment (gross fixed):

17.6% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $244 billion
expenditures: $219.9 billion (FY07)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

45.1% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.6% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

17.85% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

43.72% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$131.1 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$792.8 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$1.377 trillion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef


Industries:

textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel,
aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment


Industrial production growth rate:

4.9% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

437.3 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

402.2 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - exports:

2.034 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

40.47 billion kWh; note - supplied by Paraguay (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 8.3%
hydro: 82.7%
nuclear: 4.4%
other: 4.6% (2001)


Oil - production:

2.277 million bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

2.372 million bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - exports:

481,100 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

648,800 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

12.18 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

9.8 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

19.8 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

10 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

347.7 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$1.712 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$160.6 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, autos


Exports - partners:

US 16.1%, Argentina 9.2%, China 6.8%, Netherlands 5.6%, Germany 4.6%
(2007)


Imports:

$120.6 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products,
oil, automotive parts, electronics


Imports - partners:

US 15.7%, China 10.5%, Argentina 8.6%, Germany 7.2%, Nigeria 4.4%
(2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$191.9 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$180.3 billion (31 December 2007)


Debt - external:

$229.4 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$248.9 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$107.1 billion (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$711.1 billion (2006)


Currency (code):

real (BRL)


Currency code:

BRL


Exchange rates:

reals (BRL) per US dollar - 1.85 (2007 est.), 2.1761 (2006), 2.4344
(2005), 2.9251 (2004), 3.0771 (2003)


Communications
Brazil



Telephones - main lines in use:

39.4 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

120.98 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: good working system; fixed-line connections have
remained relatively stable in recent years and stand at about 20 per
100 persons; less expensive mobile cellular technology is a major
driver in expanding telephone service to the low-income segment of
the population with mobile-cellular telephone density reaching
nearly 65 per 100 persons
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic
satellite system with 64 earth stations; mobile-cellular usage has
more than tripled in the past 5 years
international: country code - 55; landing point for a number of
submarine cables that provide direct links to South and Central
America, the Caribbean, the US, Africa, and Europe; satellite earth
stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean
region east), connected by microwave relay system to Mercosur
Brazilsat B3 satellite earth station (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1,365, FM 296, shortwave 161 (of which 91 are collocated with AM
stations) (1999)


Radios:

71 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

138 (1997)


Televisions:

36.5 million (1997)


Internet country code:

.br


Internet hosts:

9.573 million (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

50 (2000)


Internet users:

50 million (2007)


Transportation
Brazil



Airports:

4,263 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 718
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 25
1,524 to 2,437 m: 167
914 to 1,523 m: 467
under 914 m: 52 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 3,545
1,524 to 2,437 m: 83
914 to 1,523 m: 1,555
under 914 m: 1,907 (2007)


Heliports:

16 (2007)


Pipelines:

condensate/gas 244 km; gas 12,070 km; liquid petroleum gas 351 km;
oil 5,214 km; refined products 4,410 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 29,295 km
broad gauge: 4,932 km 1.600-m gauge (939 km electrified)
standard gauge: 194 km 1.440-m gauge
narrow gauge: 23,773 km 1.000-m gauge (581 km electrified)
dual gauge: 396 km 1.000 m and 1.600-m gauges (three rails) (78 km
electrified) (2006)


Roadways:

total: 1,751,868 km
paved: 96,353 km
unpaved: 1,655,515 km (2004)


Waterways:

50,000 km (most in areas remote from industry and population) (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 136
by type: bulk carrier 19, cargo 22, carrier 1, chemical tanker 7,
container 11, liquefied gas 12, passenger/cargo 12, petroleum tanker
45, roll on/roll off 7
foreign-owned: 25 (Chile 1, Denmark 2, Germany 6, Greece 1, Mexico
1, Norway 5, Spain 9)
registered in other countries: 8 (Argentina 1, Bahamas 2, Ghana 1,
Liberia 3, Marshall Islands 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Guaiba, Ilha Grande, Paranagua, Rio Grande, Santos, Sao Sebastiao,
Tubarao


Transportation - note:

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and
offshore waters in the Atlantic Ocean as a significant risk for
piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels
have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway;
crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen


Military
Brazil



Military branches:

Brazilian Army, Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil (MB), includes
Naval Air and Marine Corps (Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais)), Brazilian
Air Force (Forca Aerea Brasileira, FAB) (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

21-45 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript
service obligation - 9 to 12 months; 17-45 years of age for
voluntary service; an increasing percentage of the ranks are
"long-service" volunteer professionals; women were allowed to serve
in the armed forces beginning in early 1980s when the Brazilian Army
became the first army in South America to accept women into career
ranks; women serve in Navy and Air Force only in Women's Reserve
Corps (2001)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 52,449,957
females age 16-49: 52,375,921 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 39,263,710
females age 16-49: 44,109,056 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 1,666,791
female: 1,608,363 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

2.6% of GDP (2006 est.)


Transnational Issues
Brazil



Disputes - international:

unruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is
locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics
trafficking, and fundraising for extremist organizations;
uncontested boundary dispute with Uruguay over Isla Brasilera at the
confluence of the Quarai/Cuareim and Invernada rivers, that form a
tripoint with Argentina; the Itaipú Dam reservoir covers over a once
contested section of Brazil-Paraguay boundary west of Guaira Falls
on the Rio Parana; an accord placed the long-disputed Isla
Suárez/Ilha de Guajará-Mirim, a fluvial island on the Río Mamoré,
under Bolivian administration in 1958, but sovereignty remains in
dispute


Illicit drugs:

second-largest consumer of cocaine in the world; illicit producer of
cannabis; trace amounts of coca cultivation in the Amazon region,
used for domestic consumption; government has a large-scale
eradication program to control cannabis; important transshipment
country for Bolivian, Colombian, and Peruvian cocaine headed for
Europe; also used by traffickers as a way station for narcotics air
transshipments between Peru and Colombia; upsurge in drug-related
violence and weapons smuggling; important market for Colombian,
Bolivian, and Peruvian cocaine; illicit narcotics proceeds earned in
Brazil are often laundered through the financial system; significant
illicit financial activity in the Tri-Border Area



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@British Indian Ocean Territory

Introduction
British Indian Ocean Territory



Background:

Formerly administered as part of the British Crown Colony of
Mauritius, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) was established
as an overseas territory of the UK in 1965. A number of the islands
of the territory were later transferred to the Seychelles when it
attained independence in 1976. Subsequently, BIOT has consisted only
of the six main island groups comprising the Chagos Archipelago. The
largest and most southerly of the islands, Diego Garcia, contains a
joint UK-US naval support facility. All of the remaining islands are
uninhabited. Between 1967 and 1973, former agricultural workers,
earlier residents in the islands, were relocated primarily to
Mauritius, but also to the Seychelles. Negotiations between 1971 and
1982 resulted in the establishment of a trust fund by the British
Government as compensation for the displaced islanders, known as
Chagossians. Beginning in 1998, the islanders pursued a series of
lawsuits against the British Government seeking further compensation
and the right to return to the territory. In 2006 and 2007, British
court rulings invalidated the immigration policies contained in the
2004 BIOT Constitution Order that had excluded the islanders from
the archipelago, but upheld the special military status of Diego
Garcia. In 2008, the House of Lords, as the final court of appeal in
the UK, ruled in favor of the British Goverment by overturning the
lower court rulings and finding no right of return on the part of
the Chagossians.


Geography
British Indian Ocean Territory



Location:

archipelago in the Indian Ocean, south of India, about halfway
between Africa and Indonesia


Geographic coordinates:

6 00 S, 71 30 E; note - Diego Garcia 7 20 S, 72 25 E


Map references:

Political Map of the World


Area:

total: 54,400 sq km
land: 60 sq km; Diego Garcia 44 sq km
water: 54,340 sq km
note: includes the entire Chagos Archipelago of 55 islands


Area - comparative:

land area is about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

698 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


Climate:

tropical marine; hot, humid, moderated by trade winds


Terrain:

flat and low (most areas do not exceed two meters in elevation)


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Diego Garcia 15 m


Natural resources:

coconuts, fish, sugarcane


Land use:

arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)


Irrigated land:

0 sq km


Natural hazards:

NA


Environment - current issues:

NA


Geography - note:

archipelago of 55 islands; Diego Garcia, largest and southernmost
island, occupies strategic location in central Indian Ocean; island
is site of joint US-UK military facility


People
British Indian Ocean Territory



Population:

no indigenous inhabitants
note: approximately 1,200 former agricultural workers resident in
the Chagos Archipelago, often referred to as Chagossians or Ilois,
were relocated to Mauritius and the Seychelles in the 1960s and
1970s; in November 2000 they were granted the right of return by a
British High Court ruling, though no timetable has been set; in
November 2004, approximately 4,000 UK and US military personnel and
civilian contractors were living on the island of Diego Garcia


Government
British Indian Ocean Territory



Country name:

conventional long form: British Indian Ocean Territory
conventional short form: none
abbreviation: BIOT


Dependency status:

overseas territory of the UK; administered by a commissioner,
resident in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London


Legal system:

the laws of the UK, where applicable, apply


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Commissioner Colin ROBERTS (since July 2008);
Administrator Joanne YEADON (since December 2007); note - both
reside in the UK and are represented by the officer commanding
British Forces on Diego Garcia
cabinet: NA
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; commissioner and
administrator appointed by the monarch


Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Flag description:

white with six blue wavy horizontal stripes; the flag of the UK is
in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the striped section bears a palm
tree and yellow crown centered on the outer half of the flag


Economy
British Indian Ocean Territory



Economy - overview:

All economic activity is concentrated on the largest island of Diego
Garcia, where a joint UK-US military facility is located.
Construction projects and various services needed to support the
military installation are performed by military and contract
employees from the UK, Mauritius, the Philippines, and the US. There
are no industrial or agricultural activities on the islands. When
the native Ilois return, they plan to reestablish sugarcane
production and fishing. The territory earns foreign exchange by
selling fishing licenses and postage stamps.


Electricity - production:

NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by the US military


Electricity - consumption:

NA kWh


Currency (code):

US Dollar (USD)


Communications
British Indian Ocean Territory



Telephones - main lines in use:

NA


Telephone system:

general assessment: separate facilities for military and public
needs are available
domestic: all commercial telephone services are available, including
connection to the Internet
international: country code (Diego Garcia) - 246; international
telephone service is carried by satellite (2000)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)


Radios:

NA


Television broadcast stations:

1 (1997)


Televisions:

NA


Internet country code:

.io


Internet hosts:

89 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2000)


Transportation
British Indian Ocean Territory



Airports:

1 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)


Roadways:

note: short section of paved road between port and airfield on Diego
Garcia


Ports and terminals:

Diego Garcia


Military
British Indian Ocean Territory



Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the UK; the US lease on Diego
Garcia expires in 2016


Transnational Issues
British Indian Ocean Territory



Disputes - international:

Mauritius claims the Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia; in
2001, the former inhabitants of the Chagos Archipelago, evicted in
1967 and 1973 and now residing chiefly in Mauritius, were granted UK
citizenship and the right to repatriation; in May 2007, the UK Court
of Appeals upheld the May 2006 High Court of London judgment
reversing the UK government's 2004 Orders of Council that banned
habitation on the islands; a small group of Chagossians visited
Diego Garcia in April 2006; repatriation is complicated by the
exclusive US military lease of Diego Garcia that restricts access to
the largest viable island in the chain



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@British Virgin Islands

Introduction
British Virgin Islands



Background:

First inhabited by Arawak and later by Carib Indians, the Virgin
Islands were settled by the Dutch in 1648 and then annexed by the
English in 1672. The islands were part of the British colony of the
Leeward Islands from 1872-1960; they were granted autonomy in 1967.
The economy is closely tied to the larger and more populous US
Virgin Islands to the west; the US dollar is the legal currency.


Geography
British Virgin Islands



Location:

Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean,
east of Puerto Rico


Geographic coordinates:

18 30 N, 64 30 W


Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


Area:

total: 153 sq km
land: 153 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: comprised of 16 inhabited and more than 20 uninhabited
islands; includes the islands of Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda,
Jost van Dyke


Area - comparative:

about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

80 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


Climate:

subtropical; humid; temperatures moderated by trade winds


Terrain:

coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hilly


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Sage 521 m


Natural resources:

NEGL


Land use:

arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 6.67%
other: 73.33% (2005)


Irrigated land:

NA


Natural hazards:

hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October)


Environment - current issues:

limited natural fresh water resources (except for a few seasonal
streams and springs on Tortola, most of the islands' water supply
comes from wells and rainwater catchments)


Geography - note:

strong ties to nearby US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico


People
British Virgin Islands



Population:

24,041 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 20% (male 2,432/female 2,366)
15-64 years: 74.4% (male 9,178/female 8,715)
65 years and over: 5.6% (male 697/female 653) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 32 years
male: 32.1 years
female: 31.9 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.88% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

14.72 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

4.37 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

8.44 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.07 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 15.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 17.23 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 77.07 years
male: 75.88 years
female: 78.32 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.71 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA


Nationality:

noun: British Virgin Islander(s)
adjective: British Virgin Islander


Ethnic groups:

black 83.4%, white 7%, mixed 5.4%, Indian 3.4%, other 0.8% (1991
census)


Religions:

Protestant 86% (Methodist 33%, Anglican 17%, Church of God 9%,
Seventh-Day Adventist 6%, Baptist 4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2%, other
15%), Roman Catholic 10%, other 2%, none 2% (1991)


Languages:

English (official)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8% (1991 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 17 years
male: 15 years
female: 19 years (2005)


Education expenditures:

3.7% of GDP (2006)


Government
British Virgin Islands



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: British Virgin Islands
abbreviation: BVI


Dependency status:

overseas territory of the UK; internal self-governing


Government type:

NA


Capital:

name: Road Town
geographic coordinates: 18 27 N, 64 37 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Independence:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


National holiday:

Territory Day, 1 July (1956)


Constitution:

13 June 2007


Legal system:

English law


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor David PEAREY (since 18 April 2006)
head of government: Premier Ralph T. O'NEAL (since 23 August 2007)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from members of
the House of Assembly
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the
monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority
party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed
premier by the governor


Legislative branch:

unicameral House of Assembly (13 elected seats and 1 non-voting ex
officio member in the attorney general; members are elected by
direct popular vote, 1 member from each of nine electoral districts,
4 at-large members; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 20 August 2007 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - VIP 45.2%, NDP 39.6%,
independent 15.2%; seats by party - VIP 10, NDP 2, independent 1


Judicial branch:

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of the High Court of
Justice and the Court of Appeal (one judge of the Supreme Court is a
resident of the islands and presides over the High Court);
Magistrate's Court; Juvenile Court; Court of Summary Jurisdiction


Political parties and leaders:

Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Ethlyn SMITH]; National
Democratic Party or NDP [Orlando SMITH]; United Party or UP [Gregory
MADURO]; Virgin Islands Party or VIP [Ralph T. O'NEAL]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

The Family Support Network; The Women's Desk
other: environmentalists


International organization participation:

Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS, UNESCO
(associate), UPU, WFTU


Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Flag description:

blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and
the Virgin Islander coat of arms centered in the outer half of the
flag; the coat of arms depicts a woman flanked on either side by a
vertical column of six oil lamps above a scroll bearing the Latin
word VIGILATE (Be Watchful)


Economy
British Virgin Islands



Economy - overview:

The economy, one of the most stable and prosperous in the Caribbean,
is highly dependent on tourism, generating an estimated 45% of the
national income. An estimated 820,000 tourists, mainly from the US,
visited the islands in 2005. In the mid-1980s, the government began
offering offshore registration to companies wishing to incorporate
in the islands, and incorporation fees now generate substantial
revenues. Roughly 400,000 companies were on the offshore registry by
yearend 2000. The adoption of a comprehensive insurance law in late
1994, which provides a blanket of confidentiality with regulated
statutory gateways for investigation of criminal offenses, made the
British Virgin Islands even more attractive to international
business. Livestock raising is the most important agricultural
activity; poor soils limit the islands' ability to meet domestic
food requirements. Because of traditionally close links with the US
Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands has used the US dollar as
its currency since 1959.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$853.4 million (2004 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$839.7 million (2003)


GDP - real growth rate:

1% (2002 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$38,500 (2004 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1.8%
industry: 6.2%
services: 92% (1996 est.)


Labor force:

12,770 (2004)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 0.6%
industry: 40%
services: 59.4% (2005)


Unemployment rate:

3.6% (1997)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $204.7 million
expenditures: $180.4 million (2004)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2% (2005)


Agriculture - products:

fruits, vegetables; livestock, poultry; fish


Industries:

tourism, light industry, construction, rum, concrete block, offshore
financial center


Industrial production growth rate:

NA%


Electricity - production:

45 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

41.85 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

650 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

649.8 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Current account balance:

$134.3 million (1999)


Exports:

$25.3 million (2002)


Exports - commodities:

rum, fresh fish, fruits, animals; gravel, sand


Exports - partners:

Virgin Islands (US), Puerto Rico, US (2006)


Imports:

$187 million (2002 est.)


Imports - commodities:

building materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, machinery


Imports - partners:

Virgin Islands (US), Puerto Rico, US (2006)


Economic aid - recipient:

$NA


Debt - external:

$36.1 million (1997)


Currency (code):

US dollar (USD)


Currency code:

USD


Exchange rates:

the US dollar is used


Communications
British Virgin Islands



Telephones - main lines in use:

11,700 (2002)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

8,000 (2002)


Telephone system:

general assessment: worldwide telephone service
domestic: NA
international: country code - 1-284; connected via submarine cable
to Bermuda; the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable
provides connectivity to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean
(2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (2004)


Radios:

9,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (plus 1 cable company) (1997)


Televisions:

4,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.vg


Internet hosts:

465 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

16 (2000)


Internet users:

4,000 (2002)


Transportation
British Virgin Islands



Airports:

3 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 200 km
paved: 200 km (2007)


Merchant marine:

registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Road Town


Military
British Virgin Islands



Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 7,101 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 5,921 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 184
female: 179 (2008 est.)


Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the UK


Transnational Issues
British Virgin Islands



Disputes - international:

none


Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US
and Europe; large offshore financial center makes it vulnerable to
money laundering



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Brunei

Introduction
Brunei



Background:

The Sultanate of Brunei's influence peaked between the 15th and 17th
centuries when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest
Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently entered a
period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal
succession, colonial expansion of European powers, and piracy. In
1888, Brunei became a British protectorate; independence was
achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six
centuries. Brunei benefits from extensive petroleum and natural gas
fields, the source of one of the highest per capita GDPs in Asia.


Geography
Brunei



Location:

Southeastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia


Geographic coordinates:

4 30 N, 114 40 E


Map references:

Southeast Asia


Area:

total: 5,770 sq km
land: 5,270 sq km
water: 500 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Delaware


Land boundaries:

total: 381 km
border countries: Malaysia 381 km


Coastline:

161 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or to median line


Climate:

tropical; hot, humid, rainy


Terrain:

flat coastal plain rises to mountains in east; hilly lowland in west


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Bukit Pagon 1,850 m


Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, timber


Land use:

arable land: 2.08%
permanent crops: 0.87%
other: 97.05% (2005)


Irrigated land:

10 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

8.5 cu km (1999)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.09
per capita: 243 cu m/yr (1994)


Natural hazards:

typhoons, earthquakes, and severe flooding are rare


Environment - current issues:

seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

close to vital sea lanes through South China Sea linking Indian and
Pacific Oceans; two parts physically separated by Malaysia; almost
an enclave within Malaysia


People
Brunei



Population:

381,371 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 27.2% (male 53,400/female 50,333)
15-64 years: 69.6% (male 132,895/female 132,391)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 5,927/female 6,425) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 27.5 years
male: 27.5 years
female: 27.5 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.785% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

18.39 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

3.28 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

2.74 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 12.69 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.19 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 75.52 years
male: 73.32 years
female: 77.83 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.94 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Bruneian(s)
adjective: Bruneian


Ethnic groups:

Malay 66.3%, Chinese 11.2%, indigenous 3.4%, other 19.1% (2004 est.)


Religions:

Muslim (official) 67%, Buddhist 13%, Christian 10%, other (includes
indigenous beliefs) 10%


Languages:

Malay (official), English, Chinese


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.7%
male: 95.2%
female: 90.2% (2001 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

5.2% of GDP (2000)


Government
Brunei



Country name:

conventional long form: Brunei Darussalam
conventional short form: Brunei
local long form: Negara Brunei Darussalam
local short form: Brunei


Government type:

constitutional sultanate


Capital:

name: Bandar Seri Begawan
geographic coordinates: 4 53 N, 114 56 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

4 districts (daerah-daerah, singular - daerah); Belait, Brunei and
Muara, Temburong, Tutong


Independence:

1 January 1984 (from UK)


National holiday:

National Day, 23 February (1984); note - 1 January 1984 was the date
of independence from the UK, 23 February 1984 was the date of
independence from British protection


Constitution:

29 September 1959 (some provisions suspended under a State of
Emergency since December 1962, others since independence on 1
January 1984)


Legal system:

based on English common law; for Muslims, Islamic Sharia law
supersedes civil law in a number of areas; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age for village elections; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah
(since 5 October 1967); note - the monarch is both the chief of
state and head of government
head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah
(since 5 October 1967)
cabinet: Council of Cabinet Ministers appointed and presided over by
the monarch; deals with executive matters; note - there is also a
Religious Council (members appointed by the monarch) that advises on
religious matters, a Privy Council (members appointed by the
monarch) that deals with constitutional matters, and the Council of
Succession (members appointed by the monarch) that determines the
succession to the throne if the need arises
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary


Legislative branch:

Legislative Council met on 25 September 2004 for first time in 20
years with 21 members appointed by the Sultan; passed constitutional
amendments calling for a 45-seat council with 15 elected members;
Sultan dissolved council on 1 September 2005 and appointed a new
council with 29 members as of 2 September 2005; council met in March
2006 and in March 2007
elections: last held in March 1962 (date of next election NA)


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court - chief justice and judges are sworn in by monarch for
three-year terms; Judicial Committee of Privy Council in London is
final court of appeal for civil cases; Sharia courts deal with
Islamic laws (2006)


Political parties and leaders:

National Development Party or NDP [YASSIN Affendi]
note: Brunei National Solidarity Party or PPKB [Abdul LATIF bin
Chuchu] and People's Awareness Party or PAKAR [Awang Haji MAIDIN bin
Haji Ahmad] were deregistered; parties are small and have limited
activity


Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA


International organization participation:

ADB, APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN, C, EAS, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB,
IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent),
ITSO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO,
WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Angela SHIM
chancery: 3520 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 237-1838
FAX: [1] (202) 885-0560


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador William E. TODD
embassy: Third Floor, Teck Guan Plaza, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri
Begawan, BS8811
mailing address: PSC 470 (BSB), FPO AP 96507; P.O. Box 2991, Bandar
Seri Begawan BS8675, Negara Brunei Darussalam
telephone: [673] 222-0384
FAX: [673] 222-5293


Flag description:

yellow with two diagonal bands of white (top, almost double width)
and black starting from the upper hoist side; the national emblem in
red is superimposed at the center; the emblem includes a
swallow-tailed flag on top of a winged column within an upturned
crescent above a scroll and flanked by two upraised hands


Economy
Brunei



Economy - overview:

Brunei has a small well-to-do economy that encompasses a mixture of
foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation,
welfare measures, and village tradition. Crude oil and natural gas
production account for just over half of GDP and more than 90% of
exports. Per capita GDP is among the highest in Asia, and
substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from
domestic production. The government provides for all medical
services and free education through the university level and
subsidizes rice and housing. Brunei's leaders are concerned that
steadily increased integration in the world economy will undermine
internal social cohesion. Plans for the future include upgrading the
labor force, reducing unemployment, strengthening the banking and
tourist sectors, and, in general, further widening the economic base
beyond oil and gas.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$19.64 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$12.39 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

0.4% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$51,000 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 0.9%
industry: 71.6%
services: 27.5% (2005 est.)


Labor force:

180,400 (2006 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 2.9%
industry: 61.1%
services: 36% (2003 est.)


Unemployment rate:

4% (2006)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $3.765 billion
expenditures: $4.815 billion (2004 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.4% (2007 est.)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

5.5% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$2.674 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$4.258 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$2.38 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

rice, vegetables, fruits; chickens, water buffalo, cattle, goats,
eggs


Industries:

petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction


Industrial production growth rate:

1.8% (2005 est.)


Electricity - production:

3.1 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

2.924 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

180,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

13,200 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

200,000 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

304 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

1.1 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

13.8 billion cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

3.99 billion cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

9.4 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

390.8 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$7.101 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$6.767 billion f.o.b. (2006)


Exports - commodities:

crude oil, natural gas, refined products, clothing


Exports - partners:

Japan 32.8%, Indonesia 24.4%, Australia 13.4%, South Korea 12.2%, US
5.5% (2007)


Imports:

$2 billion c.i.f. (2006)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food,
chemicals


Imports - partners:

UK 46.4%, Singapore 19.5%, Malaysia 11.3% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$770,000 (2004)


Debt - external:

$0 (2005)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Bruneian dollar (BND)


Currency code:

BND


Exchange rates:

Bruneian dollars (BND) per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.5886 (2006),
1.6644 (2005), 1.6902 (2004), 1.7422 (2003)


Communications
Brunei



Telephones - main lines in use:

79,200 (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

339,800 (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: service throughout the country is excellent;
international service is good to Southeast Asia, Middle East,
Western Europe, and the US
domestic: every service available
international: country code - 673; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3
optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to
Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; the Asia-America Gateway
submarine cable network, scheduled for completion by late 2008, will
provide new links to Asia and the US; satellite earth stations - 2
Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1, FM 2 (transmitting on 18 different frequencies), shortwave 0
(British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) station transmits two FM
signals with English and Nepali service) (2006)


Radios:

329,000 (1998)


Television broadcast stations:

4 (includes 2 UHF stations broadcasting a subscription service)
(2006)


Televisions:

201,900 (1998)


Internet country code:

.bn


Internet hosts:

14,950 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

2 (2000)


Internet users:

199,532 (2007)


Transportation
Brunei



Airports:

2 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)


Heliports:

3 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 672 km; oil 463 km (2007)


Roadways:

total: 3,650 km
paved: 2,819 km
unpaved: 831 km (2005)


Waterways:

209 km (navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m) (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 8
by type: liquefied gas 8
foreign-owned: 1 (UK 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Lumut, Muara, Seria


Military
Brunei



Military branches:

Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF): Royal Brunei Land Forces, Royal
Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei)
(2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age (est.) for voluntary military service; non-Malays
are ineligible to serve (2007)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 108,356
females age 16-49: 110,153 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 91,297
females age 16-49: 93,228 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 3,223
female: 3,182 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

4.5% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Brunei



Disputes - international:

Brunei and Malaysia agreed in September 2008 to resolve their
offshore and deepwater seabed dispute, resume hydrocarbon
exploration, and renounce any territorial claims on land; Brunei
established an exclusive economic fishing zone encompassing Louisa
Reef in the southern Spratly Islands in 1984, but makes no public
territorial claim to the offshore reefs; the 2002 "Declaration on
the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions in
the Spratly Islands but falls short of a legally binding "code of
conduct" desired by several of the disputants


Illicit drugs:

drug trafficking and illegally importing controlled substances are
serious offenses in Brunei and carry a mandatory death penalty



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Bulgaria

Introduction
Bulgaria



Background:

The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local
Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first
Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with
the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the
end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman
Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of
Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having
fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within
the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in
1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its
first multiparty election since World War II and began the
contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a
market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption,
and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.


Geography
Bulgaria



Location:

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and
Turkey


Geographic coordinates:

43 00 N, 25 00 E


Map references:

Europe


Area:

total: 110,910 sq km
land: 110,550 sq km
water: 360 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Tennessee


Land boundaries:

total: 1,808 km
border countries: Greece 494 km, Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km,
Serbia 318 km, Turkey 240 km


Coastline:

354 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


Climate:

temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers


Terrain:

mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Musala 2,925 m


Natural resources:

bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land


Land use:

arable land: 29.94%
permanent crops: 1.9%
other: 68.16% (2005)


Irrigated land:

5,880 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

19.4 cu km (2005)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 6.92 cu km/yr (3%/78%/19%)
per capita: 895 cu m/yr (2003)


Natural hazards:

earthquakes, landslides


Environment - current issues:

air pollution from industrial emissions; rivers polluted from raw
sewage, heavy metals, detergents; deforestation; forest damage from
air pollution and resulting acid rain; soil contamination from heavy
metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wastes


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,
Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources,
Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,
Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes
from Europe to Middle East and Asia


People
Bulgaria



Population:

7,262,675 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 13.8% (male 514,238/female 489,608)
15-64 years: 68.6% (male 2,449,812/female 2,532,845)
65 years and over: 17.6% (male 520,962/female 755,210) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 41.1 years
male: 38.9 years
female: 43.4 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

-0.813% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

9.58 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

14.3 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-3.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 18.51 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 72.83 years
male: 69.22 years
female: 76.66 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.4 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

346 (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

100 (2001 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Bulgarian(s)
adjective: Bulgarian


Ethnic groups:

Bulgarian 83.9%, Turk 9.4%, Roma 4.7%, other 2% (including
Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian) (2001 census)


Religions:

Bulgarian Orthodox 82.6%, Muslim 12.2%, other Christian 1.2%, other
4% (2001 census)


Languages:

Bulgarian 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8%
(2001 census)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.2%
male: 98.7%
female: 97.7% (2001 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

4.5% of GDP (2005)


Government
Bulgaria



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria
conventional short form: Bulgaria
local long form: Republika Balgariya
local short form: Balgariya


Government type:

parliamentary democracy


Capital:

name: Sofia
geographic coordinates: 42 41 N, 23 19 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last
Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:

28 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast); Blagoevgrad, Burgas,
Dobrich, Gabrovo, Khaskovo, Kurdzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana,
Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen,
Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofiya, Sofiya-Grad, Stara Zagora,
Turgovishte, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol


Independence:

3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman
Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman
Empire)


National holiday:

Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)


Constitution:

adopted 12 July 1991


Legal system:

civil and criminal law based on Roman law; accepts compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction with reservations


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Georgi PARVANOV (since 22 January 2002);
Vice President Angel MARIN (since 22 January 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Sergei STANISHEV (since 16 August
2005); Deputy Prime Ministers Ivaylo KALFIN, Daniel VULCHEV, and
Emel ETEM (since 16 August 2005) and Meglena PLUGCHIEVA (since 25
April 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and
elected by the National Assembly
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket
by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term);
election last held 22 and 29 October 2006 (next to be held in 2011);
chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) nominated by
the president and elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime
ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the
National Assembly
election results: Georgi PARVANOV reelected president; percent of
vote - Georgi PARVANOV 77.3%, Volen SIDEROV 22.7%; Sergei STANISHEV
elected prime minister, result of legislative vote - 168 to 67


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sobranie (240 seats; members
elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 June 2005 (next to be held in June 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - CfB 31.1%, NMS2 19.9%,
MRF 12.7%, ATAKA 8.2%, UDF 7.7%, DSB 6.5%, BPU 5.2%, other 8.7%;
seats by party - CfB 83, NMS2 53, MRF 33, UDF 20, ATAKA 17, DSB 17,
BPU 13, independents 4; note - seats by party as of January 2008 -
CfB 82, NMS2 36, MRF 34, Bulgarian New Democracy 16, DSB 16, UDF 16,
BPU 13, ATAKA 11, independents 16


Judicial branch:

Supreme Administrative Court; Supreme Court of Cassation;
Constitutional Court (12 justices appointed or elected for nine-year
terms); Supreme Judicial Council (consists of the chairmen of the
two Supreme Courts, the Chief Prosecutor, and 22 other members;
responsible for appointing the justices, prosecutors, and
investigating magistrates in the justice system; members of the
Supreme Judicial Council elected for five-year terms, 11 elected by
the National Assembly and 11 by bodies of the judiciary)


Political parties and leaders:

ATAKA (Attack Coalition) (coalition of parties headed by the Attack
National Union); Attack National Union [Volen SIDEROV]; Bulgarian
Agrarian National Union-People's Union or BANU [Anastasia MOZER];
Bulgarian New Democracy [Borislav RALCHEV]; Bulgarian People's Union
or BPU (coalition of UFD, IMRO, and BANU); Bulgarian Socialist Party
or BSP [Sergei STANISHEV]; Citizens for the European Development of
Bulgaria or GERB [Tsvetan TSVETANOV]; Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB
(coalition of parties dominated by BSP) [Sergei STANISHEV];
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Ivan KOSTOV]; Internal
Macedonian Revolutionary Organization or IMRO [Krasimir
KARAKACHANOV]; Movement for Rights and Freedoms or MRF [Ahmed
DOGAN]; National Movement for Stability and Progress or NMSS [Simeon
SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA] (formerly National Movement Simeon II or NMS2);
New Time [Emil KOSHLUKOV]; Union of Democratic Forces or UDF [Petar
STOYANOV]; Union of Free Democrats or UFD [Stefan SOFIYANSKI];
United Democratic Forces or UtDF (a coalition of center-right
parties dominated by UDF)


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB;
Podkrepa Labor Confederation
other: numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with
various agendas


International organization participation:

ACCT, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU
(new member), FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IFC,
IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE,
PCA, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCL,
WCO, WEU (associate affiliate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Latechezar PETKOV
chancery: 1621 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-0174
FAX: [1] (202) 234-7973
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Nancy McELDOWNEY
embassy: 16 Kozyak Street, Sofia 1407
mailing address: American Embassy Sofia, US Department of State,
5740 Sofia Place, Washington, DC 20521-5740
telephone: [359] (2) 937-5100
FAX: [359] (2) 937-5320


Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red
note: the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white
stripe, has been removed


Economy
Bulgaria



Economy - overview:

Bulgaria, a former communist country that entered the EU on 1
January 2007, has experienced strong growth since a major economic
downturn in 1996. Successive governments have demonstrated
commitment to economic reforms and responsible fiscal planning, but
have failed so far to rein in rising inflation and large current
account deficits. Bulgaria has averaged more than 6% growth since
2004, attracting significant amounts of foreign direct investment,
but corruption in the public administration, a weak judiciary, and
the presence of organized crime remain significant challenges.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$86.71 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$39.61 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

6.2% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$11,800 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 6.2%
industry: 32.3%
services: 61.5% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

2.593 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 8.5%
industry: 33.6%
services: 57.9% (2nd qtr. 2006 est.)


Unemployment rate:

7.7% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

14.1% (2003 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 25.4% (2005)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

31.6 (2005)


Investment (gross fixed):

29.8% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $16.84 billion
expenditures: $15.35 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

10.5% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

9.8% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

4.58% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$15.58 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$17.03 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$25.18 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

vegetables, fruits, tobacco, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar
beets; livestock


Industries:

electricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and
equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum,
nuclear fuel


Industrial production growth rate:

14% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

43.15 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

30.5 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

7.534 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

3.054 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 47.8%
hydro: 8.1%
nuclear: 44.1%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

3,661 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

109,600 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

50,530 bbl/day (2005 est.)


Oil - imports:

158,400 bbl/day (2005 est.)


Oil - proved reserves:

15 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

5.6 billion cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

5.179 billion cu m (2005)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

-$8.53 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$18.44 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels


Exports - partners:

Turkey 11.5%, Germany 10.3%, Italy 10.2%, Greece 9.1%, Belgium 6.2%,
Romania 4.9% (2007)


Imports:

$28.67 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics;
fuels, minerals, and raw materials


Imports - partners:

Russia 12.3%, Germany 12.3%, Italy 8.7%, Ukraine 7.2%, Turkey 6.9%,
Greece 6.2%, Romania 4.5%, Austria 4.3% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$742 million (2005-06 est.)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$17.38 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$34.88 billion (30 June 2007)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$33.91 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$559 million (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$10.32 billion (2006)


Currency (code):

lev (BGN)


Currency code:

BGN


Exchange rates:

leva (BGN) per US dollar - 1.4366 (2007), 1.5576 (2006), 1.5741
(2005), 1.5751 (2004), 1.7327 (2003)


Communications
Bulgaria



Telephones - main lines in use:

2.3 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

9.897 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: an extensive but antiquated telecommunications
network inherited from the Soviet era; quality has improved; the
Bulgaria Telecommunications Company's fixed-line monopoly terminated
in 2005 when alternative fixed-line operators were given access to
its network; a drop in fixed-line connections in recent years has
been more than offset by a sharp increase in mobile-cellular
telephone use fostered by multiple service providers; the number of
cellular telephone subscriptions now exceeds the population
domestic: a fairly modern digital cable trunk line now connects
switching centers in most of the regions; the others are connected
by digital microwave radio relay
international: country code - 359; submarine cable provides
connectivity to Ukraine and Russia; a combination submarine cable
and land fiber-optic system provides connectivity to Italy, Albania,
and Macedonia; satellite earth stations - 3 (1 Intersputnik in the
Atlantic Ocean region, 2 Intelsat in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean
regions) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 31, FM 63, shortwave 2 (2001)


Radios:

4.51 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

39 (plus 1,242 repeaters) (2001)


Televisions:

3.31 million (1997)


Internet country code:

.bg


Internet hosts:

513,470 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

200 (2001)


Internet users:

1.899 million (2007)


Transportation
Bulgaria



Airports:

214 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 131
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 95 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 83
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 72 (2007)


Heliports:

4 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 2,500 km; oil 339 km; refined products 156 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 4,294 km
standard gauge: 4,049 km 1.435-m gauge (2,710 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 245 km 0.760-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 40,231 km
paved: 39,587 km (includes 331 km of expressways)
unpaved: 644 km (2005)


Waterways:

470 km (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 74
by type: bulk carrier 37, cargo 14, chemical tanker 5, container 6,
liquefied gas 2, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll
off 4, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 65 (Germany 63, Ireland 1, Russia 1)
registered in other countries: 31 (Comoros 2, Malta 5, Panama 3,
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 15, Slovakia 6) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Burgas, Varna


Military
Bulgaria



Military branches:

Bulgarian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Bulgarian Air
Forces (Bulgarski Voennovazdyshni Sily, BVVS) (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscript service
obligation - 9 months; as of May 2006, 67% of the Bulgarian Army
comprised of professional soldiers; conscription ended as of 1
January 2008; Air and Air Defense Forces and Naval Forces became
fully professional at the end of 2006 (2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,701,979
females age 16-49: 1,691,092 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,364,029
females age 16-49: 1,401,348 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 39,477
female: 37,339 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

2.6% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Bulgaria



Disputes - international:

none


Illicit drugs:

major European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and,
to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market;
limited producer of precursor chemicals; some money laundering of
drug-related proceeds through financial institutions



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Burkina Faso

Introduction
Burkina Faso



Background:

Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from
France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s
were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current
President Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup and
has won every election since then. Burkina Faso's high population
density and limited natural resources result in poor economic
prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Cote
d'Ivoire and northern Ghana has hindered the ability of several
hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment
in neighboring countries.


Geography
Burkina Faso



Location:

Western Africa, north of Ghana


Geographic coordinates:

13 00 N, 2 00 W


Map references:

Africa


Area:

total: 274,200 sq km
land: 273,800 sq km
water: 400 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Colorado


Land boundaries:

total: 3,193 km
border countries: Benin 306 km, Cote d'Ivoire 584 km, Ghana 549 km,
Mali 1,000 km, Niger 628 km, Togo 126 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers


Terrain:

mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and
southeast


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m
highest point: Tena Kourou 749 m


Natural resources:

manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates,
pumice, salt


Land use:

arable land: 17.66%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 82.12% (2005)


Irrigated land:

250 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

17.5 cu km (2001)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.8 cu km/yr (13%/1%/86%)
per capita: 60 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

recurring droughts


Environment - current issues:

recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural
activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing;
soil degradation; deforestation


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection,
Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black,
Red, and White Voltas


People
Burkina Faso



Population:

15,264,735
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 46.3% (male 3,549,034/female 3,521,684)
15-64 years: 51.1% (male 3,885,124/female 3,922,198)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 154,476/female 232,219) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 16.7 years
male: 16.5 years
female: 16.9 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

3.109% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

44.68 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

13.59 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

NA (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 86.02 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 93.68 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 78.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 52.55 years
male: 50.67 years
female: 54.49 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

6.34 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

4.2% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

300,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

29,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
adjective: Burkinabe


Ethnic groups:

Mossi over 40%, other approximately 60% (includes Gurunsi, Senufo,
Lobi, Bobo, Mande, and Fulani)


Religions:

Muslim 50%, indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian (mainly Roman
Catholic) 10%


Languages:

French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic
family spoken by 90% of the population


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 21.8%
male: 29.4%
female: 15.2% (2003 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 5 years
male: 5 years
female: 4 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

4.2% of GDP (2006)


Government
Burkina Faso



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Burkina Faso
local long form: none
local short form: Burkina Faso
former: Upper Volta, Republic of Upper Volta


Government type:

parliamentary republic


Capital:

name: Ouagadougou
geographic coordinates: 12 22 N, 1 31 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

45 provinces; Bale, Bam, Banwa, Bazega, Bougouriba, Boulgou,
Boulkiemde, Comoe, Ganzourgou, Gnagna, Gourma, Houet, Ioba, Kadiogo,
Kenedougou, Komondjari, Kompienga, Kossi, Koulpelogo, Kouritenga,
Kourweogo, Leraba, Loroum, Mouhoun, Nahouri, Namentenga, Nayala,
Noumbiel, Oubritenga, Oudalan, Passore, Poni, Sanguie, Sanmatenga,
Seno, Sissili, Soum, Sourou, Tapoa, Tuy, Yagha, Yatenga, Ziro,
Zondoma, Zoundweogo


Independence:

5 August 1960 (from France)


National holiday:

Republic Day, 11 December (1958)


Constitution:

2 June 1991 approved by referendum, 11 June 1991 formally adopted;
last amended January 2002


Legal system:

based on French civil law system and customary law; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Blaise COMPAORE (since 15 October 1987)
head of government: Prime Minister Tertius ZONGO (since 4 June 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the
recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 13 November 2005
(next to be held in 2010); in April 2000, the constitution was
amended reducing the presidential term from seven to five years,
enforceable as of 2005; prime minister appointed by the president
with the consent of the legislature
election results: Blaise COMPAORE reelected president; percent of
popular vote - Blaise COMPAORE 80.3%, Benewende Stanislas SANKARA
4.9%


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (111 seats;
members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly election last held 6 May 2007 (next to
be held in May 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
CDP 73, ADF-RDA 14, UPR 5, UNIR-MS 4, CFD-B 3, UPS 2, PDP-PS 2, RDB
2, PDS 2, PAREN 1, PAI 1, RPC 1, UDPS 1


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Appeals Court


Political parties and leaders:

African Democratic Rally-Alliance for Democracy and Federation or
ADF-RDA [Gilbert OUEDRAOGO]; Citizen's Popular Rally or RPC [Antoine
QUARE]; Coalition of Democratic Forces of Burkina or CFD-B [Amadou
Diemdioda DICKO]; Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Roch
Marc-Christian KABORE]; Movement for Tolerance and Progress or MTP
[Nayabtigungou Congo KABORE]; Party for African Independence or PAI
[Philippe OUEDRAOGO]; Party for Democracy and Progress/Socialist
Party or PDP/PS [Ali LANKOANDE]; Party for Democracy and Socialism
or PDS [Felix SOUBEIGA]; Party for National Rebirth or PAREN [Oumar
DJIGUIMDE]; Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB [Antoine
KARGOUGOU]; Rally of Ecologists of Burkina Faso or RDEB [Ram
OUEDRAGO]; Republican Party for Integration and Solidarity or PARIS
[Cyril GOUNGOUNGA]; Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS
[Fidele HIEN]; Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Movement or UNIR-MS
[Benewende STANISLAS]; Union for the Republic or UPR [Toussaint Abel
COULIBALY]; Union of Sankarist Parties or UPS [Ernest Nongma
OUEDRAOGO]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Burkinabe General Confederation of Labor or CGTB [Tole SAGNON];
Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights or MBDHP [Chrysigone ZOUGMORE];
Group of 14 February [Benewende STANISLAS]; National Confederation
of Burkinabe Workers or CNTB [Laurent OUEDRAOGO]; National
Organization of Free Unions or ONSL [Paul KABORE]
other: watchdog/political action groups throughout the country in
both organizations and communities


International organization participation:

ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD,
ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA,
MONUC, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council
(temporary), UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIS, UNOCI,
UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Paramanga Ernest YONLI
chancery: 2340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-5577
FAX: [1] (202) 667-1882


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Jeanine E. JACKSON
embassy: 602 Avenue Raoul Follereau, Koulouba, Secteur 4
mailing address: 01 B. P. 35, Ouagadougou 01; pouch mail - US
Department of State, 2440 Ouagadougou Place, Washington, DC
20521-2440
telephone: [226] 50-30-67-23
FAX: [226] 50-30-38-90


Flag description:

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a yellow
five-pointed star in the center
note: uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia


Economy
Burkina Faso



Economy - overview:

One of the poorest countries in the world, landlocked Burkina Faso
has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. About 90% of
the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, which is
vulnerable to periodic drought. Cotton is the main cash crop and the
government has joined with three other cotton producing countries in
the region - Mali, Niger, and Chad - to lobby in the World Trade
Organization for fewer subsidies to producers in other competing
countries. Since 1998, Burkina Faso has embarked upon a gradual but
successful privatization of state-owned enterprises. Having revised
its investment code in 2004, Burkina Faso hopes to attract foreign
investors. Thanks to this new code and other legislation favoring
the mining sector, the country has seen an upswing in gold
exploration and production. While the bitter internal crisis in
neighboring Cote d'Ivoire is beginning to be resolved, it is still
having a negative effect on Burkina Faso's trade and employment. In
2007 higher costs for energy and imported foodstuffs, as well as low
cotton prices, dampened a GDP growth rate that had averaged 6% in
the last 10 years. Burkina Faso received a Millennium Challenge
Account threshold grant to improve girls' education at the primary
school level, and appears likely to receive a grant in the areas of
infrastructure, agriculture, and land reform.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$17.41 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$6.977 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

4.2% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,200 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 29.7%
industry: 19.4%
services: 50.9% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

5 million
note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to
neighboring countries for seasonal employment (2003)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 90%
industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)


Unemployment rate:

77% (2004)


Population below poverty line:

46.4% (2004)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 32.2% (2004)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

39.5 (2007)


Investment (gross fixed):

21.1% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $1.415 billion
expenditures: $1.847 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

-0.2% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

4.25% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

NA


Stock of money:

$1.051 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$663 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$905.1 million (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice;
livestock


Industries:

cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes,
textiles, gold


Industrial production growth rate:

5.2% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

611.6 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

509.3 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 69.9%
hydro: 30.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

8,470 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

8,446 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Current account balance:

-$706 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$617 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

cotton, livestock, gold


Exports - partners:

China 29.6%, Singapore 15.7%, Thailand 7.2%, Ghana 6.4%, Niger 4.8%
(2007)


Imports:

$1.296 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum


Imports - partners:

Cote d'Ivoire 25.8%, France 20.6%, Togo 7.1% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$659.6 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.029 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$1.33 billion (2007)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible
authority is the Central Bank of the West African States


Currency code:

XOF


Exchange rates:

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 493.51
(2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)
note: since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc has been pegged to the
euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro


Communications
Burkina Faso



Telephones - main lines in use:

94,800 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.611 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: services only fair; in 2006 the government sold
a 51 percent stake in the national telephone company and ultimately
plans to retain only a 23 percent stake in the company; fixed-line
connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular
usage, fostered by multiple providers, is increasing rapidly from a
low base
domestic: microwave radio relay, open-wire, and radiotelephone
communication stations
international: country code - 226; satellite earth station - 1
Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 26, shortwave 3


Radios:

394,020 (2000)


Television broadcast stations:

3 (1 national, 2 private)


Televisions:

131,340 (2002)


Internet country code:

.bf


Internet hosts:

116 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2002)


Internet users:

80,000 (2006)


Transportation
Burkina Faso



Airports:

33 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 31
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 17 (2007)


Railways:

total: 622 km
narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m gauge
note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote D'Ivoire
(2006)


Roadways:

total: 92,495 km
paved: 3,857 km
unpaved: 88,638 km (2004)


Military
Burkina Faso



Military branches:

Army, Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso,
FABF), National Gendarmerie (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for compulsory military service; 20 years of age for
voluntary military service (2001)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 3,364,288 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,115,948 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 176,358
female: 173,856 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.2% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Burkina Faso



Disputes - international:

in September 2007, Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) intervened to attempt to resolve the dispute over two
villages along the Benin-Burkina Faso border that remain from 2005
ICJ decision; in recent years citizens and rogue security forces rob
and harass local populations on both sides of the poorly-defined
Burkina Faso-Niger border; despite the presence of over 9,000 UN
forces (UNOCI) in Cote d'Ivoire since 2004, ethnic conflict
continues to spread into neighboring states who can no longer send
their migrant workers to work in Ivorian cocoa plantations



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Burma

Introduction
Burma



Background:

Britain conquered Burma over a period of 62 years (1824-1886) and
incorporated it into its Indian Empire. Burma was administered as a
province of India until 1937 when it became a separate,
self-governing colony; independence from the Commonwealth was
attained in 1948. Gen. NE WIN dominated the government from 1962 to
1988, first as military ruler, then as self-appointed president, and
later as political kingpin. Despite multiparty legislative elections
in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party - the National
League for Democracy (NLD) - winning a landslide victory, the ruling
junta refused to hand over power. NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize
recipient AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who was under house arrest from 1989 to
1995 and 2000 to 2002, was imprisoned in May 2003 and subsequently
transferred to house arrest. After Burma's ruling junta in August
2007 unexpectedly increased fuel prices, tens of thousands of
Burmese marched in protest, led by prodemocracy activists and
Buddhist monks. In late September 2007, the government brutally
suppressed the protests, killing at least 13 people and arresting
thousands for participating in the demonstrations. Since then, the
regime has continued to raid homes and monasteries and arrest
persons suspected of participating in the pro-democracy protests.
The junta appointed Labor Minister AUNG KYI in October 2007 as
liaison to AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who remains under house arrest and
virtually incommunicado with her party and supporters.


Geography
Burma



Location:

Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal,
between Bangladesh and Thailand


Geographic coordinates:

22 00 N, 98 00 E


Map references:

Southeast Asia


Area:

total: 678,500 sq km
land: 657,740 sq km
water: 20,760 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Texas


Land boundaries:

total: 5,876 km
border countries: Bangladesh 193 km, China 2,185 km, India 1,463 km,
Laos 235 km, Thailand 1,800 km


Coastline:

1,930 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


Climate:

tropical monsoon; cloudy, rainy, hot, humid summers (southwest
monsoon, June to September); less cloudy, scant rainfall, mild
temperatures, lower humidity during winter (northeast monsoon,
December to April)


Terrain:

central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Andaman Sea 0 m
highest point: Hkakabo Razi 5,881 m


Natural resources:

petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead,
coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 14.92%
permanent crops: 1.31%
other: 83.77% (2005)


Irrigated land:

18,700 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

1,045.6 cu km (1999)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 33.23 cu km/yr (1%/1%/98%)
per capita: 658 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common
during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts


Environment - current issues:

deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water;
inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone
Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical
Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes


People
Burma



Population:

47,758,180
note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of
excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life
expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 25.7% (male 6,236,484/female 6,038,576)
15-64 years: 68.9% (male 16,300,380/female 16,627,045)
65 years and over: 5.4% (male 1,098,344/female 1,457,352) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 27.8 years
male: 27.2 years
female: 28.4 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.8% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

17.23 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

9.23 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

NA (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 49.12 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 55.53 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 42.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 62.94 years
male: 60.73 years
female: 65.28 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.92 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.2% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

330,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

20,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Burmese (singular and plural)
adjective: Burmese


Ethnic groups:

Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%,
Mon 2%, other 5%


Religions:

Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim
4%, animist 1%, other 2%


Languages:

Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89.9%
male: 93.9%
female: 86.4% (2006 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 8 years
male: 8 years
female: 8 years (2001)


Education expenditures:

1.2% of GDP (2001)


Government
Burma



Country name:

conventional long form: Union of Burma
conventional short form: Burma
local long form: Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw (translated by the
US Government as Union of Myanma and by the Burmese as Union of
Myanmar)
local short form: Myanma Naingngandaw
former: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma
note: since 1989 the military authorities in Burma have promoted the
name Myanmar as a conventional name for their state; this decision
was not approved by any sitting legislature in Burma, and the US
Government did not adopt the name, which is a derivative of the
Burmese short-form name Myanma Naingngandaw


Government type:

military junta


Capital:

name: Rangoon (Yangon)
geographic coordinates: 16 48 N, 96 09 E
time difference: UTC+6.5 (11.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
note: Nay Pyi Taw is administrative capital


Administrative divisions:

7 divisions (taing-myar, singular - taing) and 7 states (pyi
ne-myar, singular - pyi ne)
divisions: Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi,
Yangon
states: Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine, Shan


Independence:

4 January 1948 (from UK)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 4 January (1948); Union Day, 12 February (1947)


Constitution:

30 May 2008


Legal system:

based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council
(SPDC) Sr. Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992)
head of government: Prime Minister, Lt. Gen THEIN SEIN (since 24
October 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet is overseen by SPDC; military junta assumed power
18 September 1988 under name State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC)
elections: none


Legislative branch:

unicameral People's Assembly or Pyithu Hluttaw (485 seats; members
elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 27 May 1990, but Assembly never allowed by
junta to convene (junta has announced plans to hold elections in
2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
NLD 392 (opposition), SNLD 23 (opposition), NUP 10 (pro-government),
other 60


Judicial branch:

remnants of the British-era legal system are in place, but there is
no guarantee of a fair public trial; the judiciary is not
independent of the executive


Political parties and leaders:

National League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SHWE, AUNG SAN SUU KYI];
National Unity Party or NUP (pro-regime) [TUN YE]; Shan
Nationalities League for Democracy or SNLD [HKUN HTUN OO]; and other
smaller parties


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Ethnic Nationalities Council or ENC (based in Thailand); Federation
of Trade Unions-Burma or FTUB (exile trade union and labor
advocates); National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma or
NCGUB (self-proclaimed government in exile) ["Prime Minister" Dr.
SEIN WIN] consists of individuals, some legitimately elected to the
People's Assembly in 1990 (the group fled to a border area and
joined insurgents in December 1990 to form parallel government in
exile); Kachin Independence Organization or KIO; Karen National
Union or KNU; Karenni National People's Party or KNPP; National
Council-Union of Burma or NCUB (exile coalition of opposition
groups); United Wa State Army or UWSA; Union Solidarity and
Development Association or USDA (pro-regime, a social and political
mass-member organization) [HTAY OO, general secretary]; 88
Generation Students (pro-democracy movement) [MIN KO NAING]
other: several Shan factions


International organization participation:

ADB, APT, ARF, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO
(correspondent), ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), SAARC (observer), UN,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires MYINT LWIN
chancery: 2300 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-3344
FAX: [1] (202) 332-4351
consulate(s) general: New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Larry M.
DINGER
embassy: 110 University Avenue, Kamayut Township, Rangoon
mailing address: Box B, APO AP 96546
telephone: [95] (1) 536-509, 535-756, 538-038
FAX: [95] (1) 650-306


Flag description:

red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 14,
white, five-pointed stars encircling a cogwheel containing a stalk
of rice; the 14 stars represent the seven administrative divisions
and seven states


Economy
Burma



Economy - overview:

Burma, a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government
controls, inefficient economic policies, and rural poverty. The
junta took steps in the early 1990s to liberalize the economy after
decades of failure under the "Burmese Way to Socialism," but those
efforts stalled, and some of the liberalization measures were
rescinded. Despite Burma's increasing oil and gas revenue,
socio-economic conditions have deteriorated due to the regime's
mismanagement of the economy. Lacking monetary or fiscal stability,
the economy suffers from serious macroeconomic imbalances -
including rising inflation, fiscal deficits, multiple official
exchange rates that overvalue the Burmese kyat, a distorted interest
rate regime, unreliable statistics, and an inability to reconcile
national accounts to determine a realistic GDP figure. Most overseas
development assistance ceased after the junta began to suppress the
democracy movement in 1988 and subsequently refused to honor the
results of the 1990 legislative elections. In response to the
government of Burma's attack in May 2003 on AUNG SAN SUU KYI and her
convoy, the US imposed new economic sanctions in August 2003
including a ban on imports of Burmese products and a ban on
provision of financial services by US persons. Further, a poor
investment climate hampers attracting outside investment slowing the
inflow of foreign exchange. The most productive sectors will
continue to be in extractive industries, especially oil and gas,
mining, and timber with the latter especially causing environmental
degradation. Other areas, such as manufacturing and services, are
struggling with inadequate infrastructure, unpredictable
import/export policies, deteriorating health and education systems,
and endemic corruption. A major banking crisis in 2003 shuttered the
country's 20 private banks and disrupted the economy. As of 2007,
the largest private banks operated under tight restrictions limiting
the private sector's access to formal credit. Moreover, the
September 2007 crackdown on prodemocracy demonstrators, including
thousands of monks, further strained the economy as the tourism
industry, which directly employs about 500,000 people, suffered
dramatic declines in foreign visitor levels. In November 2007, the
European Union announced new sanctions banning investment and trade
in Burmese gems, timber and precious stones, while the United States
expanded its sanctions list to include more Burmese government and
military officials and their family members, as well as prominent
regime business cronies, their family members, and associated
companies. Official statistics are inaccurate. Published statistics
on foreign trade are greatly understated because of the size of the
black market and unofficial border trade - often estimated to be as
large as the official economy. Though the Burmese government has
good economic relations with its neighbors, better investment and
business climates and an improved political situation are needed to
promote serious foreign investment, exports, and tourism.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$91.13 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$13.53 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

3.8% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,900 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 42.4%
industry: 18.9%
services: 38.7% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

29.26 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 70%
industry: 7%
services: 23% (2001)


Unemployment rate:

5.2% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

32.7% (2007 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 32.4% (1998)


Investment (gross fixed):

13.1% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: NA
expenditures: NA (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

35% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

12% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

17% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$598 billion
note: This number reflects the vastly overvalued official exchange
rate of 5.38 kyat per dollar. At the unofficial black market rate of
1305 kyat per dollar, the stock of kyats would equal only US$2.465
billion and Burma's velocity of money (the number of times money
turns over in the course of a year) would be six, in line with the
velocity of money for other countries in the region. (31 December
2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$216.9 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$887.7 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane; hardwood; fish
and fish products


Industries:

agricultural processing; wood and wood products; copper, tin,
tungsten, iron; cement, construction materials; pharmaceuticals;
fertilizer; natural gas; garments, jade and gems


Industrial production growth rate:

9% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

5.961 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

4.289 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 44.5%
hydro: 43.4%
nuclear: 0%
other: 12.1% (2002)


Oil - production:

21,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

43,140 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

5,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - imports:

22,180 bbl/day (2005 est.)


Oil - proved reserves:

50 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

12.6 billion cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

3.62 billion cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

9.9 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

283.2 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$1.427 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$6.122 billion f.o.b.
note: official export figures are grossly underestimated due to the
value of timber, gems, narcotics, rice, and other products smuggled
to Thailand, China, and Bangladesh (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

natural gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice, clothing,
jade and gems


Exports - partners:

Thailand 44.3%, India 14.5%, China 7.1%, Japan 5.7% (2007)


Imports:

$2.942 billion f.o.b.
note: import figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of
consumer goods, diesel fuel, and other products smuggled in from
Thailand, China, Malaysia, and India (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

fabric, petroleum products, fertilizer, plastics, machinery,
transport equipment; cement, construction materials, crude oil; food
products, edible oil


Imports - partners:

China 33.7%, Thailand 19.1%, Singapore 15.5%, South Korea 5.8%,
Indonesia 5.2%, Malaysia 4.2% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$144.7 million (2005 est.)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$2.262 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$7.022 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

kyat (MMK)


Currency code:

MMK


Exchange rates:

kyats (MMK) per US dollar - 1,296 (2007), 1,280 (2006), 5.761
(2005), 5.7459 (2004), 6.0764 (2003)
note: unofficial exchange rates ranged in 2004 from 815 kyat/US
dollar to nearly 970 kyat/US dollar, and by yearend 2005, the
unofficial exchange rate was 1,075 kyat/US dollar; data shown for
2003-05 are official exchange rates


Communications
Burma



Telephones - main lines in use:

503,900 (2005)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

214,200 (2006)


Telephone system:

general assessment: meets minimum requirements for local and
intercity service for business and government
domestic: system barely capable of providing basic service; cellular
phone system is grossly underdeveloped with a subscribership base of
less than 1 per 100 persons
international: country code - 95; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3
optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to
Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2,
Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and ShinSat (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 3 (2007)


Radios:

4.2 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

4 (2008)


Televisions:

320,000 (2000)


Internet country code:

.mm


Internet hosts:

108 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1
note: as of September 2000, Internet connections were legal only for
the government, tourist offices, and a few large businesses (2000)


Internet users:

40,000 (2007)


Transportation
Burma



Airports:

86 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 25
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 61
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 32 (2007)


Heliports:

4 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 2,790 km; oil 558 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 3,955 km
narrow gauge: 3,955 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 27,000 km
paved: 3,200 km
unpaved: 23,800 km (2006)


Waterways:

12,800 km (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 24
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 17, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 3,
specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 3 (Cyprus 1, Germany 1, Japan 1)
registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Moulmein, Rangoon, Sittwe


Military
Burma



Military branches:

Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw): Army, Navy, Air Force (Tatmadaw
Lay) (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service for both sexes;
forced conscription of children, although officially prohibited,
reportedly continues (2007)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 13,402,788
females age 16-49: 13,437,042 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 9,031,046
females age 16-49: 9,396,547 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 423,809
female: 415,843 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

2.1% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Burma



Disputes - international:

over half of Burma's population consists of diverse ethnic groups
who have substantial numbers of kin in neighboring countries;
Thailand must deal with Karen and other ethnic refugees, asylum
seekers, and rebels, as well as illegal cross-border activities from
Burma; Thailand is studying the feasibility of jointly constructing
the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween River near the border with Burma;
citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China is
reconsidering construction of 13 dams on the Salween River but
energy-starved Burma with backing from Thailand remains intent on
building five hydro-electric dams downstream, despite identical
regional and international protests; India seeks cooperation from
Burma to keep Indian Nagaland separatists, such as the United
Liberation Front of Assam, from hiding in remote Burmese Uplands;
after 21 years, Bangladesh resumes talks with Burma on delimiting a
maritime boundary in January 2008


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 503,000 (government offensives against ethnic insurgent groups
near the eastern borders; most IDPs are ethnic Karen, Karenni, Shan,
Tavoyan, and Mon) (2007)


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Burma is a source country for women, children,
and men trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and commercial
sexual exploitation; Burmese women and children are trafficked to
East and Southeast Asia for commercial sexual exploitation, domestic
servitude, and forced labor; Burmese children are subjected to
conditions of forced labor in Thailand as hawkers, beggars, and for
work in shops, agriculture, fish processing, and small-scale
industries; women are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation
to Malaysia and China; some trafficking victims transit Burma from
Bangladesh to Malaysia and from China to Thailand; internal
trafficking occurs primarily from villages to urban centers and
economic hubs for labor in industrial zones, agricultural estates,
and commercial sexual exploitation; military and civilian officials
continue to use a significant amount of forced labor; ethnic
insurgent groups also used compulsory labor of adults and unlawful
recruitment of children; the military junta's gross economic
mismanagement, human rights abuses, and its policy of using forced
labor are the top causal factors for Burma's significant trafficking
problem
tier rating: Tier 3 - Burma does not fully comply with the minimum
standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making
significant efforts to do so; military and civilian officials remain
directly involved in significant acts of forced labor and unlawful
conscription of child soldiers (2008)


Illicit drugs:

remains world's second-largest producer of illicit opium with an
estimated production in 2008 of 340 metric tons, an increase of 26%,
and cultivation in 2008 was 22,500 hectares, a 4% increase from
2007; production in the United Wa State Army's areas of greatest
control remains low; Shan state is the source of 94% of poppy
cultivation; lack of government will to take on major
narcotrafficking groups and lack of serious commitment against money
laundering continues to hinder the overall antidrug effort; major
source of methamphetamine and heroin for regional consumption;
currently under Financial Action Task Force countermeasures due to
continued failure to address its inadequate money-laundering
controls (2008)



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Burundi

Introduction
Burundi



Background:

Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in
October 1993 after only 100 days in office, triggering widespread
ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. More than 200,000
Burundians perished during the conflict that spanned almost a dozen
years. Hundreds of thousands of Burundians were internally displaced
or became refugees in neighboring countries. An internationally
brokered power-sharing agreement between the Tutsi-dominated
government and the Hutu rebels in 2003 paved the way for a
transition process that led to an integrated defense force,
established a new constitution in 2005, and elected a majority Hutu
government in 2005. The new government, led by President Pierre
NKURUNZIZA, signed a South African brokered ceasefire with the
country's last rebel group in September of 2006 but still faces many
challenges.


Geography
Burundi



Location:

Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo


Geographic coordinates:

3 30 S, 30 00 E


Map references:

Africa


Area:

total: 27,830 sq km
land: 25,650 sq km
water: 2,180 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maryland


Land boundaries:

total: 974 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 233 km, Rwanda
290 km, Tanzania 451 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m
to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with
altitude from 23 to 17 degrees centigrade but is generally moderate
as the average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is
about 150 cm; two wet seasons (February to May and September to
November), and two dry seasons (June to August and December to
January)


Terrain:

hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Lake Tanganyika 772 m
highest point: Heha 2,670 m


Natural resources:

nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum,
vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin,
tungsten, kaolin, limestone


Land use:

arable land: 35.57%
permanent crops: 13.12%
other: 51.31% (2005)


Irrigated land:

210 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

3.6 cu km (1987)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.29 cu km/yr (17%/6%/77%)
per capita: 38 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

flooding, landslides, drought


Environment - current issues:

soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of
agriculture into marginal lands; deforestation (little forested land
remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel); habitat
loss threatens wildlife populations


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes,
Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea


Geography - note:

landlocked; straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed; the Kagera,
which drains into Lake Victoria, is the most remote headstream of
the White Nile


People
Burundi



Population:

8,691,005
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 46.3% (male 2,021,320/female 1,998,502)
15-64 years: 51.2% (male 2,210,157/female 2,240,921)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 87,600/female 132,505) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 16.7 years
male: 16.4 years
female: 17 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

3.443% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

41.72 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

12.91 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

5.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 60.77 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 67.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 53.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 51.71 years
male: 50.86 years
female: 52.6 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

6.4 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

6% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

250,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

25,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Burundian(s)
adjective: Burundian


Ethnic groups:

Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans
3,000, South Asians 2,000


Religions:

Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous
beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%


Languages:

Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake
Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 59.3%
male: 67.3%
female: 52.2% (2000 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 7 years
male: 8 years
female: 7 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

5.1% of GDP (2005)


Government
Burundi



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Burundi
conventional short form: Burundi
local long form: Republique du Burundi/Republika y'u Burundi
local short form: Burundi
former: Urundi


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: Bujumbura
geographic coordinates: 3 22 S, 29 21 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

17 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rurale, Bururi,
Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba,
Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi


Independence:

1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 1 July (1962)


Constitution:

28 February 2005; ratified by popular referendum


Legal system:

based on German and Belgian civil codes and customary law; has not
accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

NA years of age; universal (adult)


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since 26 August 2005);
First Vice President Yves SAVINGUVU - Tutsi (since 9 November 2007);
Second Vice President Gabriel NTISEZERANA - Hutu (since 9 February
2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government
head of government: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since 26 August
2005); First Vice President Yves SAVINGUVU - Tutsi (since 9 November
2007); Second Vice President Gabriel NTISEZERANA - Hutu (since 9
February 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president
elections: the president is elected by popular vote to a five-year
term (eligible for a second term); note - the constitution adopted
in February 2005 permits the post-transition president to be elected
by a two-thirds majority of the parliament; vice presidents
nominated by the president, endorsed by parliament
election results: Pierre NKURUNZIZA was elected president by the
parliament by a vote of 151 to 9; note - the constitution adopted in
February 2005 permits the post-transition president to be elected by
a two-thirds majority of the legislature


Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament or Parlement, consists of a National Assembly
or Assemblee Nationale (minimum 100 seats, 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi
with at least 30% being women; additional seats appointed by a
National Independent Electoral Commission to ensure ethnic
representation; members are elected by popular vote to serve
five-year terms) and a Senate (54 seats; 34 members elected by
indirect vote to serve five-year terms, with remaining seats
assigned to ethnic groups and former chiefs of state)
elections: National Assembly - last held 4 July 2005 (next to be
held in 2010); Senate - last held 29 July 2005 (next to be held in
2010)
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party -
CNDD-FDD 58.6%, FRODEBU 21.7%, UPRONA 7.2%, CNDD 4.1%,
MRC-Rurenzangemero 2.1%, others 6.2%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 59,
FRODEBU 25, UPRONA 10, CNDD 4, MRC-Rurenzangemero 2; Senate -
percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 30,
FRODEBU 3, CNDD 1


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court; High Court of
Justice (composed of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court)


Political parties and leaders:

governing parties: Burundi Democratic Front or FRODEBU [Leonce
NGENDAKUMANA]; National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Front
for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD-FDD [Jeremie NGENDAKUMANA];
Unity for National Progress or UPRONA [Aloys RUBUKA]
note: a multiparty system was introduced after 1998, included are:
National Council for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD [Leonard
NYANGOMA]; National Resistance Movement for the Rehabilitation of
the Citizen or MRC-Rurenzangemero [Epitace BANYAGANAKANDI]; Party
for National Redress or PARENA [Jean-Baptiste BAGAZA]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Observatoire de lutte contre la corruption et les malversations
economiques or OLUCOME [Gabriel RUFYIRI] (anti-corruption pressure
group)
other: Hutu and Tutsi militias (loosely organized)


International organization participation:

ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, CEPGL, COMESA, EAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO,
ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM,
IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Celestin NIYONGABO
chancery: Suite 212, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574
FAX: [1] (202) 342-2578


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Patricia Newton MOLLER
embassy: Avenue des Etats-Unis, Bujumbura
mailing address: B. P. 1720, Bujumbura
telephone: [257] 223454
FAX: [257] 222926


Flag description:

divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top and bottom)
and green panels (hoist side and fly side) with a white disk
superimposed at the center bearing three red six-pointed stars
outlined in green arranged in a triangular design (one star above,
two stars below)


Economy
Burundi



Economy - overview:

Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an
underdeveloped manufacturing sector. The economy is predominantly
agricultural with more than 90% of the population dependent on
subsistence agriculture. Economic growth depends on coffee and tea
exports, which account for 90% of foreign exchange earnings. The
ability to pay for imports, therefore, rests primarily on weather
conditions and international coffee and tea prices. The Tutsi
minority, 14% of the population, dominates the government and the
coffee trade at the expense of the Hutu majority, 85% of the
population. An ethnic-based war that lasted for over a decade
resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, forced more than 48,000
refugees into Tanzania, and displaced 140,000 others internally.
Only one in two children go to school, and approximately one in 15
adults has HIV/AIDS. Food, medicine, and electricity remain in short
supply. Burundi's GDP grew around 5% annually in 2006-07. Political
stability and the end of the civil war have improved aid flows and
economic activity has increased, but underlying weaknesses - a high
poverty rate, poor education rates, a weak legal system, and low
administrative capacity - risk undermining planned economic reforms.
Burundi will continue to remain heavily dependent on aid from
bilateral and multilateral donors; the delay of funds after a
corruption scandal cut off bilateral aid in 2007 reduced
government's revenues and its ability to pay salaries.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.907 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.001 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

3.6% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$300 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 33.7%
industry: 20.9%
services: 45.4% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

2.99 million (2002)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 93.6%
industry: 2.3%
services: 4.1% (2002 est.)


Unemployment rate:

NA%


Population below poverty line:

68% (2002 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 32.8% (1998)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

42.4 (1998)


Investment (gross fixed):

24.4% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $264.2 million
expenditures: $335.4 million; including capital expenditures of $NA
(2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

8.3% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

10.12% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

16.84% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$208.7 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$141 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$342 million (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc
(tapioca); beef, milk, hides


Industries:

light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap; assembly of
imported components; public works construction; food processing


Industrial production growth rate:

6.4% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

87 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

120.9 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

40 million kWh; note - supplied by the Democratic Republic of the
Congo (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 0.6%
hydro: 99.4%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

2,956 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

2,635 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Current account balance:

-$101 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$44 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides


Exports - partners:

Germany 31.3%, Pakistan 6.8%, Belgium 5.8%, Sweden 4.3%, Rwanda
4.3%, France 4.2%, Sudan 4% (2007)


Imports:

$272 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs


Imports - partners:

Saudi Arabia 17%, Kenya 11.4%, Belgium 8.7%, France 6.1%, Uganda
5.4%, Germany 5.4%, India 4.8%, Pakistan 4.2% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$365 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$177.1 million (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$1.2 billion (2003)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Burundi franc (BIF)


Currency code:

BIF


Exchange rates:

Burundi francs (BIF) per US dollar - 1,065 (2007), 1,030 (2006),
1,138 (2005), 1,100.91 (2004), 1,082.62 (2003)


Communications
Burundi



Telephones - main lines in use:

35,000 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

250,000 (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: primitive system; telephone density one of the
lowest in the world; fixed-line connections stand at well less than
1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage is increasing but remains
at a meager 3 per 100 persons
domestic: sparse system of open-wire, radiotelephone communications,
and low-capacity microwave radio relay
international: country code - 257; satellite earth station - 1
Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 0, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)


Radios:

440,000 (2001)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (2001)


Televisions:

25,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.bi


Internet hosts:

162 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2000)


Internet users:

60,000 (2006)


Transportation
Burundi



Airports:

8 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 3 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 12,322 km
paved: 1,286 km
unpaved: 11,036 km (2004)


Waterways:

mainly on Lake Tanganyika (2005)


Ports and terminals:

Bujumbura


Military
Burundi



Military branches:

National Defense Force (Forces de Defense Nationales, FDN): Army
(includes Naval Detachment and Air Wing), Gendarmerie (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

16 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service;
children as young as 10 years of age have been conscripted into the
armed forces; the enrollment of children is still not prohibited
(2007)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,878,544
females age 16-49: 1,851,676 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,083,899
females age 16-49: 1,062,488 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 98,105
female: 98,533 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

5.9% of GDP (2006 est.)


Transnational Issues
Burundi



Disputes - international:

Burundi and Rwanda dispute sections of border on the
Akanyaru/Kanyaru and the Kagera/Nyabarongo rivers, which have
changed course since the 1960s, when the boundary was delimited;
cross-border conflicts among Tutsi, Hutu, other ethnic groups,
associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government
forces persist in the Great Lakes region


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 9,849 (Democratic Republic of the
Congo)
IDPs: 100,000 (armed conflict between government and rebels; most
IDPs in northern and western Burundi) (2007)


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Burundi is a source country for children
trafficked for the purposes of child soldiering, domestic servitude,
and commercial sexual exploitation; a small number of Burundian
children may be trafficked internally for domestic servitude or
commercial sexual exploitation; in early 2008, Burundian children
were allegedly trafficked to Uganda, via Rwanda, for agricultural
labor and commercial sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Burundi is on the Tier 2 Watch List
for the second consecutive year for its failure to provide
sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in
persons in 2007; the government's inability to provide adequate
protective services to children accused of association with armed
groups and to conduct anti-trafficking law enforcement activities
continue to be causes for concern; Burundi has not ratified the 2000
UN TIP Protocol (2008)



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Cambodia

Introduction
Cambodia



Background:

Most Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the
Angkor Empire that extended over much of Southeast Asia and reached
its zenith between the 10th and 13th centuries. Attacks by the Thai
and Cham (from present-day Vietnam) weakened the empire, ushering in
a long period of decline. The king placed the country under French
protection in 1863 and it became part of French Indochina in 1887.
Following Japanese occupation in World War II, Cambodia gained full
independence from France in 1953. In April 1975, after a five-year
struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh and
evacuated all cities and towns. At least 1.5 million Cambodians died
from execution, forced hardships, or starvation during the Khmer
Rouge regime under POL POT. A December 1978 Vietnamese invasion
drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside, began a 10-year
Vietnamese occupation, and touched off almost 13 years of civil war.
The 1991 Paris Peace Accords mandated democratic elections and a
ceasefire, which was not fully respected by the Khmer Rouge.
UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of
normalcy under a coalition government. Factional fighting in 1997
ended the first coalition government, but a second round of national
elections in 1998 led to the formation of another coalition
government and renewed political stability. The remaining elements
of the Khmer Rouge surrendered in early 1999. Some of the remaining
Khmer Rouge leaders are awaiting trial by a UN-sponsored tribunal
for crimes against humanity. Elections in July 2003 were relatively
peaceful, but it took one year of negotiations between contending
political parties before a coalition government was formed. In
October 2004, King SIHANOUK abdicated the throne due to illness and
his son, Prince Norodom SIHAMONI, was selected to succeed him. Local
elections were held in Cambodia in April 2007, and there was little
in the way of pre-election violence that preceded prior elections.
National elections are scheduled for July 2008.


Geography
Cambodia



Location:

Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand,
Vietnam, and Laos


Geographic coordinates:

13 00 N, 105 00 E


Map references:

Southeast Asia


Area:

total: 181,040 sq km
land: 176,520 sq km
water: 4,520 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Oklahoma


Land boundaries:

total: 2,572 km
border countries: Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, Vietnam 1,228 km


Coastline:

443 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm


Climate:

tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season
(December to April); little seasonal temperature variation


Terrain:

mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
highest point: Phnum Aoral 1,810 m


Natural resources:

oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates,
hydropower potential


Land use:

arable land: 20.44%
permanent crops: 0.59%
other: 78.97% (2005)


Irrigated land:

2,700 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

476.1 cu km (1999)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 4.08 cu km/yr (1%/0%/98%)
per capita: 290 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

monsoonal rains (June to November); flooding; occasional droughts


Environment - current issues:

illegal logging activities throughout the country and strip mining
for gems in the western region along the border with Thailand have
resulted in habitat loss and declining biodiversity (in particular,
destruction of mangrove swamps threatens natural fisheries); soil
erosion; in rural areas, most of the population does not have access
to potable water; declining fish stocks because of illegal fishing
and overfishing


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes,
Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea


Geography - note:

a land of paddies and forests dominated by the Mekong River and
Tonle Sap


People
Cambodia



Population:

14,241,640
note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of
excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life
expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 33.2% (male 2,389,668/female 2,338,838)
15-64 years: 63.2% (male 4,372,480/female 4,627,895)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 193,338/female 319,421) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 21.7 years
male: 21 years
female: 22.5 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.752% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

25.68 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

8.16 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

NA (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 56.59 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 63.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 61.69 years
male: 59.65 years
female: 63.83 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

3.08 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

2.6% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

170,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

15,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and
malaria
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Cambodian(s)
adjective: Cambodian


Ethnic groups:

Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%


Religions:

Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%


Languages:

Khmer (official) 95%, French, English


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73.6%
male: 84.7%
female: 64.1% (2004 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

1.7% of GDP (2004)


Government
Cambodia



Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Cambodia
conventional short form: Cambodia
local long form: Preahreacheanachakr Kampuchea (phonetic
pronunciation)
local short form: Kampuchea
former: Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, People's Republic of
Kampuchea, State of Cambodia


Government type:

multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy


Capital:

name: Phnom Penh
geographic coordinates: 11 33 N, 104 55 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

20 provinces (khaitt, singular and plural) and 4 municipalities*
(krong, singular and plural)
provinces: Banteay Mean Cheay, Batdambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong
Chhnang, Kampong Spoe, Kampong Thum, Kampot, Kandal, Kaoh Kong,
Krachen, Mondol Kiri, Otdar Mean Cheay, Pouthisat, Preah Vihear,
Prey Veng, Rotanah Kiri, Siem Reab, Stoeng Treng, Svay Rieng, Takev
municipalities: Keb, Pailin, Phnum Penh (Phnom Penh), Preah Seihanu
(Sihanoukville)


Independence:

9 November 1953 (from France)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 9 November (1953)


Constitution:

promulgated 21 September 1993


Legal system:

primarily a civil law mixture of French-influenced codes from the
United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) period,
royal decrees, and acts of the legislature, with influences of
customary law and remnants of communist legal theory; increasing
influence of common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with
reservations


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: King Norodom SIHAMONI (since 29 October 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister HUN SEN (since 14 January 1985)
[co-prime minister from 1993 to 1997]; Permanent Deputy Prime
Minister MEN SAM AN (since 25 September 2008); Deputy Prime
Ministers SAR KHENG (since 3 February 1992); SOK AN, TEA BANH, HOR
NAMHONG, NHEK BUNCHHAY (since 16 July 2004); BIN CHHIN (since 5
September 2007); KEAT CHHON, YIM CHHAI LY (since 25 September 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers in theory appointed by the monarch; in
practice named by the prime minister
elections: the monarch is chosen by a Royal Throne Council;
following legislative elections, a member of the majority party or
majority coalition is named prime minister by the Chairman of the
National Assembly and appointed by the king


Legislative branch:

bicameral, consists of the National Assembly (123 seats; members
elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Senate (61
seats; 2 members appointed by the monarch, 2 elected by the National
Assembly, and 57 elected by parliamentarians and commune councils;
members serve five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly - last held 27 July 2008 (next to be
held in July 2013); Senate - last held 22 January 2006 (next to be
held in January 2011)
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CPP
58%, SRP 22%, others 20%; seats by party - CPP 90, SRP 26, others 7;
Senate - percent of vote by party - CPP 69%, FUNCINPEC 21%, SRP 10%;
seats by party - CPP 45, FUNCINPEC 10, SRP 2


Judicial branch:

Supreme Council of the Magistracy (provided for in the constitution
and formed in December 1997); Supreme Court (and lower courts)
exercises judicial authority


Political parties and leaders:

Cambodian People's Party or CPP [CHEA SIM]; National United Front
for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia or
FUNCINPEC [KEV PUT REAKSMEI]; Norodom Ranariddh Party or NRP
[Norodom RANARIDDH]; Sam Rangsi Party or SRP [SAM RANGSI]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Cambodian Freedom Fighters or CFF; Partnership for Transparency Fund
or PTF (anti-corruption organization); Students Movement for
Democracy; The Committee for Free and Fair Elections or Comfrel
other: human rights organizations; vendors


International organization participation:

ACCT, ADB, APT, ARF, ASEAN, EAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM,
IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO
(subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNIDO, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires MENG EANG
NAY
chancery: 4530 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 726-7742
FAX: [1] (202) 726-8381


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Carol A. RODLEY
embassy: #1, Street 96, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
mailing address: Box P, APO AP 96546
telephone: [855] (23) 728-000
FAX: [855] (23) 728-600


Flag description:

three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (double width), and blue
with a white three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat outlined
in black in the center of the red band
note: only national flag to incorporate an actual building in its
design


Economy
Cambodia



Economy - overview:

From 2001 to 2004, the economy grew at an average rate of 6.4%,
driven largely by an expansion in the garment sector and tourism.
The US and Cambodia signed a Bilateral Textile Agreement, which gave
Cambodia a guaranteed quota of US textile imports and established a
bonus for improving working conditions and enforcing Cambodian labor
laws and international labor standards in the industry. With the
January 2005 expiration of a WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing,
Cambodia-based textile producers were forced to compete directly
with lower-priced producing countries such as China and India.
Better-than-expected garment sector performance led to more than 9%
growth in 2007. Its vibrant garment industry employs more than
350,000 people and contributes more than 70% of Cambodia's exports.
The Cambodian government has committed itself to a policy supporting
high labor standards in an attempt to maintain buyer interest. In
2005, exploitable oil and natural gas deposits were found beneath
Cambodia's territorial waters, representing a new revenue stream for
the government if commercial extraction begins. Mining also is
attracting significant investor interest, particularly in the
northeastern parts of the country, and the government has said
opportunities exist for mining bauxite, gold, iron and gems. In
2006, a US-Cambodia bilateral Trade and Investment Framework
Agreement (TIFA) was signed and the first round of discussions took
place in early 2007. The tourism industry continues to grow rapidly,
with foreign arrivals reaching 2 million in 2007. In 2007 the
government signed a joint venture agreement with two companies to
form a new national airline. The long-term development of the
economy remains a daunting challenge. The Cambodian government is
working with bilateral and multilateral donors, including the World
Bank and IMF, to address the country's many pressing needs. The
major economic challenge for Cambodia over the next decade will be
fashioning an economic environment in which the private sector can
create enough jobs to handle Cambodia's demographic imbalance. More
than 50% of the population is less than 21 years old. The population
lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the
poverty-ridden countryside, which suffers from an almost total lack
of basic infrastructure.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$26.19 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$8.604 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

10.1% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,900 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 31%
industry: 26%
services: 43% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

7 million (2003 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 75%
industry: NA%
services: NA%


Unemployment rate:

2.5% (2000 est.)


Population below poverty line:

35% (2004)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 34.8% (2004)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

41.7 (2004 est.)


Investment (gross fixed):

19.2% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $1.015 billion
expenditures: $1.168 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.9% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

5.25% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$513.6 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$2.309 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$1.131 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, tapioca


Industries:

tourism, garments, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products,
rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles


Industrial production growth rate:

15% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

1.163 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

1.178 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

110 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 65%
hydro: 35%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

3,736 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

3,618 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

NA


Current account balance:

-$506.3 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$4.089 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear


Exports - partners:

US 58.1%, Germany 7.3%, UK 5.2%, Canada 4.6%, Vietnam 4.5% (2007)


Imports:

$5.424 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials,
machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products


Imports - partners:

Thailand 23.1%, Vietnam 16.9%, China 15%, Hong Kong 10.4%, Singapore
7.5%, Taiwan 7.2%, South Korea 4.8% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$698.2 million pledged in grants and concession loans for 2007 by
international donors (2007)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$2.143 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$3.89 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

riel (KHR)


Currency code:

KHR


Exchange rates:

riels (KHR) per US dollar - 4,006 (2007), 4,103 (2006), 4,092.5
(2005), 4,016.25 (2004), 3,973.33 (2003)


Communications
Cambodia



Telephones - main lines in use:

37,500 (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

2.583 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: mobile-phone systems are widely used in urban
areas to bypass deficiencies in the fixed-line network; fixed-line
connections stand at well less than 1 per 100 persons;
mobile-cellular usage, aided by increasing competition among service
providers, is increasing and stands at nearly 20 per 100 persons
domestic: adequate landline and/or cellular service in Phnom Penh
and other provincial cities; mobile-phone coverage is rapidly
expanding in rural areas
international: country code - 855; adequate but expensive landline
and cellular service available to all countries from Phnom Penh and
major provincial cities; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik
(Indian Ocean region) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 17, shortwave NA (2003)


Radios:

1.34 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

9 (including 2 TV relay stations with French and Vietnamese
broadcasts); excludes 18 regional relay stations (2006)


Televisions:

94,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.kh


Internet hosts:

1,230 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

2 (2000)


Internet users:

70,000 (2007)


Transportation
Cambodia



Airports:

17 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Heliports:

1 (2007)


Railways:

total: 602 km
narrow gauge: 602 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 38,257 km
paved: 2,406 km
unpaved: 35,851 km (2004)


Waterways:

2,400 km (mainly on Mekong River) (2005)


Merchant marine:

total: 626
by type: bulk carrier 41, cargo 530, carrier 3, chemical tanker 10,
container 8, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 11, refrigerated
cargo 15, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 467 (Canada 2, China 193, Cyprus 7, Egypt 13, Gabon
1, Greece 3, Hong Kong 8, Indonesia 2, Japan 1, South Korea 22,
Latvia 1, Lebanon 8, Netherlands 1, Romania 1, Russia 83, Singapore
4, Syria 48, Taiwan 1, Turkey 26, Ukraine 34, UAE 2, US 6) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Phnom Penh, Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville)


Military
Cambodia



Military branches:

Royal Cambodian Armed Forces: Royal Cambodian Army, Royal Khmer
Navy, Royal Cambodian Air Force (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

conscription law of October 2006 requires all males between 18-30 to
register for military service; 18-month service obligation (2006)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 3,759,034
females age 16-49: 3,784,333 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,581,045
females age 16-49: 2,676,075 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 185,959
female: 182,558 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

3% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Cambodia



Disputes - international:

Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary with missing
boundary markers and claims of Thai encroachments into Cambodian
territory; maritime boundary with Vietnam is hampered by unresolved
dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands; Thailand accuses
Cambodia of obstructing inclusion of Thai areas near Preah Vihear
temple ruins, awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962, as part
of a planned UN World Heritage site


Illicit drugs:

narcotics-related corruption reportedly involving some in the
government, military, and police; limited methamphetamine
production; vulnerable to money laundering due to its cash-based
economy and porous borders



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Cameroon

Introduction
Cameroon



Background:

The former French Cameroon and part of British Cameroon merged in
1961 to form the present country. Cameroon has generally enjoyed
stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture,
roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite a slow
movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in
the hands of President Paul BIYA.


Geography
Cameroon



Location:

Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial
Guinea and Nigeria


Geographic coordinates:

6 00 N, 12 00 E


Map references:

Africa


Area:

total: 475,440 sq km
land: 469,440 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly larger than California


Land boundaries:

total: 4,591 km
border countries: Central African Republic 797 km, Chad 1,094 km,
Republic of the Congo 523 km, Equatorial Guinea 189 km, Gabon 298
km, Nigeria 1,690 km


Coastline:

402 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm


Climate:

varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot
in north


Terrain:

diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in
center, mountains in west, plains in north


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Fako 4,095 m (on Mt. Cameroon)


Natural resources:

petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 12.54%
permanent crops: 2.52%
other: 84.94% (2005)


Irrigated land:

260 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

285.5 cu km (2003)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.99 cu km/yr (18%/8%/74%)
per capita: 61 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from
Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes


Environment - current issues:

waterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing;
desertification; poaching; overfishing


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law
of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical
Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

sometimes referred to as the hinge of Africa; throughout the country
there are areas of thermal springs and indications of current or
prior volcanic activity; Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in
Sub-Saharan west Africa, is an active volcano


People
Cameroon



Population:

18,467,692
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 41.1% (male 3,826,232/female 3,757,859)
15-64 years: 55.7% (male 5,164,338/female 5,122,817)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 274,821/female 321,625) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 19 years
male: 18.9 years
female: 19.2 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

2.218% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

34.59 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

12.41 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

NA (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 64.57 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 69.39 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 59.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 53.3 years
male: 52.54 years
female: 54.08 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

4.41 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

6.9% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

560,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

49,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Cameroonian(s)
adjective: Cameroonian


Ethnic groups:

Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani
10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%,
non-African less than 1%


Religions:

indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%


Languages:

24 major African language groups, English (official), French
(official)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.9%
male: 77%
female: 59.8% (2001 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 9 years
male: 10 years
female: 8 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

3.3% of GDP (2006)


Government
Cameroon



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Cameroon
conventional short form: Cameroon
local long form: Republique du Cameroun/Republic of Cameroon
local short form: Cameroun/Cameroon
former: French Cameroon, British Cameroon, Federal Republic of
Cameroon, United Republic of Cameroon


Government type:

republic; multiparty presidential regime


Capital:

name: Yaounde
geographic coordinates: 3 52 N, 11 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

10 provinces; Adamaoua, Centre, Est, Extreme-Nord, Littoral, Nord,
Nord-Ouest, Ouest, Sud, Sud-Ouest


Independence:

1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)


National holiday:

Republic Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)


Constitution:

20 May 1972 approved by referendum, adopted 2 June 1972; revised
January 1996


Legal system:

based on French civil law system, with common law influence; accepts
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

20 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)
head of government: Prime Minister Ephraim INONI (since 8 December
2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from proposals submitted
by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 11 October 2004
(next to be held by October 2011); prime minister appointed by the
president
election results: President Paul BIYA reelected; percent of vote -
Paul BIYA 70.9%, John FRU NDI 17.4%, Adamou Ndam NJOYA 4.5%, Garga
Haman ADJI 3.7%


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (180 seats;
members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year
terms); note - the president can either lengthen or shorten the term
of the legislature
elections: last held 22 July 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
RDCP 140, SDF 14, UDC 4, UNDP 4, MP 1, vacant 17; note - vacant
seats will be determined in a yet to be scheduled by-election after
the Supreme Court nullified results in five districts
note: the constitution calls for an upper chamber for the
legislature, to be called a Senate, but it has yet to be established


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); High Court of
Justice (consists of nine judges and six substitute judges, elected
by the National Assembly)


Political parties and leaders:

Cameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Adamou Ndam NJOYA]; Cameroon
People's Democratic Movement or RDPC [Paul BIYA]; Movement for the
Defense of the Republic or MDR [Dakole DAISSALA]; Movement for the
Liberation and Development of Cameroon or MLDC [Marcel YONDO];
National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO
BOUBA]; Progressive Movement or MP; Social Democratic Front or SDF
[John FRU NDI]; Union of Peoples of Cameroon or UPC [Augustin
Frederic KODOCK]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Human Rights Defense Group [Albert MUKONG, president]; Southern
Cameroon National Council [Ayamba Ette OTUN]


International organization participation:

ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, C, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD,
ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO,
IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO,
ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph FOE-ATANGANA
chancery: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-8790
FAX: [1] (202) 387-3826


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Janet E. GARVEY
embassy: Avenue Rosa Parks, Yaounde
mailing address: P. O. Box 817, Yaounde; pouch: American Embassy, US
Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone: [237] 2220 15 00; Consular: [237] 2220 16 03
FAX: [237] 2220 16 00 Ext. 4531; Consular FAX: [237] 2220 17 52
branch office(s): Douala


Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), red, and yellow
with a yellow five-pointed star centered in the red band
note: uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia


Economy
Cameroon



Economy - overview:

Because of its modest oil resources and favorable agricultural
conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity
economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Still, it faces many of the serious
problems facing other underdeveloped countries, such as a top-heavy
civil service and a generally unfavorable climate for business
enterprise. Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF
and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment,
increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize
the nation's banks. In June 2000, the government completed an
IMF-sponsored, three-year structural adjustment program; however,
the IMF is pressing for more reforms, including increased budget
transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. In
January 2001, the Paris Club agreed to reduce Cameroon's debt of
$1.3 billion by $900 million; debt relief now totals $1.26 billion.
International oil and cocoa prices have a significant impact on the
economy.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$40.24 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$20.65 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

2.7% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$2,200 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 43.9%
industry: 15.8%
services: 40.3% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

6.674 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 70%
industry: 13%
services: 17% (2001 est.)


Unemployment rate:

30% (2001 est.)


Population below poverty line:

48% (2000 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 35.4% (2001)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

44.6 (2001)


Investment (gross fixed):

17.3% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $4.179 billion
expenditures: $3.297 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 July - 30 June


Public debt:

15.5% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.1% (2007 est.)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

15% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$2.616 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$1.698 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$1.3 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, root
starches; livestock; timber


Industries:

petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food
processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair


Industrial production growth rate:

3.5% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

3.903 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

3.323 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 2.7%
hydro: 97.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

87,400 bbl/day (2008 est.)


Oil - consumption:

24,500 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

108,800 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

50,750 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

200 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

20 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

20 million cu m (2006 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

135.1 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

-$325 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$3.827 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum,
coffee, cotton


Exports - partners:

Spain 19.8%, Italy 15.7%, France 11.7%, South Korea 9.4%,
Netherlands 6.1%, US 5.7% (2007)


Imports:

$3.714 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food


Imports - partners:

France 23.4%, Nigeria 12.8%, China 9%, Belgium 5.8%, US 4% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$413.8 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$2.932 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$2.554 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible
authority is the Bank of the Central African States


Currency code:

XAF


Exchange rates:

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 493.51
(2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)


Communications
Cameroon



Telephones - main lines in use:

130,700 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

4.536 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: fixed-line connections stand at less than 1 per
100 persons; equipment is old and outdated, and connections with
many parts of the country are unreliable; mobile-cellular usage, in
part a reflection of the poor condition and general inadequacy of
the fixed-line network, increased more than 6-fold between 2002 and
2007 reaching a subscribership base of 25 per 100 persons
domestic: cable, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter
international: country code - 237; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC
fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and
Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 3 (2001)


Radios:

2.27 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (2001)


Televisions:

450,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.cm


Internet hosts:

69 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2002)


Internet users:

370,000 (2006)


Transportation
Cameroon



Airports:

45 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 11
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 34
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 8 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 27 km; liquid petroleum gas 5 km; oil 1,110 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 987 km
narrow gauge: 987 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 50,000 km
paved: 5,000 km
unpaved: 45,000 km (2004)


Waterways:

navigation mainly on Benue River; limited during rainy season (2005)


Ports and terminals:

Douala, Limboh Terminal


Military
Cameroon



Military branches:

Cameroon Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes naval infantry), Air
Force (Armee de l'Air du Cameroun, AAC) (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; the
government makes periodic calls for volunteers (2006)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 4,321,175
females age 16-49: 4,228,625 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,567,428
females age 16-49: 2,498,990 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 212,205
female: 207,545 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Cameroon



Disputes - international:

Joint Border Commission with Nigeria reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the
entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including June
2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately ceded sovereignty of the
Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon with a full phase-out of Nigerian
control and patriation of residents in 2008; Cameroon and Nigeria
agree on maritime delimitation in March 2008; sovereignty dispute
between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth
of the Ntem River; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake
Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty,
which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 20,000-30,000 (Chad); 3,000 (Nigeria);
24,000 (Central African Republic) (2007)


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Cameroon is a source, transit, and destination
country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced
labor and commercial sexual exploitation; most victims are children
trafficked within country, with girls primarily trafficked for
domestic servitude and sexual exploitation; both boys and girls are
also trafficked within Cameroon for forced labor in sweatshops,
bars, restaurants, and on tea and cocoa plantations; children are
trafficked into Cameroon from neighboring states for forced labor in
agriculture, fishing, street vending, and spare-parts shops;
Cameroon is a transit country for children trafficked between Gabon
and Nigeria, and from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia; it is a source
country for women transported by sex-trafficking rings to Europe
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Cameroon is on the Tier 2 Watch
List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to
combat human trafficking in 2007, particularly in terms of efforts
to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders; while Cameroon
reported some arrests of traffickers, none of them were prosecuted
or punished; the government does not identify trafficking victims
among vulnerable populations nor does it monitor the number of
victims it intercepts (2008)



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Canada

Introduction
Canada



Background:

A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada became a
self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British
crown. Economically and technologically the nation has developed in
parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across an
unfortified border. Canada faces the political challenges of meeting
public demands for quality improvements in health care and education
services, as well as responding to separatist concerns in
predominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop its
diverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to the
environment.


Geography
Canada



Location:

Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the
east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the
north, north of the conterminous US


Geographic coordinates:

60 00 N, 95 00 W


Map references:

North America


Area:

total: 9,984,670 sq km
land: 9,093,507 sq km
water: 891,163 sq km


Area - comparative:

somewhat larger than the US


Land boundaries:

total: 8,893 km
border countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)


Coastline:

202,080 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


Climate:

varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north


Terrain:

mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Logan 5,959 m


Natural resources:

iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash,
diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural
gas, hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 4.57%
permanent crops: 0.65%
other: 94.78% (2005)


Irrigated land:

7,850 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

3,300 cu km (1985)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 44.72 cu km/yr (20%/69%/12%)
per capita: 1,386 cu m/yr (1996)


Natural hazards:

continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development;
cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the
mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American
interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow east of
the mountains


Environment - current issues:

air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and
damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and
vehicle emissions impacting on agricultural and forest productivity;
ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial,
mining, and forestry activities


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,
Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol,
Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic
Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol,
Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification,
Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,
Marine Life Conservation


Geography - note:

second-largest country in world (after Russia); strategic location
between Russia and US via north polar route; approximately 90% of
the population is concentrated within 160 km of the US border


People
Canada



Population:

33,212,696 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 16.3% (male 2,780,491/female 2,644,276)
15-64 years: 68.8% (male 11,547,354/female 11,300,639)
65 years and over: 14.9% (male 2,150,991/female 2,788,945) (2008
est.)


Median age:

total: 40.1 years
male: 39 years
female: 41.2 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.83% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

10.29 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

7.61 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

5.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 5.08 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 81.16 years
male: 78.65 years
female: 83.81 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.57 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.3% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

56,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,500 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Canadian(s)
adjective: Canadian


Ethnic groups:

British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%,
Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed
background 26%


Religions:

Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (including United Church
9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian
4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16% (2001
census)


Languages:

English (official) 59.3%, French (official) 23.2%, other 17.5%


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 17 years
male: 17 years
female: 17 years (2004)


Education expenditures:

5.2% of GDP (2002)


Government
Canada



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Canada


Government type:

constitutional monarchy that is also a parliamentary democracy and a
federation


Capital:

name: Ottawa
geographic coordinates: 45 25 N, 75 42 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard
Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends
first Sunday in November
note: Canada is divided into six time zones


Administrative divisions:

10 provinces and 3 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia,
Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest
Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island,
Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory*


Independence:

1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December
1931 (recognized by UK)


National holiday:

Canada Day, 1 July (1867)


Constitution:

made up of unwritten and written acts, customs, judicial decisions,
and traditions; the written part of the constitution consists of the
Constitution Act of 29 March 1867, which created a federation of
four provinces, and the Constitution Act of 17 April 1982, which
transferred formal control over the constitution from Britain to
Canada, and added a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well
as procedures for constitutional amendments


Legal system:

based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law
system based on French law prevails; accepts compulsory ICJ
jurisdiction, with reservations


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor General Michaelle JEAN (since 27 September
2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Stephen HARPER (since 6 February
2006)
cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister usually from
among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by
the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a five-year
term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority
party or the leader of the majority coalition in the House of
Commons is automatically designated prime minister by the governor
general


Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat
(105 seats; members appointed by the governor general with the
advice of the prime minister and serve until reaching 75 years of
age) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (308 seats;
members elected by direct, popular vote to serve a maximum of
five-year terms starting in 2009 elections)
elections: House of Commons - last held 14 October 2008 (next to be
held 19 October 2009)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party -
Conservative Party 37.6%, Liberal Party 26.2%, New Democratic Party
18.2%, Bloc Quebecois 10%, Greens 6.8%, other 1%; seats by party -
Conservative Party 143, Liberal Party 76, New Democratic Party 37,
Bloc Quebecois 50, other 1


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Canada (judges are appointed by the prime minister
through the governor general); Federal Court of Canada; Federal
Court of Appeal; Provincial Courts (these are named variously Court
of Appeal, Court of Queens Bench, Superior Court, Supreme Court, and
Court of Justice)


Political parties and leaders:

Bloc Quebecois [Gilles DUCEPPE]; Conservative Party of Canada
[Stephen HARPER] (a merger of the Canadian Alliance and the
Progressive Conservative Party); Green Party [Elizabeth MAY];
Liberal Party [Stephane DION]; New Democratic Party [Jack LAYTON]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: agricultural sector; automobile industry; business groups;
chemical industry; commercial banks; communications sector; energy
industry; environmentalists; public administration groups; steel
industry; trade unions


International organization participation:

ACCT, ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), APEC,
Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS,
C, CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ESA (cooperating state), FAO,
G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,
ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAFTA, NAM (guest),
NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF
(partner), SECI (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO,
UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMIS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU,
WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael WILSON
chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
telephone: [1] (202) 682-1740
FAX: [1] (202) 682-7701
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas,
Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix,
San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson
consulate(s): Anchorage, Houston, Philadelphia, Princeton (New
Jersey), Raleigh, San Jose (California)


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador David H. WILKINS
embassy: 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8
mailing address: P. O. Box 5000, Ogdensburgh, NY 13669-0430; P.O.
Box 866, Station B, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5T1
telephone: [1] (613) 688-5335
FAX: [1] (613) 688-3082
consulate(s) general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto,
Vancouver, Winnipeg


Flag description:

two vertical bands of red (hoist and fly side, half width), with
white square between them; an 11-pointed red maple leaf is centered
in the white square; the official colors of Canada are red and white


Economy
Canada



Economy - overview:

As an affluent, high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar
class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic
system, pattern of production, and affluent living standards. Since
World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining,
and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural
economy into one primarily industrial and urban. The 1989 US-Canada
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the 1994 North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) touched off a dramatic
increase in trade and economic integration with the US. Given its
great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital
plant, Canada enjoys solid economic prospects. Top-notch fiscal
management has produced consecutive balanced budgets since 1997,
although public debate continues over the equitable distribution of
federal funds to the Canadian provinces. Exports account for roughly
a third of GDP. Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with its
principal trading partner, the US, which absorbs 80% of Canadian
exports each year. Canada is the US's largest foreign supplier of
energy, including oil, gas, uranium, and electric power. During
2007, Canada enjoyed good economic growth, moderate inflation, and
the lowest unemployment rate in more than three decades.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.271 trillion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.432 trillion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

2.7% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$38,600 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 2.1%
industry: 28.8%
services: 69.1% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

17.95 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture 2%, manufacturing 13%, construction 6%, services 76%,
other 3% (2006)


Unemployment rate:

6% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

10.8%; note - this figure is the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO), a
calculation that results in higher figures than found in many
comparable economies; Canada does not have an official poverty line
(2005)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 24.8% (2000)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

32.1 (2005)


Investment (gross fixed):

22.6% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $569.3 billion
expenditures: $556.2 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Public debt:

64.2% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.1% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

4.5% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

6.1% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$391.6 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$1.381 trillion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$2.382 trillion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products;
forest products; fish


Industries:

transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed
minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products,
petroleum and natural gas


Industrial production growth rate:

0.3% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

612.6 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

530 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

50.12 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

19.66 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 28%
hydro: 57.9%
nuclear: 12.9%
other: 1.3% (2001)


Oil - production:

3.425 million bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

2.371 million bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - exports:

2.225 million bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

1.229 million bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

178.6 billion bbl
note: includes oil sands (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

187 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

92.9 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

107.3 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

13.2 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

1.648 trillion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$12.67 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$431.1 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft,
telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood
pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, electricity, aluminum


Exports - partners:

US 78.9%, UK 2.8%, China 2.1% (2007)


Imports:

$386.4 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil,
chemicals, electricity, durable consumer goods


Imports - partners:

US 54.1%, China 9.4%, Mexico 4.2% (2007)


Economic aid - donor:

ODA, $3.9 billion (2007)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$41.08 billion (2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$758.6 billion (30 June 2007)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$527.4 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$514.7 billion (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$1.481 trillion (2005)


Currency (code):

Canadian dollar (CAD)


Currency code:

CAD


Exchange rates:

Canadian dollars (CAD) per US dollar - 1.0724 (2007), 1.1334 (2006),
1.2118 (2005), 1.301 (2004), 1.4011 (2003)


Communications
Canada



Telephones - main lines in use:

21 million (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

18.749 million (2006)


Telephone system:

general assessment: excellent service provided by modern technology
domestic: domestic satellite system with about 300 earth stations
international: country code - 1; submarine cables provide links to
the US and Europe; satellite earth stations - 7 (5 Intelsat - 4
Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean, and 2 Intersputnik - Atlantic
Ocean region) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 245, FM 582, shortwave 6 (2004)


Radios:

32.3 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

80 (plus many repeaters) (1997)


Televisions:

21.5 million (1997)


Internet country code:

.ca


Internet hosts:

5.119 million (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

760 (2000 est.)


Internet users:

28 million (2007)


Transportation
Canada



Airports:

1,343 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 509
over 3,047 m: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 149
914 to 1,523 m: 248
under 914 m: 78 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 834
1,524 to 2,437 m: 68
914 to 1,523 m: 356
under 914 m: 410 (2007)


Heliports:

11 (2007)


Pipelines:

crude and refined oil 23,564 km; liquid petroleum gas 74,980 km
(2006)


Railways:

total: 48,068 km
standard gauge: 48,068 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 1,042,300 km
paved: 415,600 km (includes 17,000 km of expressways)
unpaved: 626,700 km (2006)


Waterways:

636 km
note: Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint
Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with United States (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 175
by type: bulk carrier 60, cargo 13, carrier 1, chemical tanker 10,
combination ore/oil 1, container 2, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 64,
petroleum tanker 12, roll on/roll off 6
foreign-owned: 17 (Germany 3, Netherlands 1, Norway 3, US 10)
registered in other countries: 206 (Australia 9, Bahamas 84,
Barbados 9, Cambodia 2, Cyprus 2, Denmark 1, Honduras 1, Hong Kong
44, Liberia 7, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 6, Norway 7, Norway 3,
Panama 18, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Spain 1, Spain 3,
Taiwan 2, Vanuatu 5) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Fraser River Port, Halifax, Hamilton, Montreal, Port-Cartier, Quebec
City, Saint John (New Brunswick), Sept-Isles, Vancouver


Military
Canada



Military branches:

Canadian Forces: Land Forces Command (LFC), Maritime Command
(MARCOM), Air Command (AIRCOM), Canada Command (homeland security)
(2008)


Military service age and obligation:

17 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (with
parental consent); 16 years of age for reserve and military college
applicants; Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status
required; maximum 34 years of age; service obligation 3-9 years
(2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 8,072,010
females age 16-49: 7,813,462 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 6,646,281
females age 16-49: 6,417,924 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 227,435
female: 215,556 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.1% of GDP (2005 est.)


Transnational Issues
Canada



Disputes - international:

managed maritime boundary disputes with the US at Dixon Entrance,
Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Gulf of Maine
including the disputed Machias Seal Island and North Rock; Canada,
the US, and other countries dispute the status of the Northwest
Passage; US works closely with Canada to intensify security measures
for monitoring and controlling legal and illegal movement of people,
transport, and commodities across the international border;
sovereignty dispute with Denmark over Hans Island in the Kennedy
Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland; commencing the
collection of technical evidence for submission to the Commission on
the Limits of the Continental Shelf in support of claims for
continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from its declared
baselines in the Arctic, as stipulated in Article 76, paragraph 8,
of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea


Illicit drugs:

illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic drug market and export
to US; use of hydroponics technology permits growers to plant large
quantities of high-quality marijuana indoors; increasing ecstasy
production, some of which is destined for the US; vulnerable to
narcotics money laundering because of its mature financial services
sector



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Cape Verde

Introduction
Cape Verde



Background:

The uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the
Portuguese in the 15th century; Cape Verde subsequently became a
trading center for African slaves and later an important coaling and
resupply stop for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Following
independence in 1975, and a tentative interest in unification with
Guinea-Bissau, a one-party system was established and maintained
until multi-party elections were held in 1990. Cape Verde continues
to exhibit one of Africa's most stable democratic governments.
Repeated droughts during the second half of the 20th century caused
significant hardship and prompted heavy emigration. As a result,
Cape Verde's expatriate population is greater than its domestic one.
Most Cape Verdeans have both African and Portuguese antecedents.


Geography
Cape Verde



Location:

Western Africa, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, west
of Senegal


Geographic coordinates:

16 00 N, 24 00 W


Map references:

Political Map of the World


Area:

total: 4,033 sq km
land: 4,033 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Rhode Island


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

965 km


Maritime claims:

measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


Climate:

temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and very erratic


Terrain:

steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mt. Fogo 2,829 m (a volcano on Fogo Island)


Natural resources:

salt, basalt rock, limestone, kaolin, fish, clay, gypsum


Land use:

arable land: 11.41%
permanent crops: 0.74%
other: 87.85% (2005)


Irrigated land:

30 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

0.3 cu km (1990)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.02 cu km/yr (7%/2%/91%)
per capita: 39 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

prolonged droughts; seasonal harmattan wind produces obscuring dust;
volcanically and seismically active


Environment - current issues:

soil erosion; deforestation due to demand for wood used as fuel;
water shortages; desertification; environmental damage has
threatened several species of birds and reptiles; illegal beach sand
extraction; overfishing


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,
Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

strategic location 500 km from west coast of Africa near major
north-south sea routes; important communications station; important
sea and air refueling site


People
Cape Verde



Population:

426,998 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 36.1% (male 77,533/female 76,489)
15-64 years: 57.4% (male 120,208/female 125,009)
65 years and over: 6.5% (male 10,226/female 17,533) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 20.6 years
male: 19.9 years
female: 21.5 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.595% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

23.95 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

6.26 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-11.74 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 42.55 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 48.66 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 36.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 71.33 years
male: 67.99 years
female: 74.76 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

3.17 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.035% (2001 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

775 (2001)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

225 (as of 2001)


Nationality:

noun: Cape Verdean(s)
adjective: Cape Verdean


Ethnic groups:

Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28%, European 1%


Religions:

Roman Catholic (infused with indigenous beliefs), Protestant (mostly
Church of the Nazarene)


Languages:

Portuguese, Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.6%
male: 85.8%
female: 69.2% (2003 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

6.3% of GDP (2006)


Government
Cape Verde



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Cape Verde
conventional short form: Cape Verde
local long form: Republica de Cabo Verde
local short form: Cabo Verde


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: Praia
geographic coordinates: 14 55 N, 23 31 W
time difference: UTC-1 (4 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

17 municipalities (concelhos, singular - concelho); Boa Vista,
Brava, Maio, Mosteiros, Paul, Praia, Porto Novo, Ribeira Grande,
Sal, Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz, Sao Domingos, Sao Filipe, Sao
Miguel, Sao Nicolau, Sao Vicente, Tarrafal


Independence:

5 July 1975 (from Portugal)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 5 July (1975)


Constitution:

25 September 1992; a major revision on 23 November 1995
substantially increased the powers of the president; a 1999 revision
created the position of national ombudsman (Provedor de Justica)


Legal system:

based on the legal system of Portugal; has not accepted compulsory
ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Pedro Verona PIRES (since 22 March 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Jose Maria Pereira NEVES (since 1
February 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the
recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 12 February 2006
(next to be held in February 2011); prime minister nominated by the
National Assembly and appointed by the president
election results: Pedro PIRES reelected president; percent of vote -
Pedro PIRES (PAICV) 51.2%, Carlos VIEGA (MPD) 48.8%


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (72 seats;
members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 22 January 2006 (next to be held in January
2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAICV 52.3%, MPD 44%,
UCID 2.7%; seats by party - PAICV 41, MPD 29, UCID 2


Judicial branch:

Supreme Tribunal of Justice or Supremo Tribunal de Justia


Political parties and leaders:

African Party for Independence of Cape Verde or PAICV [Jose Maria
Pereira NEVES, chairman]; Democratic Alliance for Change or ADM [Dr.
Eurico MONTEIRO] (a coalition of PCD, PTS, and UCID); Democratic
Christian Party or PDC [Manuel RODRIGUES]; Democratic Renovation
Party or PRD [Victor FIDALGO]; Democratic and Independent Cape
Verdean Union or UCID [Antonio MONTEIRO]; Movement for Democracy or
MPD [Agostinho LOPES]; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Dr.
Eurico MONTEIRO]; Party of Work and Solidarity or PTS [Isaias
RODRIGUES]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Joao ALEM]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: environmentalists; political pressure groups


International organization participation:

ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, CPLP, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt
(signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol,
IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Fatima Lima VEIGA
chancery: 3415 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 965-6820
FAX: [1] (202) 965-1207
consulate(s) general: Boston


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Marianne M. MYLES
embassy: Rua Abilio Macedo n6, Praia
mailing address: C. P. 201, Praia
telephone: [238] 2-60-89-00
FAX: [238] 2-61-13-55


Flag description:

five unequal horizontal bands; the top-most band of blue - equal to
one half the width of the flag - is followed by three bands of
white, red, and white, each equal to 1/12 of the width, and a bottom
stripe of blue equal to one quarter of the flag width; a circle of
10, yellow, five-pointed stars, each representing one of the
islands, is centered on the red stripe and positioned 3/8 of the
length of the flag from the hoist side


Economy
Cape Verde



Economy - overview:

This island economy suffers from a poor natural resource base,
including serious water shortages exacerbated by cycles of long-term
drought. The economy is service-oriented, with commerce, transport,
tourism, and public services accounting for about three-fourths of
GDP. Although nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas, the
share of food production in GDP is low. About 82% of food must be
imported. The fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not
fully exploited. Cape Verde annually runs a high trade deficit,
financed by foreign aid and remittances from emigrants; remittances
supplement GDP by more than 20%. Economic reforms are aimed at
developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to
diversify the economy. Future prospects depend heavily on the
maintenance of aid flows, the encouragement of tourism, remittances,
and the momentum of the government's development program. Cape Verde
became a member of the WTO in July 2008.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.603 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.428 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

6.9% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$3,200 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 9.3%
industry: 16.7%
services: 74% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

120,600 (1990)


Unemployment rate:

21% (2000 est.)


Population below poverty line:

30% (2000)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Investment (gross fixed):

37% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $436.1 million
expenditures: $449.7 million (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.4% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

8.5% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10.55% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$574 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$689 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$1.049 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

bananas, corn, beans, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, coffee, peanuts;
fish


Industries:

food and beverages, fish processing, shoes and garments, salt
mining, ship repair


Industrial production growth rate:

7.5% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

47 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

43.71 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

2,117 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

1,785 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Current account balance:

-$132.6 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$76.5 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

fuel, shoes, garments, fish, hides


Exports - partners:

Spain 37.2%, Portugal 29.9%, Morocco 7%, US 6.6% (2007)


Imports:

$743.6 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, industrial products, transport equipment, fuels


Imports - partners:

Portugal 40.7%, Netherlands 10.9%, France 6.5%, Spain 5.6%, Cote
d'Ivoire 4.9%, Brazil 4.7%, Italy 4.7% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$160.6 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$398 million (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$325 million (2002)


Currency (code):

Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)


Currency code:

CVE


Exchange rates:

Cape Verdean escudos (CVE) per US dollar - 81.235 (2007), 87.946
(2006), 88.67 (2005), 88.808 (2004), 97.703 (2003)


Communications
Cape Verde



Telephones - main lines in use:

71,600 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

148,000 (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: effective system, extensive modernization from
1996-2000 following partial privatization in 1995
domestic: major service provider is Cabo Verde Telecom (CVT);
fiber-optic ring, completed in 2001, links all islands providing
Internet access and ISDN services; cellular service introduced in
1998; broadband services launched in 2004
international: country code - 238; landing point for the Atlantis-2
fiber-optic transatlantic telephone cable that provides links to
South America, Senegal, and Europe; HF radiotelephone to Senegal and
Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
(2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 0, FM 22 (plus 12 repeaters), shortwave 0 (2001)


Radios:

100,000 (2002 est.)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (plus 7 repeaters) (2001)


Televisions:

15,000 (2002 est.)


Internet country code:

.cv


Internet hosts:

20 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2002)


Internet users:

37,000 (2007)


Transportation
Cape Verde



Airports:

8 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 8
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 1,350 km
paved: 932 km
unpaved: 418 km (2000)


Merchant marine:

total: 8
by type: cargo 2, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 5
foreign-owned: 2 (Spain 1, UK 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Porto Grande


Military
Cape Verde



Military branches:

People's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARP): Army, Coast Guard
(includes maritime air wing) (2007)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age (est.) for selective compulsory military service;
14-month conscript service obligation (2006)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 103,650
females age 16-49: 103,553 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 83,082
females age 16-49: 88,832 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 5,566
female: 5,441 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

0.7% of GDP (2005)


Transnational Issues
Cape Verde



Disputes - international:

none


Illicit drugs:

used as a transshipment point for Latin American cocaine destined
for Western Europe; the lack of a well-developed financial system
limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Cayman Islands

Introduction
Cayman Islands



Background:

The Cayman Islands were colonized from Jamaica by the British during
the 18th and 19th centuries, and were administered by Jamaica after
1863. In 1959, the islands became a territory within the Federation
of the West Indies, but when the Federation dissolved in 1962, the
Cayman Islands chose to remain a British dependency.


Geography
Cayman Islands



Location:

Caribbean, three-island group (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little
Cayman) in Caribbean Sea, 240 km south of Cuba and 268 km northwest
of Jamaica


Geographic coordinates:

19 30 N, 80 30 W


Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


Area:

total: 262 sq km
land: 262 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

1.5 times the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:

0 km


Coastline:

160 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


Climate:

tropical marine; warm, rainy summers (May to October) and cool,
relatively dry winters (November to April)


Terrain:

low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: The Bluff (Cayman Brac) 43 m


Natural resources:

fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism


Land use:

arable land: 3.85%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 96.15% (2005)


Irrigated land:

NA


Natural hazards:

hurricanes (July to November)


Environment - current issues:

no natural fresh water resources; drinking water supplies must be
met by rainwater catchments


Geography - note:

important location between Cuba and Central America


People
Cayman Islands



Population:

47,862
note: most of the population lives on Grand Cayman (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 19.9% (male 4,774/female 4,759)
15-64 years: 71.1% (male 16,594/female 17,434)
65 years and over: 9% (male 2,022/female 2,279) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 37.8 years
male: 37.4 years
female: 38.2 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

2.449% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

12.43 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

4.83 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

16.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: major destination for Cubans trying to migrate to the US (2008
est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 7.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.16 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 80.32 years
male: 77.68 years
female: 83 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.89 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA


Nationality:

noun: Caymanian(s)
adjective: Caymanian


Ethnic groups:

mixed 40%, white 20%, black 20%, expatriates of various ethnic
groups 20%


Religions:

Church of God 26%, United Church 11.8% (Presbyterian and
Congregational), Roman Catholic 11%, Baptist 8.7%, Seventh Day
Adventist 8.2%, Anglican 5.7%, Pentacostal 5.3%, other Christian
2.7%, non-denominational 5.8%, other 3.8%, none 9.8%, unspecified
1.1% (1999 census)


Languages:

English 95%, Spanish 3.2%, other 1.8% (1999 census)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 98% (1970 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2001)


Education expenditures:

2.8% of GDP (2005)


Government
Cayman Islands



Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cayman Islands


Dependency status:

overseas territory of the UK


Government type:

British crown colony


Capital:

name: George Town (on Grand Cayman)
geographic coordinates: 19 18 N, 81 23 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard
Time)


Administrative divisions:

8 districts; Creek, Eastern, Midland, South Town, Spot Bay, Stake
Bay, West End, Western


Independence:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


National holiday:

Constitution Day, first Monday in July


Constitution:

1959; revised 1962, 1972, and 1994


Legal system:

British common law and local statutes


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);
represented by Governor Stuart JACK (since 23 November 2005)
head of government: Leader of Government Business Kurt TIBBETTS
(since 18 May 2005)
cabinet: Executive Council (three members appointed by the governor,
four members elected by the Legislative Assembly)
elections: the monarch is hereditary; the governor is appointed by
the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the
majority party or coalition is appointed by the governor Leader of
Government Business


Legislative branch:

unicameral Legislative Assembly (18 seats; 3 appointed members from
the Executive Council and 15 elected by popular vote; to serve
four-year terms)
elections: last held 11 May 2005 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
PPM 9, UDP 5, independent 1


Judicial branch:

Summary Court; Grand Court; Cayman Islands Court of Appeal


Political parties and leaders:

United Democratic Party or UDP [McKeeva BUSH]; People's Progressive
Movement or PPM [Kurt TIBBETTS]; note - no national teams (loose
groupings of political organizations) were formed for the 2000
elections


Political pressure groups and leaders:

National Trust
other: environmentalists


International organization participation:

Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNESCO
(associate), UPU, WFTU


Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


Flag description:

blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and
the Caymanian coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag;
the coat of arms includes a pineapple and turtle above a shield with
three stars (representing the three islands) and a scroll at the
bottom bearing the motto HE HATH FOUNDED IT UPON THE SEAS


Economy
Cayman Islands



Economy - overview:

With no direct taxation, the islands are a thriving offshore
financial center. More than 68,000 companies were registered in the
Cayman Islands as of 2003, including almost 500 banks, 800 insurers,
and 5,000 mutual funds. A stock exchange was opened in 1997. Tourism
is also a mainstay, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of
foreign currency earnings. The tourist industry is aimed at the
luxury market and caters mainly to visitors from North America.
Total tourist arrivals exceeded 2.1 million in 2003, with about half
from the US. About 90% of the islands' food and consumer goods must
be imported. The Caymanians enjoy one of the highest outputs per
capita and one of the highest standards of living in the world.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.939 billion (2004 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$NA


GDP - real growth rate:

0.9% (2004 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$43,800 (2004 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 3.2%
services: 95.4% (1994 est.)


Labor force:

23,450 (2004)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 12.6%
services: 86% (1995)


Unemployment rate:

4.4% (2004)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Budget:

revenues: $423.8 million
expenditures: $392.6 million (2004)


Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.4% (2004)


Agriculture - products:

vegetables, fruit; livestock; turtle farming


Industries:

tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction
materials, furniture


Industrial production growth rate:

NA%


Electricity - production:

546.1 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

546.1 million kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

2,767 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

2,818 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Exports:

$2.52 million (2004)


Exports - commodities:

turtle products, manufactured consumer goods


Exports - partners:

mostly US (2006)


Imports:

$866.9 million (2004)


Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, manufactured goods


Imports - partners:

US, Netherlands Antilles, Japan (2006)


Economic aid - recipient:

$390,000 (2004)


Debt - external:

$70 million (1996)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$NA


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$NA


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$130 million (2005)


Currency (code):

Caymanian dollar (KYD)


Currency code:

KYD


Exchange rates:

Caymanian dollars (KYD) per US dollar - NA (2007), 0.8496 (2006)


Communications
Cayman Islands



Telephones - main lines in use:

38,000 (2002)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

33,800 (2004)


Telephone system:

general assessment: reasonably good system
domestic: liberalization of telecom market in 2003; introduction of
competition in the mobile-cellular market in 2004
international: country code - 1-345; landing point for the MAYA-1
submarine telephone cable network that provides links to the US and
parts of Central and South America; submarine cable provides
connectivity to Jamaica; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat
(Atlantic Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 0 (2004)


Radios:

36,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

4 with cable system (2004)


Televisions:

7,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.ky


Internet hosts:

4,648 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

16 (2000)


Internet users:

22,000 (2007)


Transportation
Cayman Islands



Airports:

3 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 785 km
paved: 785 km (2007)


Merchant marine:

total: 109
by type: bulk carrier 30, cargo 2, chemical tanker 42, petroleum
tanker 15, refrigerated cargo 10, roll on/roll off 3, vehicle
carrier 7
foreign-owned: 107 (Denmark 3, Germany 15, Greece 16, Italy 4, Japan
13, Norway 1, Singapore 10, UK 3, US 42) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Cayman Brac, George Town


Military
Cayman Islands



Military branches:

no regular military forces; Royal Cayman Islands Police Force (2007)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 11,790 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 9,577 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 336
female: 336 (2008 est.)


Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the UK


Transnational Issues
Cayman Islands



Disputes - international:

none


Illicit drugs:

offshore financial center; vulnerable to drug transshipment to the
US and Europe



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Central African Republic

Introduction
Central African Republic



Background:

The former French colony of Ubangi-Shari became the Central African
Republic upon independence in 1960. After three tumultuous decades
of misrule - mostly by military governments - civilian rule was
established in 1993 and lasted for one decade. President Ange-Felix
PATASSE's civilian government was plagued by unrest, and in March
2003 he was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois
BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Though the
government has the tacit support of civil society groups and the
main parties, a wide field of candidates contested the municipal,
legislative, and presidential elections held in March and May of
2005 in which General BOZIZE was affirmed as president. The
government still does not fully control the countryside, where
pockets of lawlessness persist. Unrest in neighboring nations, Chad,
Sudan, and the DRC, continues to affect stability in the Central
African Republic as well.


Geography
Central African Republic



Location:

Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo


Geographic coordinates:

7 00 N, 21 00 E


Map references:

Africa


Area:

total: 622,984 sq km
land: 622,984 sq km
water: 0 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Texas


Land boundaries:

total: 5,203 km
border countries: Cameroon 797 km, Chad 1,197 km, Democratic
Republic of the Congo 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 467 km, Sudan
1,165 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers


Terrain:

vast, flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in
northeast and southwest


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Oubangui River 335 m
highest point: Mont Ngaoui 1,420 m


Natural resources:

diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 3.1%
permanent crops: 0.15%
other: 96.75% (2005)


Irrigated land:

20 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

144.4 cu km (2003)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.03 cu km/yr (80%/16%/4%)
per capita: 7 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are
common


Environment - current issues:

tap water is not potable; poaching has diminished the country's
reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges;
desertification; deforestation


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes,
Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea


Geography - note:

landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa


People
Central African Republic



Population:

4,444,330
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower
life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of
population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 41.3% (male 922,053/female 911,601)
15-64 years: 54.6% (male 1,206,121/female 1,221,158)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 71,597/female 111,800) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 18.7 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 19 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

1.509% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

33.13 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

18.04 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

NA (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 82.13 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 88.84 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 75.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 44.22 years
male: 44.14 years
female: 44.29 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

4.23 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

13.5% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

260,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

23,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Central African(s)
adjective: Central African


Ethnic groups:

Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%,
Yakoma 4%, other 2%


Religions:

indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim
15%
note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the
Christian majority


Languages:

French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language),
tribal languages


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 48.6%
male: 64.8%
female: 33.5% (2000 est.)


Education expenditures:

1.4% of GDP (2006)


Government
Central African Republic



Country name:

conventional long form: Central African Republic
conventional short form: none
local long form: Republique Centrafricaine
local short form: none
former: Ubangi-Shari, Central African Empire
abbreviation: CAR


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: Bangui
geographic coordinates: 4 22 N, 18 35 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

14 prefectures (prefectures, singular - prefecture), 2 economic
prefectures* (prefectures economiques, singular - prefecture
economique), and 1 commune**; Bamingui-Bangoran, Bangui**,
Basse-Kotto, Haute-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou, Kemo, Lobaye, Mambere-Kadei,
Mbomou, Nana-Grebizi*, Nana-Mambere, Ombella-Mpoko, Ouaka, Ouham,
Ouham-Pende, Sangha-Mbaere*, Vakaga


Independence:

13 August 1960 (from France)


National holiday:

Republic Day, 1 December (1958)


Constitution:

ratified by popular referendum 5 December 2004; effective 27
December 2004


Legal system:

based on French law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

21 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Francois BOZIZE (since 15 March 2003 coup)
head of government: Prime Minister Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (since
22 January 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: under the new constitution, the president elected to a
five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held 13
March and 8 May 2005 (next to be held in 2010); prime minister
appointed by the political party with a parliamentary majority
election results: Francois BOZIZE elected president; percent of
second round balloting - Francois BOZIZE (KNK) 64.6%, Martin ZIGUELE
(MLPC) 35.4%


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (105 seats;
members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 13 March 2005 and 8 May 2005 (next to be held
in 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
KNK 42, MLPC 11, RDC 8, PSD 4, FPP 2, ADP 2, LONDO 1, independents
34, other 1


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court (3 judges
appointed by the president, 3 by the president of the National
Assembly, and 3 by fellow judges); Court of Appeal; Criminal Courts;
Inferior Courts


Political parties and leaders:

Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Jacques MBOLIEDAS];
Central African Democratic Rally or RDC [Andre KOLINGBA]; Civic
Forum or FC [Gen. Timothee MALENDOMA]; Democratic Forum for
Modernity or FODEM [Charles MASSI]; Liberal Democratic Party or PLD
[Nestor KOMBO-NAGUEMON]; Londo Association or LONDO; Movement for
Democracy and Development or MDD [David DACKO]; Movement for the
Liberation of the Central African People or MLPC [Ange-Felix
PATASSE] (the party of deposed president); National Convergence or
KNK; Patriotic Front for Progress or FPP [Abel GOUMBA]; People's
Union for the Republic or UPR [Pierre Sammy MAKFOY]; National Unity
Party or PUN [Jean-Paul NGOUPANDE]; Social Democratic Party or PSD
[Enoch LAKOUE]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Monam (combating gender-base violence)


International organization participation:

ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITSO,
ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Emmanuel TOUABOY
chancery: 1618 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800
FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Frederick B. COOK
embassy: Avenue David Dacko, Bangui
mailing address: B. P. 924, Bangui
telephone: [236] 61 02 00
FAX: [236] 61 44 94
note: the embassy is currently operating with a minimal staff


Flag description:

four equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, green, and yellow
with a vertical red band in center; a yellow five-pointed star to
the hoist side of the blue band


Economy
Central African Republic



Economy - overview:

Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry, remains the
backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with
more than 70% of the population living in outlying areas. The
agricultural sector generates more than half of GDP. Timber has
accounted for about 16% of export earnings and the diamond industry,
for 40%. Important constraints to economic development include the
CAR's landlocked position, a poor transportation system, a largely
unskilled work force, and a legacy of misdirected macroeconomic
policies. Factional fighting between the government and its
opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization. Distribution of
income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the
international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$3.007 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.714 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

4% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$700 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 55%
industry: 20%
services: 25% (2001 est.)


Labor force:

1.857 million (2006)


Unemployment rate:

8% (23% for Bangui) (2001 est.)


Population below poverty line:

NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 0.7%
highest 10%: 47.7% (1993)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

61.3 (1993)


Budget:

revenues: $250 million
expenditures: $273 million (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.9% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

5.25% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

15% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$218.3 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$47.58 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$320.2 million (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet,
corn, bananas; timber


Industries:

gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, textiles, footwear,
assembly of bicycles and motorcycles


Industrial production growth rate:

3% (2002)


Electricity - production:

110 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

102.3 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 19.8%
hydro: 80.2%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

2,322 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

2,057 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006)


Current account balance:

-$77 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$146.7 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco


Exports - partners:

Belgium 22.7%, Indonesia 19.3%, Italy 7.7%, France 7.1%, Spain 6.9%,
Democratic Republic of the Congo 6.8%, China 4.9%, Turkey 4.7% (2007)


Imports:

$237.3 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment,
motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals


Imports - partners:

France 16.6%, Netherlands 13%, Cameroon 9.7%, US 6.3% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

ODA, $95.29 million; note - traditional budget subsidies from France
(2005 est.)


Debt - external:

$1.153 billion (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible
authority is the Bank of the Central African States


Currency code:

XAF


Exchange rates:

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 481.8
(2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)


Communications
Central African Republic



Telephones - main lines in use:

12,000 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

130,000 (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: limited telephone service; fixed-line
connections for well less than 1 per 100 persons coupled with
mobile-cellular usage of only about 3 per 100 persons; most
fixed-line and cellular telephone services are concentrated in Bangui
domestic: network consists principally of microwave radio relay and
low-capacity, low-powered radiotelephone communication
international: country code - 236; satellite earth station - 1
Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 1 (2001)


Radios:

283,000 (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (2001)


Televisions:

18,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.cf


Internet hosts:

21 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2002)


Internet users:

13,000 (2006)


Transportation
Central African Republic



Airports:

51 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 48
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 24
under 914 m: 13 (2007)


Roadways:

total: 24,307 km (2000)


Waterways:

2,800 km (primarily on the Oubangui and Sangha rivers) (2006)


Ports and terminals:

Bangui, Nola, Salo, Nzinga


Military
Central African Republic



Military branches:

Central African Armed Forces (Forces Armees Centrafricaines, FACA):
Ground Forces, General Directorate of Gendarmerie Inspection (DGIG),
Military Air Service, National Police (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service;
2-year conscript service obligation (2006)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,032,828
females age 16-49: 999,330 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 534,141
females age 16-49: 495,303 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 54,655
female: 54,420 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

1.1% of GDP (2006 est.)


Transnational Issues
Central African Republic



Disputes - international:

periodic skirmishes over water and grazing rights among related
pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan persist


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 7,900 (Sudan); 3,700 (Democratic
Republic of the Congo); note - UNHCR resumed repatriation of
Southern Sudanese refugees in 2006
IDPs: 197,000 (ongoing unrest following coup in 2003) (2007)


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Central African Republic is a source, transit,
and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for
the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation; the majority
of victims are children trafficked within the country for sexual
exploitation, domestic servitude, street vending, and forced
agricultural, mine, market and restaurant labor; to a lesser extent,
children are trafficked from the Central African Republic to
Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo; rebels
conscript children into armed forces within the country
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Central African Republic is on the
Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year for its failure to
show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in 2007;
efforts to address trafficking through vigorous law enforcement
measures and victim protection efforts were minimal, though
awareness about trafficking appeared to be increasing in the
country; the government does not actively investigate cases, work to
identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, or rescue
and provide care to victims; the government has not taken measures
to reduce demand for commercial sex acts (2008)



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Chad

Introduction
Chad



Background:

Chad, part of France's African holdings until 1960, endured three
decades of civil warfare as well as invasions by Libya before a
semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. The government
eventually drafted a democratic constitution, and held flawed
presidential elections in 1996 and 2001. In 1998, a rebellion broke
out in northern Chad, which has sporadically flared up despite
several peace agreements between the government and the rebels. In
2005, new rebel groups emerged in western Sudan and made probing
attacks into eastern Chad, despite signing peace agreements in
December 2006 and October 2007. Power remains in the hands of an
ethnic minority. In June 2005, President Idriss DEBY held a
referendum successfully removing constitutional term limits and won
another controversial election in 2006. Sporadic rebel campaigns
continued throughout 2006 and 2007, and the capital experienced a
significant rebel threat in early 2008.


Geography
Chad



Location:

Central Africa, south of Libya


Geographic coordinates:

15 00 N, 19 00 E


Map references:

Africa


Area:

total: 1.284 million sq km
land: 1,259,200 sq km
water: 24,800 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly more than three times the size of California


Land boundaries:

total: 5,968 km
border countries: Cameroon 1,094 km, Central African Republic 1,197
km, Libya 1,055 km, Niger 1,175 km, Nigeria 87 km, Sudan 1,360 km


Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)


Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


Climate:

tropical in south, desert in north


Terrain:

broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in
northwest, lowlands in south


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Djourab Depression 160 m
highest point: Emi Koussi 3,415 m


Natural resources:

petroleum, uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad), gold,
limestone, sand and gravel, salt


Land use:

arable land: 2.8%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 97.18% (2005)


Irrigated land:

300 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

43 cu km (1987)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.23 cu km/yr (17%/0%/83%)
per capita: 24 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; periodic droughts;
locust plagues


Environment - current issues:

inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in
rural areas contributes to soil and water pollution; desertification


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping


Geography - note:

landlocked; Lake Chad is the most significant water body in the Sahel


People
Chad



Population:

10,111,337 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 47% (male 2,408,638/female 2,346,984)
15-64 years: 50.1% (male 2,317,406/female 2,746,104)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 123,561/female 168,644) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 16.4 years
male: 15.2 years
female: 17.5 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

2.195% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

41.61 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

16.39 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-3.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 100.36 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 106.48 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 94 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 47.43 years
male: 46.4 years
female: 48.5 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

5.43 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

4.8% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

200,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

18,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Chadian(s)
adjective: Chadian


Ethnic groups:

Sara 27.7%, Arab 12.3%, Mayo-Kebbi 11.5%, Kanem-Bornou 9%, Ouaddai
8.7%, Hadjarai 6.7%, Tandjile 6.5%, Gorane 6.3%, Fitri-Batha 4.7%,
other 6.4%, unknown 0.3% (1993 census)


Religions:

Muslim 53.1%, Catholic 20.1%, Protestant 14.2%, animist 7.3%, other
0.5%, unknown 1.7%, atheist 3.1% (1993 census)


Languages:

French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120
different languages and dialects


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write French or Arabic
total population: 25.7%
male: 40.8%
female: 12.8% (2000 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 6 years
male: 7 years
female: 4 years (2005)


Education expenditures:

1.9% of GDP (2005)


Government
Chad



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Chad
conventional short form: Chad
local long form: Republique du Tchad/Jumhuriyat Tshad
local short form: Tchad/Tshad


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: N'Djamena
geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 15 02 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)


Administrative divisions:

18 regions (regions, singular - region); Batha,
Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti, Chari-Baguirmi, Guera, Hadjer-Lamis, Kanem,
Lac, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mandoul, Mayo-Kebbi Est,
Mayo-Kebbi Ouest, Moyen-Chari, Ouaddai, Salamat, Tandjile, Ville de
N'Djamena, Wadi Fira


Independence:

11 August 1960 (from France)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 11 August (1960)


Constitution:

passed by referendum 31 March 1996; a June 2005 referendum removed
constitutional term limits


Legal system:

based on French civil law system and Chadian customary law; has not
accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno (since 4
December 1990)
head of government: Prime Minister Youssof Saleh ABBAS (since 16
April 2008)
cabinet: Council of State, members appointed by the president on the
recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote to serve five-year
term; if no candidate receives at least 50% of the total vote, the
two candidates receiving the most votes must stand for a second
round of voting; last held 3 May 2006 (next to be held by May 2011);
prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno reelected president;
percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY 64.7%, Delwa Kassire
KOUMAKOYE 15.1%, Albert Pahimi PADACKE 7.8%, Mahamat ABDOULAYE 7.1%,
Brahim KOULAMALLAH 5.3%; note - a June 2005 national referendum
altered the constitution removing presidential term limits and
permitting Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno to run for reelection


Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly (155 seats; members elected by popular
vote to serve four-year terms); note - the 1996 constitution called
for a Senate that has never been formed
elections: National Assembly - last held 21 April 2002 (next to be
held by 2009); note - legislative elections, originally scheduled
for 2006, were first delayed by National Assembly action and
subsequently by an accord, signed in August 2007, between government
and opposition parties
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
MPS 110, RDP 12, FAR 9, RNDP 5, UNDR 5, URD 3, other 11


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Criminal Courts; Magistrate Courts


Political parties and leaders:

Federation Action for the Republic or FAR [Ngarledjy YORONGAR];
National Rally for Development and Progress or RNDP [Delwa Kassire
KOUMAKOYE]; National Union for Democracy and Renewal or UNDR [Saleh
KEBZABO]; Party for Liberty and Development or PLD [Ibni Oumar
Mahamat SALEH]; Patriotic Salvation Movement or MPS [Mahamat Saleh
AHMAT, chairman]; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Lol
Mahamat CHOUA]; Union for Renewal and Democracy or URD [Gen. Wadal
Abdelkader KAMOUGUE]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

rebel groups


International organization participation:

ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC,
ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNIDO, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Mahamat Adam BECHIR
chancery: 2002 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 462-4009
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1937


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Louis NIGRO
embassy: Avenue Felix Eboue, N'Djamena
mailing address: B. P. 413, N'Djamena
telephone: [235] 251-62-11, [235] 251-70-09, [235] 251-77-59
FAX: [235] 251-56-54


Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red
note: similar to the flag of Romania; also similar to the flags of
Andorra and Moldova, both of which have a national coat of arms
centered in the yellow band; design was based on the flag of France


Economy
Chad



Economy - overview:

Chad's primarily agricultural economy will continue to be boosted by
major foreign direct investment projects in the oil sector that
began in 2000. At least 80% of Chad's population relies on
subsistence farming and livestock raising for its livelihood. Chad's
economy has long been handicapped by its landlocked position, high
energy costs, and a history of instability. Chad relies on foreign
assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector
investment projects. A consortium led by two US companies has been
investing $3.7 billion to develop oil reserves - estimated at 1
billion barrels - in southern Chad. Chinese companies are also
expanding exploration efforts and plan to build a refinery. The
nation's total oil reserves have been estimated to be 1.5 billion
barrels. Oil production came on stream in late 2003. Chad began to
export oil in 2004. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic provide the bulk
of Chad's non-oil export earnings.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$15.26 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$7.095 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

1.3% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,500 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 21.5%
industry: 47.8%
services: 30.6% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

3.747 million (2006)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 80% (subsistence farming, herding, and fishing)
industry and services: 20% (2006 est.)


Unemployment rate:

NA%


Population below poverty line:

80% (2001 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


Investment (gross fixed):

11.4% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $1.864 billion
expenditures: $1.749 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

5.25% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

15% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$874.5 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$55.23 million (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$82.81 million (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

cotton, sorghum, millet, peanuts, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca);
cattle, sheep, goats, camels


Industries:

oil, cotton textiles, meatpacking, brewing, natron (sodium
carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials


Industrial production growth rate:

2% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

95 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

88.35 million kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)


Oil - production:

156,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)


Oil - consumption:

1,352 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

176,700 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

1,492 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - proved reserves:

1.5 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


Current account balance:

-$171 million (2007 est.)


Exports:

$4.201 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

oil, cattle, cotton, gum arabic


Exports - partners:

US 89.5%, Japan 3.7%, China 3.4% (2007)


Imports:

$1.158 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods,
foodstuffs, textiles


Imports - partners:

France 20.4%, Cameroon 16.1%, US 10.9%, China 10%, Germany 7.5%,
Saudi Arabia 4.4% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

ODA, $379.8 million (2005)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$969 million (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$1.6 billion (2005 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$4.5 billion (2006 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$NA


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA


Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible
authority is the Bank of the Central African States


Currency code:

XAF


Exchange rates:

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 480.1
(2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)


Communications
Chad



Telephones - main lines in use:

13,000 (2006)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

918,400 (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: primitive system with high costs and low
telephone density; fixed-line connections for only about 1 per 1000
persons coupled with mobile-cellular usage of only about 9 per 100
persons
domestic: fair system of radiotelephone communication stations
international: country code - 235; satellite earth station - 1
Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 5 (2001)


Radios:

1.67 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

1 (2001)


Televisions:

10,000 (1997)


Internet country code:

.td


Internet hosts:

5 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2002)


Internet users:

60,000 (2006)


Transportation
Chad



Airports:

55 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 7
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 48
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 21
under 914 m: 11 (2007)


Pipelines:

oil 250 km (2007)


Roadways:

total: 33,400 km
paved: 267 km
unpaved: 33,133 km (2002)


Waterways:

Chari and Legone rivers are navigable only in wet season (2006)


Military
Chad



Military branches:

Armed Forces: Chadian National Army (Armee Nationale du Tchad, ANT),
Chadian Air Force (Force Aerienne Tchadienne, FAT), Gendarmerie
(2008)


Military service age and obligation:

20 years of age for conscripts, with 3-year service obligation; 18
years of age for volunteers; no minimum age restriction for
volunteers with consent from a guardian; women are subject to 1 year
of compulsory military or civic service at age of 21 (2004)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,906,545
females age 16-49: 2,258,758 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,066,565
females age 16-49: 1,279,318 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 116,824
female: 117,831 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

4.2% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Chad



Disputes - international:

since 2003, Janjawid armed militia and the Sudanese military have
driven hundreds of thousands of Darfur residents into Chad; Chad
remains an important mediator in the Sudanese civil conflict,
reducing tensions with Sudan arising from cross-border banditry;
Chadian Aozou rebels reside in southern Libya; only Nigeria and
Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify
the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and
Niger-Nigeria boundaries


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 234,000 (Sudan); 54,200 (Central
African Republic)
IDPs: 178,918 (2007)


Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Chad is a source, transit, and destination
country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and
commercial sexual exploitation; the majority of children are
trafficked within Chad for involuntary domestic servitude, forced
cattle herding, forced begging, forced labor in petty commerce or
the fishing industry, or for commercial sexual exploitation; to a
lesser extent, Chadian children are also trafficked to Cameroon, the
Central African Republic, and Nigeria for cattle herding; children
may also be trafficked from Cameroon and the Central African
Republic to Chad's oil producing regions for sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Chad is on the Tier 2 Watch List
for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat
human trafficking in 2007; Chad was destabilized during 2007 by
civil conflict leading to a declared state of emergency in February
2008, and a steady influx of refugees fleeing Sudan and the Central
African Republic; the government demonstrated insufficient overall
efforts to combat trafficking; Chad has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP
Protocol (2008)



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@Chile

Introduction
Chile



Background:

Prior to the coming of the Spanish in the 16th century, northern
Chile was under Inca rule while Araucanian Indians (also known as
Mapuches) inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile
declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish
was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83),
Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern
regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Araucanian Indians were
completely subjugated. A three-year-old Marxist government of
Salvador ALLENDE was overthrown in 1973 by a military coup led by
Augusto PINOCHET, who ruled until a freely elected president was
installed in 1990. Sound economic policies, maintained consistently
since the 1980s, have contributed to steady growth, reduced poverty
rates by over half, and have helped secure the country's commitment
to democratic and representative government. Chile has increasingly
assumed regional and international leadership roles befitting its
status as a stable, democratic nation.


Geography
Chile



Location:

Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between
Argentina and Peru


Geographic coordinates:

30 00 S, 71 00 W


Map references:

South America


Area:

total: 756,950 sq km
land: 748,800 sq km
water: 8,150 sq km
note: includes Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and Isla Sala y Gomez


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana


Land boundaries:

total: 6,339 km
border countries: Argentina 5,308 km, Bolivia 860 km, Peru 171 km


Coastline:

6,435 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200/350 nm


Climate:

temperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool
and damp in south


Terrain:

low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 m


Natural resources:

copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum,
hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 2.62%
permanent crops: 0.43%
other: 96.95% (2005)


Irrigated land:

19,000 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

922 cu km (2000)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 12.55 cu km/yr (11%/25%/64%)
per capita: 770 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

severe earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis


Environment - current issues:

widespread deforestation and mining threaten natural resources; air
pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution
from raw sewage


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

strategic location relative to sea lanes between Atlantic and
Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage);
Atacama Desert is one of world's driest regions


People
Chile



Population:

16,454,143 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 23.6% (male 1,987,962/female 1,899,489)
15-64 years: 67.6% (male 5,556,867/female 5,563,666)
65 years and over: 8.8% (male 602,789/female 843,370) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 31.1 years
male: 30.1 years
female: 32.1 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.905% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

14.82 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

5.77 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

NA (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 7.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 77.15 years
male: 73.88 years
female: 80.59 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.95 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.3% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

26,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,400 (2003 est.)


Nationality:

noun: Chilean(s)
adjective: Chilean


Ethnic groups:

white and white-Amerindian 95.4%, Mapuche 4%, other indigenous
groups 0.6% (2002 census)


Religions:

Roman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 15.1%, Jehovah's Witness 1.1%, other
Christian 1%, other 4.6%, none 8.3% (2002 census)


Languages:

Spanish (official), Mapudungun, German, English


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.7%
male: 95.8%
female: 95.6% (2002 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

3.2% of GDP (2006)


Government
Chile



Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Chile
conventional short form: Chile
local long form: Republica de Chile
local short form: Chile


Government type:

republic


Capital:

name: Santiago
geographic coordinates: 33 27 S, 70 40 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in October; ends
second Sunday in March


Administrative divisions:

15 regions (regiones, singular - region); Aisen del General Carlos
Ibanez del Campo, Antofagasta, Araucania, Arica y Parinacota,
Atacama, Biobio, Coquimbo, Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins,
Los Lagos, Los Rios, Magallanes y de la Antartica Chilena, Maule,
Region Metropolitana (Santiago), Tarapaca, Valparaiso
note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica


Independence:

18 September 1810 (from Spain)


National holiday:

Independence Day, 18 September (1810)


Constitution:

11 September 1980, effective 11 March 1981; amended 1989, 1991,
1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2005


Legal system:

based on Code of 1857 derived from Spanish law and subsequent codes
influenced by French and Austrian law; judicial review of
legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory
ICJ jurisdiction; note - in June 2005, Chile completed overhaul of
its criminal justice system to a new, US-style adversarial system


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory


Executive branch:

chief of state: President Michelle BACHELET Jeria (since 11 March
2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government
head of government: President Michelle BACHELET Jeria (since 11
March 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a single four-year
term; election last held 11 December 2005, with runoff election held
15 January 2006 (next to be held in December 2009)
election results: Michelle BACHELET Jeria elected president; percent
of vote - Michelle BACHELET Jeria 53.5%; Sebastian PINERA Echenique
46.5%


Legislative branch:

bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the
Senate or Senado (38 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve
eight-year terms; one-half elected every four years) and the Chamber
of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (120 seats; members are elected
by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 11 December 2005 (next to be held in
December 2009); Chamber of Deputies - last held 11 December 2005
(next to be held in December 2009)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by
party - CPD 20 (PDC 6, PS 8, PPD 3, PRSD 3), APC 17 (UDI 9, RN 8),
independent 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA;
seats by party - CPD 65 (PDC 21, PPD 22, PS 15, PRSD 7), APC 54 (UDI
34, RN 20), independent 1; note - as of 8 January 2008: Senate -
seats by party - CPD 18, (PDC 5, PS 8, PPD 2, PRSD 3), APC 16 (UDI
9, RN 7), independent 4; Chamber of Deputies - seats by party - CPD
57 (PDC 16, PPD 19, PS 15, PRSD 7), APC 53 (UDI 33, RN 20),
independent 10.


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are appointed by the
president and ratified by the Senate from lists of candidates
provided by the court itself; the president of the Supreme Court is
elected every three years by the 20-member court); Constitutional
Tribunal


Political parties and leaders:

Alliance for Chile (Alianza) or APC (including National Renewal or
RN [Carlos LARRAIN Pena] and Independent Democratic Union or UDI
[Hernan LARRAIN Fernandez]); Coalition of Parties for Democracy
(Concertacion) or CPD (including Christian Democratic Party or PDC
[Soledad ALVEAR], Socialist Party or PS [Camilo ESCALONA Medina],
Party for Democracy or PPD [Sergio BITAR Chacra], Radical Social
Democratic Party or PRSD [Jose Antonio GOMEZ Urrutia]); Communist
Party or PC [Guillermo TEILLIER]; Humanist Party [Marilen CABRERA
Olmos]


Political pressure groups and leaders:

Roman Catholic Church; United Labor Central or CUT includes trade
unionists from the country's five largest labor confederations
other: revitalized university student federations at all major
universities


International organization participation:

APEC, BIS, CAN (associate), FAO, G-15, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF,
IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES,
LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW,
PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina,
UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Mariano FERNANDEZ
chancery: 1732 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1746
FAX: [1] (202) 887-5579
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New
York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Paul E. SIMONS
embassy: Avenida Andres Bello 2800, Las Condes, Santiago
mailing address: APO AA 34033
telephone: [56] (2) 330-3000
FAX: [56] (2) 330-3710, 330-3160


Flag description:

two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; a blue square the
same height as the white band at the hoist-side end of the white
band; the square bears a white five-pointed star in the center
representing a guide to progress and honor; blue symbolizes the sky,
white is for the snow-covered Andes, and red represents the blood
spilled to achieve independence
note: design was influenced by the US flag


Economy
Chile



Economy - overview:

Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of
foreign trade. During the early 1990s, Chile's reputation as a role
model for economic reform was strengthened when the democratic
government of Patricio AYLWIN - which took over from the military in
1990 - deepened the economic reform initiated by the military
government. Growth in real GDP averaged 8% during 1991-97, but fell
to half that level in 1998 because of tight monetary policies
implemented to keep the current account deficit in check and because
of lower export earnings - the latter a product of the global
financial crisis. A severe drought exacerbated the recession in
1999, reducing crop yields and causing hydroelectric shortfalls and
electricity rationing, and Chile experienced negative economic
growth for the first time in more than 15 years. Despite the effects
of the recession, Chile maintained its reputation for strong
financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the
strongest sovereign bond rating in South America. Between 2000 and
2007 growth ranged between 2%-6%. Throughout these years Chile
maintained a low rate of inflation with GDP growth coming from high
copper prices, solid export earnings (particularly forestry,
fishing, and mining), and growing domestic consumption. President
BACHELET in 2006 established an Economic and Social Stabilization
Fund to hold excess copper revenues so that social spending can be
maintained during periods of copper shortfalls. This fund probably
surpassed $20 billion at the end of 2007. Chile continues to attract
foreign direct investment, but most foreign investment goes into
gas, water, electricity and mining. Unemployment has exhibited a
downward trend over the past two years, dropping to 7.8% and 7.0% at
the end of 2006 and 2007, respectively. Chile deepened its
longstanding commitment to trade liberalization with the signing of
a free trade agreement with the US, which took effect on 1 January
2004. Chile claims to have more bilateral or regional trade
agreements than any other country. It has 57 such agreements (not
all of them full free trade agreements), including with the European
Union, Mercosur, China, India, South Korea, and Mexico.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$232.8 billion (2007 est.)


GDP (official exchange rate):

$163.8 billion (2007 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

5.1% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):

$14,300 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 4.8%
industry: 51.2%
services: 44% (2007 est.)


Labor force:

7.167 million (2007 est.)


Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 13.6%
industry: 23.4%
services: 63% (2003)


Unemployment rate:

7% (2007 est.)


Population below poverty line:

18.2% (2005)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 45% (2003)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:

54.9 (2003)


Investment (gross fixed):

20.6% of GDP (2007 est.)


Budget:

revenues: $44.96 billion
expenditures: $30.51 billion (2007 est.)


Fiscal year:

calendar year


Public debt:

4.1% of GDP (2007 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.4% (2007 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

6% (31 December 2007)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

8.67% (31 December 2007)


Stock of money:

$16.6 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of quasi money:

$80.42 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of domestic credit:

$127.1 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:

grapes, apples, pears, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic,
asparagus, beans; beef, poultry, wool; fish; timber


Industries:

copper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel,
wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles


Industrial production growth rate:

11.1% (2007 est.)


Electricity - production:

50.37 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - consumption:

45.52 billion kWh (2006 est.)


Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - imports:

1.628 billion kWh (2007 est.)


Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 47%
hydro: 51.5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 1.4% (2001)


Oil - production:

11,610 bbl/day (2007 est.)


Oil - consumption:

253,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - exports:

32,500 bbl/day (2005)


Oil - imports:

222,900 bbl/day (2006 est.)


Oil - proved reserves:

150 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)


Natural gas - production:

1.8 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - consumption:

4.2 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - imports:

2.4 billion cu m (2007 est.)


Natural gas - proved reserves:

97.97 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)


Current account balance:

$7.2 billion (2007 est.)


Exports:

$67.64 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Exports - commodities:

copper, fruit, fish products, paper and pulp, chemicals, wine


Exports - partners:

China 14.8%, US 12.5%, Japan 10.5%, Netherlands 5.8%, South Korea
5.7%, Italy 5.1%, Brazil 5% (2007)


Imports:

$43.99 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)


Imports - commodities:

petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, electrical and
telecommunications equipment, industrial machinery, vehicles,
natural gas


Imports - partners:

US 16.7%, China 11.2%, Brazil 10.3%, Argentina 9.9% (2007)


Economic aid - recipient:

$0 (2006)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$16.84 billion (31 December 2007 est.)


Debt - external:

$57.6 billion (31 December 2007)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$91.49 billion (2007 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$24.68 billion (2007 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$174.6 billion (2006)


Currency (code):

Chilean peso (CLP)


Currency code:

CLP


Exchange rates:

Chilean pesos (CLP) per US dollar - 526.25 (2007), 530.29 (2006),
560.09 (2005), 609.37 (2004), 691.43 (2003)


Communications
Chile



Telephones - main lines in use:

3.379 million (2007)


Telephones - mobile cellular:

13.955 million (2007)


Telephone system:

general assessment: privatization begun in 1988; most advanced
telecommunications infrastructure in South America; modern system
based on extensive microwave radio relay facilities; fixed-line
connections have dropped in recent years as mobile-cellular usage
continues to increase, reaching a level of 85 telephones per 100
persons
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay links; domestic satellite
system with 3 earth stations
international: country code - 56; submarine cables provide links to
the US and to Central and South America; satellite earth stations -
2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)


Radio broadcast stations:

AM 180 (8 inactive), FM 64, shortwave 17 (1 inactive) (1998)


Radios:

5.18 million (1997)


Television broadcast stations:

63 (plus 121 repeaters) (1997)


Televisions:

3.15 million (1997)


Internet country code:

.cl


Internet hosts:

847,215 (2008)


Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

7 (2000)


Internet users:

5.57 million (2007)


Transportation
Chile



Airports:

358 (2007)


Airports - with paved runways:

total: 79
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 19 (2007)


Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 279
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 49
under 914 m: 216 (2007)


Pipelines:

gas 2,550 km; gas/liquid petroleum gas 42 km; liquid petroleum gas
539 km; oil 1,002 km; refined products 757 km; unknown (oil/water)
97 km (2007)


Railways:

total: 6,585 km
broad gauge: 2,831 km 1.676-m gauge (1,317 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 3,754 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)


Roadways:

total: 80,505 km
paved: 16,745 km (includes 2,414 km of expressways)
unpaved: 63,760 km (2004)


Merchant marine:

total: 44
by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 7, chemical tanker 8, container 1,
liquefied gas 2, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 7,
roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 3
registered in other countries: 40 (Argentina 7, Brazil 1, Cyprus 1,
Isle of Man 6, Marshall Islands 4, Norway 2, Panama 12, Singapore 6,
Venezuela 1) (2008)


Ports and terminals:

Coronel, Huasco, Lirquen, Puerto Ventanas, San Antonio, San Vicente,
Valparaiso


Military
Chile



Military branches:

Army of the Nation, Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile, includes naval
air, marine corps, and Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine
Directorate (Directemar)), Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Chile,
FACh), Carabineros Corps (Cuerpo de Carabineros) (2008)


Military service age and obligation:

18-45 years of age for voluntary male and female military service,
although the right to compulsory recruitment is retained; service
obligation - 12 months for Army, 22 months for Navy and Air Force
(2008)


Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 4,242,912
females age 16-49: 4,182,509 (2008 est.)


Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 3,542,448
females age 16-49: 3,500,059 (2008 est.)


Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 147,518
female: 141,139 (2008 est.)


Military expenditures:

2.7% of GDP (2006)


Transnational Issues
Chile



Disputes - international:

Chile and Peru rebuff Bolivia's reinvigorated claim to restore the
Atacama corridor, ceded to Chile in 1884, but Chile has offered
instead unrestricted but not sovereign maritime access through Chile
to Bolivian gas and other commodities; Chile rejects Peru's
unilateral legislation to change its latitudinal maritime boundary
with Chile to an equidistance line with a southwestern axis favoring
Peru, in October 2007, Peru took its maritime complaint with Chile
to the ICJ; territorial claim in Antarctica (Chilean Antarctic
Territory) partially overlaps Argentine and British claims; the
joint boundary commission, established by Chile and Argentina in
2001, has yet to map and demarcate the delimited boundary in the
inhospitable Andean Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur)


Illicit drugs:

transshipment country for cocaine destined for Europe and the
region; economic prosperity and increasing trade have made Chile
more attractive to traffickers seeking to launder drug profits,
especially through the Iquique Free Trade Zone, but a recent
anti-money-laundering law improves controls; imported precursors
passed on to Bolivia; domestic cocaine consumption is rising, making
Chile a significant consumer of cocaine



This page was last updated on 18 December, 2008



======================================================================



@China

Introduction
China



Background:

For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the
rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and
early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major
famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War
II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic
socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed
strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of
millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping and
other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by
2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living
standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal
choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.


Geography
China



Location:

Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea,
and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam


Geographic coordinates:

35 00 N, 105 00 E


Map references:

Asia


Area:

total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km


Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than the US


Land boundaries:

total: 22,117 km
border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km,
India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km,
Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km,
Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40
km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km
regional borders: Hong Kong 30 km, Macau 0.34 km


Coastline:

14,500 km


Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


Climate:

extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north


Terrain:

mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas,
and hills in east


Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m


Natural resources:

coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten,
antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum,
lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)


Land use:

arable land: 14.86%
permanent crops: 1.27%
other: 83.87% (2005)


Irrigated land:

545,960 sq km (2003)


Total renewable water resources:

2,829.6 cu km (1999)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 549.76 cu km/yr (7%/26%/68%)
per capita: 415 cu m/yr (2000)


Natural hazards:

frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern
coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land
subsidence


Environment - current issues:

air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from
reliance on coal produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly
in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation;
estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil
erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in
endangered species


Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty,
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol,
Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:

world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount
Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak


People
China



Population:

1,330,044,544 (July 2008 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 20.1% (male 142,085,665/female 125,300,391)
15-64 years: 71.9% (male 491,513,378/female 465,020,030)
65 years and over: 8% (male 50,652,480/female 55,472,661) (2008 est.)


Median age:

total: 33.6 years
male: 33.1 years
female: 34.2 years (2008 est.)


Population growth rate:

0.629% (2008 est.)


Birth rate:

13.71 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Death rate:

7.03 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Net migration rate:

-0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)


Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2008 est.)


Infant mortality rate:

total: 21.16 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.43 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 23.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.18 years
male: 71.37 years
female: 75.18 years (2008 est.)


Total fertility rate:

1.77 children born/woman (2008 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

840,000 (2003 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths:

44,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and
typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, Japanese
encephalitis, and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)


Nationality:

noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese


Ethnic groups:

Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi,
Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities
8.5% (2000 census)


Religions:

Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%
note: officially atheist (2002 est.)


Languages:

Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing
dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou),
Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority
languages (see Ethnic groups entry)


Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.9%
male: 95.1%
female: 86.5% (2000 census)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2006)


Education expenditures:

1.9% of GDP (1999)


Government
China



Country name:

conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC


Government type:

Communist state


Capital:

name: Beijing
geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during
Standard Time)
note: despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone


Administrative divisions:

23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions
(zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular
and plural)
provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei,
Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin,
Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan,
Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)
autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur,
Xizang (Tibet)
municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries
for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau


Independence:

221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty); 1 January 1912
(Manchu Dynasty replaced by a Republic); 1 October 1949 (People's
Republic established)


National holiday:

Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, 1
October (1949)


Constitution:

most recent promulgation 4 December 1982


Legal system:

based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil
code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret
statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation;
has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:

chief of state: President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003); Vice
President XI Jinping (since 15 March 2008)
head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003);
Executive Vice Premier LI Keqiang (17 March 2008), Vice Premier HUI
Liangyu (since 17 March 2003), Vice Premier ZHANG Deijiang (since 17
March 2008), and Vice Premier WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2008)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress (NPC)
elections: president and vice president elected by National People's
Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term);
elections last held 15-17 March 2008 (next to be held in mid-March
2013); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National
People's Congress
election results: HU Jintao elected president by National People's
Congress with a total of 2,963 votes; XI Jinping elected vice
president with a total of 2,919 votes


Legislative branch:

unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao
Dahui (2,987 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and
provincial people's congresses, and People's Liberation Army to
serve five-year terms)
elections: last held December 2007-February 2008; date of next
election - NA
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 2,987


Judicial branch:

Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's
Congress); Local People's Courts (comprise higher, intermediate, and
basic courts); Special People's Courts (primarily military,
maritime, railway transportation, and forestry courts)


Political parties and leaders:

Chinese Communist Party or CCP [HU Jintao]; eight registered small
parties controlled by CCP


Political pressure groups and leaders:

the China Democracy Party; the Falungong spiritual movement
note: no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the
government has identified the organizations listed above as
subversive groups


International organization participation:

ADB, AfDB (nonregional members), APEC, APT, Arctic Council
(observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CDB, EAS, FAO, G-24
(observer), G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC,
IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU,
ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM
(observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC
(observer), SCO, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNTSO,
UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador ZHOU Wenzhong
chancery: 2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-2500
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2582
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San
Francisco


Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Clark T. RANDT, Jr.
embassy: 55 An Jia Lou Lu, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [86] (10) 8531-3000
FAX: [86] (10) 8531-3300
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau,
Shanghai, Shenyang


Flag description:

red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow
five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of
the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner


Economy
China



Economy - overview:

China's economy during the last quarter century has changed from a
centrally planned system that was largely closed to international
trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing
private sector and is a major player in the global economy. Reforms
started in the late 1970s with the phasing out of collectivized
agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of
prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state
enterprises, the foundation of a diversified banking system, the
development of stock markets, the rapid growth of the non-state
sector, and the opening to foreign trade and investment. China has
generally implemented reforms in a gradualist or piecemeal fashion,
including the sale of minority shares in four of China's largest
state banks to foreign investors and refinements in foreign exchange
and bond markets in 2005. After keeping its currency tightly linked
to the US dollar for years, China in July 2005 revalued its currency
by 2.1% against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system
that references a basket of currencies. Cumulative appreciation of
the renminbi against the US dollar since the end of the dollar peg
reached 15% in January 2008. The restructuring of the economy and
resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more tha