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The 1996 CIA Factbook
by United States. Central Intelligence Agency.
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Natural resources: coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropower

Land use: arable land: 18% permanent crops: 1% meadows and pastures: 0% forest and woodland: 74% other: 7%

Irrigated land: 14,000 sq km (1989)

Environment: current issues: localized air pollution attributable to inadequate industrial controls; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water natural hazards: late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fall international agreements: party to - Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

Geographic note: strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated, nearly inaccessible, and sparsely populated



People ———

Population: 23,904,124 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 30% (male 3,605,972; female 3,465,038) 15-64 years: 66% (male 7,871,783; female 7,956,935) 65 years and over: 4% (male 355,284; female 649,112) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.74% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 22.86 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 5.45 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.55 male(s)/female all ages: 0.98 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 25.9 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 70.32 years male: 67.23 years female: 73.57 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.31 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Korean(s) adjective: Korean

Ethnic divisions: racially homogeneous

Religions: Buddhism and Confucianism, some Christianity and syncretic Chondogyo note: autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom

Languages: Korean

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write Korean (1990 est.) total population: 99% male: 99% female: 99%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Democratic People's Republic of Korea conventional short form: North Korea local long form: Choson-minjujuui-inmin-konghwaguk local short form: none note: the North Koreans generally use the term "Choson" to refer to their country abbreviation: DPRK

Data code: KN

Type of government: Communist state; Stalinist dictatorship

Capital: P'yongyang

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 3 special cities* (si, singular and plural); Chagang-do (Chagang Province), Hamgyong-bukto (North Hamgyong Province), Hamgyong-namdo (South Hamgyong Province), Hwanghae-bukto (North Hwanghae Province), Hwanghae-namdo (South Hwanghae Province), Kaesong-si* (Kaesong City), Kangwon-do (Kangwon Province), Namp'o-si* (Namp'o City), P'yongan-bukto (North P'yongan Province), P'yongan-namdo (South P'yongan Province), P'yongyang-si* (P'yongyang City), Yanggang-do (Yanggang Province)

Independence: 9 September 1948 note: 15 August 1945, date of independence from the Japanese and celebrated in North Korea as National Liberation Day

National holiday: DPRK Foundation Day, 9 September (1948)

Constitution: adopted 1948, completely revised 27 December 1972, revised again in April 1992

Legal system: based on German civil law system with Japanese influences and Communist legal theory; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: KIM Chong-il [defacto]; note - President KIM Il-song was reelected without opposition 24 May 1990 and died 8 July 1994 leaving his son KIM Chong-il as designated successor; however the son has not assumed the titles that his father held and no new elections have been held or scheduled head of government: Premier KANG Song-san (since NA December 1992) was elected by the Supreme People's Assembly cabinet: State Administration Council was appointed by the Supreme People's Assembly

Legislative branch: unicameral Supreme People's Assembly (Ch'oego Inmin Hoeui): elections last held 7-9 April 1990 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (687 total) the KWP approves a single list of candidates who are elected without opposition; minor parties hold a few seats

Judicial branch: Central Court, judges are elected by the Supreme People's Assembly

Political parties and leaders: major party - Korean Workers' Party (KWP), KIM Chong-il, secretary, Central Committee; Korean Social Democratic Party, KIM Pyong-sik, chairman; Chondoist Chongu Party, YU Mi-yong, chairwoman

International organization participation: ESCAP, FAO, G-77, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in US: none; note - North Korea has a Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, headed by PAK Kil-yon

US diplomatic representation: none

Flag: three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (triple width), and blue; the red band is edged in white; on the hoist side of the red band is a white disk with a red five-pointed star



Economy ———-

Economic overview: More than 90% of this command economy is socialized; agricultural land is collectivized; and state-owned industry produces 95% of manufactured goods. State control of economic affairs is unusually tight even for a communist country because of the small size and homogeneity of the society and the strict rule of KIM Il-song in the past and now his son, KIM Chong-il. Economic growth during the period 1984-88 averaged 2%-3%, but output declined by an average of 4%-5% annually during 1989-95 because of systemic problems and disruptions in socialist-style economic relations and technological links with the former USSR and China. The leadership has insisted on maintaining its high level of military outlays from a shrinking economic pie. Moreover, a serious drawdown in inventories and critical shortages in the energy sector have led to increasing interruptions in industrial production. Abundant mineral resources and hydropower have formed the basis of industrial development since World War II. Manufacturing is centered on heavy industry, including military industry, with light industry lagging far behind. Despite the use of improved seed varieties, expansion of irrigation, and the heavy use of fertilizers, North Korea has not yet become self-sufficient in food production. Indeed, a shortage of arable lands, several years of poor harvests, and a cumbersome distribution system have resulted in chronic food shortages. The year 1995 was marked by serious summer floods that worsened an already tenuous food situation. Substantial grain shipments from Japan and South Korea offset a portion of the losses. North Korea remains far behind South Korea in economic development and living standards.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $21.5 billion (1995 est.)

GDP real growth rate: -5% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $920 (1995 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 25% industry: 60% services: 15% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Labor force: 9.615 million by occupation: agricultural 36%, nonagricultural 64%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues: $19.3 billion expenditures: $19.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1992 est.)

Industries: military products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing

Industrial production growth rate: -7% to -9% (1992 est.)

Electricity: capacity: 9,500,000 kW production: 50 billion kWh consumption per capita: 2,053 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs

Exports: $840 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.) commodities: minerals, metallurgical products, agricultural and fishery products, manufactures (including armaments) partners: China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Hong Kong, Russia

Imports: $1.27 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.) commodities: petroleum, grain, coking coal, machinery and equipment, consumer goods partners: China, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Russia, Singapore

External debt: $8 billion (1992 est.)

Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $NA note: small amounts of grant aid from Japan and other countries

Currency: 1 North Korean won (Wn) = 100 chon

Exchange rates: North Korean won (Wn) per US$1 - 2.15 (May 1994), 2.13 (May 1992), 2.14 (September 1991), 2.1 (January 1990), 2.3 (December 1989)

Fiscal year: calendar year



Transportation ———————

Railways: total: 4,915 km standard gauge: 4,250 km 1.435-m gauge (3,397 km electrified; 159 km double track) narrow gauge: 665 km 0.762-m gauge (1989)

Highways: total: 30,000 km paved: 4,500 km unpaved: 25,500 km

Waterways: 2,253 km; mostly navigable by small craft only

Pipelines: crude oil 37 km

Ports: Ch'ongjin, Haeju, Hungnam (Hamhung), Kimch'aek, Kosong, Najin, Namp'o, Sinuiju, Songnim, Sonbong (formerly Unggi), Ungsang, Wonsan

Merchant marine: total: 88 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 712,480 GRT/1,140,923 DWT ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 71, combination bulk 1, oil tanker 3, passenger 2, passenger-cargo 1, short-sea passenger 1 note: North Korea owns an additional 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling approximately 34,782 DWT operating under the registries of Hondurus and Poland (1995 est.)

Airports: total: 49 with paved runways over 3 047 m: 2 with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 15 with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 2 with paved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 1 with paved runways under 914 m: 2 with unpaved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 4 with unpaved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 5 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 12 with unpaved runways under 914 m: 6 (1994 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 30,000 (1990 est.)

Telephone system: system is believed to be available principally for government business domestic: NA international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean Region); other international connections through Moscow and Beijing

Radio broadcast stations: AM 18, FM 0, shortwave 0

Radios: 3.5 million

Television broadcast stations: 11

Televisions: 400,000 (1992 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Korean People's Army (includes Army, Navy, Air Force), Civil Security Forces

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 6,844,035 males fit for military service: 4,143,713 males reach military age (18) annually: 194,922 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $5 billion to $7 billion, 25% to 33% of GDP (1995 est.)



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



@Korea, South ——————



Map —-

Location: 37 00 N, 127 30 E — Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, south of North Korea



Flag ——

Description: white with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field



Geography ————-

Location: Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, south of North Korea

Geographic coordinates: 37 00 N, 127 30 E

Map references: Asia

Area: total area: 98,480 sq km land area: 98,190 sq km comparative area: slightly larger than Indiana

Land boundaries: total: 238 km border country: North Korea 238 km

Coastline: 2,413 km

Maritime claims: continental shelf: not specified territorial sea: 12 nm; 3 nm in the Korea Strait

International disputes: Demarcation Line with North Korea; Liancourt Rocks claimed by Japan

Climate: temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter

Terrain: mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m highest point: Halla-san 1,950 m

Natural resources: coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower

Land use: arable land: 21% permanent crops: 1% meadows and pastures: 1% forest and woodland: 67% other: 10%

Irrigated land: 13,530 sq km (1989)

Environment: current issues: air pollution in large cities; water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; drift net fishing natural hazards: occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; earthquakes in southwest international agreements: party to - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94; signed, but not ratified - Desertification, Law of the Sea



People ———

Population: 45,482,291 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 23% (male 5,531,032; female 4,962,915) 15-64 years: 71% (male 16,374,678; female 15,910,846) 65 years and over: 6% (male 1,014,649; female 1,688,171) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.02% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 16.24 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 5.66 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.14 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.11 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female all ages: 1.02 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 8.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.26 years male: 69.65 years female: 77.39 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.77 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Korean(s) adjective: Korean

Ethnic divisions: homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)

Religions: Christianity 48.6%, Buddhism 47.4%, Confucianism 3%, pervasive folk religion (shamanism), Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way) 0.2%

Languages: Korean, English widely taught in high school

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1995 est.) total population: 98% male: 99.3% female: 96.7%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Republic of Korea conventional short form: South Korea local long form: Taehan-min'guk local short form: none note: the South Koreans generally use the term "Hanguk" to refer to their country abbreviation: ROK

Data code: KS

Type of government: republic

Capital: Seoul

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 6 special cities* (gwangyoksi, singular and plural); Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto, Cholla-namdo, Ch'ungch'ong-bukto, Ch'ungch'ong-namdo, Inch'on-gwangyoksi*, Kangwon-do, Kwangju-gwangyoksi*, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto, Kyongsang-namdo, Pusan-gwangyoksi*, Soul-t'ukpyolsi*, Taegu-gwangyoksi*, Taejon-gwangyoksi*

Independence: 15 August 1948

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 August (1948)

Constitution: 25 February 1988

Legal system: combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought

Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President KIM Yong-sam (since 25 February 1993) was elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 18 December 1992 (next to be held NA December 1997); results - KIM Yong-sam (DLP) 41.9%, KIM Tae-chung (DP) 33.8%, CHONG Chu-yong (UPP) 16.3%, other 8% head of government: Prime Minister YI Su-song (since 15 December 1995) was appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly; Deputy Prime Ministers NA Ung-pae (since 20 December 1995) and KWON O-ki (since 20 December 1995) were appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation cabinet: State Council was appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (Kukhoe): members elected for four-year terms; elections last held 11 April 1996 (next to be held NA 2000); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (299 total) NKP 139, NCNP 79, ULD 50, DP 15, independents 16

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, justices are appointed by the president subject to the consent of the National Assembly

Political parties and leaders: majority party: New Korea Party (NKP), KIM Yong-sam, president opposition: United Liberal Democratic Party (ULD), KIM Chong-p'il, president; Democratic Party (DP), KIM Won-ki, co-chairman and CHANG Ul-pyong, co-chairman; National Congress for New Politics (NCNP), KIM Tae-chung, president

Other political or pressure groups: Korean National Council of Churches; National Democratic Alliance of Korea; National Federation of Student Associations; National Federation of Farmers' Associations; National Council of Labor Unions; Federation of Korean Trade Unions; Korean Veterans' Association; Federation of Korean Industries; Korean Traders Association

International organization participation: AfDB, APEC, AsDB, CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, OAS (observer), OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador PAK Kun-u chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600, 524-9273 consulate(s) general: Agana (Guam), Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador James T. LANEY embassy: 82 Sejong-Ro, Chongro-ku, Seoul mailing address: American Embassy, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-0001 telephone: [82] (2) 397-4114 FAX: [82] (2) 738-8845 consulate(s): Pusan

Flag: white with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field



Economy ———-

Economic overview: As one of the Four Dragons of East Asia, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth. Three decades ago its GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. Today its GDP per capita is nine times India's, 14 times North Korea's, and already up with the lesser economies of the European Union. This success has been achieved by a unique combination of authoritarian government guidance of what is at bottom an essentially entrepreneurial process. The government has sponsored large-scale adoption of technology and management from Japan and other modern nations; has successfully pushed the development of export industries while encouraging the import of machinery and materials at the expense of consumer goods; and has pushed its labor force to a work effort seldom matched anywhere even in wartime. Real GDP grew by an average 10% in 1986-91, then paused to a "mere" 5% in 1992-93, only to move back up to 8% in 1994 and 9% in 1995. With a much higher standard of living and with a considerable easing of authoritarian controls, the work pace has softened. Growth rates will probably slow down over the medium term because of the exhaustion of former growth opportunities and the need to deal with pollution and the other problems of success.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $590.7 billion (1995 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 9% (1995)

GDP per capita: $13,000 (1995 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 8% industry: 45% services: 47% (1991 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.3% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 20 million by occupation: services and other 52%, mining and manufacturing 27%, agriculture, fishing, forestry 21% (1991)

Unemployment rate: 2% (1995 est.)

Budget: revenues: $69 billion expenditures: $67 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.)

Industries: electronics, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel, textiles, clothing, footwear, food processing

Industrial production growth rate: 12.2% (1995 est.)

Electricity: capacity: 28,750,000 kW production: 165 billion kWh consumption per capita: 2,899 kWh (1994)

Agriculture: rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish catch of 2.9 million metric tons, seventh largest in world

Exports: $125.4 billion (f.o.b., 1995) commodities: electronic and electrical equipment, machinery, steel, automobiles, ships; textiles, clothing, footwear; fish partners: US 19%, Japan 14%, EU 13%

Imports: $135.1 billion (c.i.f., 1995) commodities: machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, textiles, organic chemicals, grains partners: Japan 24%, US 22%, EU 13%

External debt: $77 billion (1995 est.)

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 South Korean won (W) = 100 chun (theoretical)

Exchange rates: South Korean won (W) per US$1 - 787.27 (January 1996), 771.27 (1995), 803.45 (1994), 802.67 (1993), 780.65 (1992), 733.35 (1991)

Fiscal year: calendar year



Transportation ———————

Railways: total: 3,101 km standard gauge: 3,081 km 1.435-m gauge (560 km electrified) narrow gauge: 20 km 0.762-m gauge

Highways: total: 61,296 km paved: 51,918 km (including 1,550 km of expressways) unpaved: 9,378 km (1993)

Waterways: 1,609 km; use restricted to small native craft

Pipelines: petroleum products 455 km

Ports: Chinhae, Inch'on, Kunsan, Masan, Mokp'o, Pohang, Pusan, Ulsan, Yosu

Merchant marine: total: 428 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,076,981 GRT/9,822,089 DWT ships by type: bulk 124, cargo 122, chemical tanker 21, combination bulk 3, combination ore/oil 1, container 59, liquefied gas tanker 12, multifunction large-load carrier 1, oil tanker 61, refrigerated cargo 13, short-sea passenger 1, vehicle carrier 10 note: South Korea owns an additional 231 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 10,128,506 DWT operating under the registries of Panama, Liberia, Cyprus, Malta, The Bahamas, and Thailand (1995 est.)

Airports: total: 105 with paved runways over 3 047 m: 1 with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 20 with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 13 with paved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 14 with paved runways under 914 m: 54 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 3 (1995 est.)

Heliports: 201 (1995 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 16.6 million (1993)

Telephone system: excellent domestic and international services domestic: NA international: fiber-optic submarine cable to China; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean Region)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 79, FM 46, shortwave 0

Radios: 42 million (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 256 (57 of which are 1 kW or greater) (1987 est.)

Televisions: 9.3 million (1992 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Maritime Police (Coast Guard)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 13,602,115 males fit for military service: 8,706,545 males reach military age (18) annually: 398,322 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $17.4 billion, 3.3% of GNP (1996)



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



@Kuwait ———



Map —-

Location: 29 30 N, 45 45 E — Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia



Flag ——

Description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side



Geography ————-

Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates: 29 30 N, 45 45 E

Map references: Middle East

Area: total area: 17,820 sq km land area: 17,820 sq km comparative area: slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land boundaries: total: 464 km border countries: Iraq 242 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km

Coastline: 499 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: in November 1994, Iraq formally accepted the UN-demarcated border with Kuwait which had been spelled out in Security Council Resolutions 687 (1991), 773 (1993), and 883 (1993); this formally ends earlier claims to Kuwait and to Bubiyan and Warbah islands; ownership of Qaruh and Umm al Maradim islands disputed by Saudi Arabia

Climate: dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters

Terrain: flat to slightly undulating desert plain lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m highest point: unnamed location 306 m

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas

Land use: arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% meadows and pastures: 8% forest and woodland: 0% other: 92%

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment: current issues: limited natural fresh water resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification natural hazards: sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April, they bring inordinate amounts of rain which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year, but are most common between March and August international agreements: party to - Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Desertification, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping

Geographic note: strategic location at head of Persian Gulf



People ———

Population: 1,950,047 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 33% (male 334,778; female 317,241) 15-64 years: 65% (male 757,535; female 507,064) 65 years and over: 2% (male 18,459; female 14,970) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 6.65% (1996 est.) note: this rate reflects the continued post-Gulf crisis return of nationals and expatriates

Birth rate: 20.28 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 2.2 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: 48.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.49 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 1.23 male(s)/female all ages: 1.32 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 11.1 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.92 years male: 73.59 years female: 78.38 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.82 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Kuwaiti(s) adjective: Kuwaiti

Ethnic divisions: Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%

Religions: Muslim 85% (Shi'a 30%, Sunni 45%, other 10%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and other 15%

Languages: Arabic (official), English widely spoken

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1995 est.) total population: 78.6% male: 82.2% female: 74.9%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: State of Kuwait conventional short form: Kuwait local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt local short form: Al Kuwayt

Data code: KU

Type of government: nominal constitutional monarchy

Capital: Kuwait

Administrative divisions: 5 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al Jahrah, Al Kuwayt, Hawalli, Al Farwaniyah

Independence: 19 June 1961 (from UK)

National holiday: National Day, 25 February (1950)

Constitution: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962

Legal system: civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: adult males who have been naturalized for 30 years or more or have resided in Kuwait since before 1920 and their male descendants at age 21 note: only 10% of all citizens are eligible to vote; in 1996, naturalized citizens who do not meet the pre-1920 qualification but have been naturalized for 30 years will be eligible to vote

Executive branch: chief of state: Amir JABIR al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 31 December 1977) is a hereditary monarch of the MUBARAK line of the ruling Sabah family head of government: Prime Minister and Crown Prince SAAD al-Abdallah al-Salim Al Sabah (since 8 February 1978), First Deputy Prime Minister SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 17 October 1992), and Second Deputy Prime Minister Nasir Abdallah al-RUDAN (since NA) were appointed by the Amir cabinet: Council of Ministers was appointed by the prime minister and approved by the amir

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (Majlis al-umma): elected members serve four-year terms; elections last held 5 October 1992 (next to be held NA September 1996); results - percent of vote NA; seats - (50 total) independents 50; note - all cabinet ministers are also ex officio members of the National Assembly

Judicial branch: High Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: none

Other political or pressure groups: several political groups act as de facto parties: Bedouins, merchants, Sunni and Shi'a activists, and secular leftists and nationalists

International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador MUHAMMAD al-Sabah al-Salim Al SABAH chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702 FAX: [1] (202) 966-0517

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Ryan C. CROCKER embassy: Bneid al-Gar (opposite the Kuwait International Hotel), Kuwait City mailing address: P.O. Box 77, SAFAT, 13001 SAFAT, Kuwait; Unit 6900, APO AE 09880-9000 telephone: [965] 2424151 through 2424159 FAX: [965] 2442855

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side



Economy ———-

Economic overview: Kuwait is a small and relatively open economy with proved crude oil reserves of about 94 billion barrels - 10% of world reserves. Kuwait has rebuilt its war-ravaged petroleum sector; its crude oil production averaged 2.0 million barrels per day in 1994. The government continues to record large fiscal deficits. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 90% of export revenues, and 70% of government income. Kuwait lacks water and has practically no arable land, thus preventing development of agriculture. With the exception of fish, it depends almost wholly on food imports. About 75% of potable water must be distilled or imported. Because of its high per capita income, comparable with Western European incomes, Kuwait provides its citizens with extensive health, educational, and retirement benefits. Per capita military expenditures are among the highest in the world. The economy improved moderately in 1994-95, with the growth in industry and finance. The World Bank has urged Kuwait to push ahead with privatization, including in the oil industry, but the government will move slowly on this front.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $30.8 billion (1995 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 3% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $17,000 (1995 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 0% industry: 55% services: 45%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (1994 est.)

Labor force: 1 million (1994 est.) by occupation: industry and agriculture 25.0%, services 25.0%, government and social services 50.0% note: 80% of labor force non-Kuwaiti (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: NEGL% (1992 est.)

Budget: revenues: $9.7 billion expenditures: $14.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY95/96 est.)

Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, desalination, food processing, construction materials, salt, construction

Industrial production growth rate: 1% (1995 est.)

Electricity: capacity: 7,070,000 kW production: 11 billion kWh consumption per capita: 6,007 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: practically no crops; extensive fishing in territorial waters

Exports: $11.9 billion (f.o.b., 1994) commodities: oil partners: US 23%, Japan 13%, Germany 10%, UK 9%, France 8%

Imports: $6.7 billion (f.o.b., 1994) commodities: food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing partners: US 14%, Japan 12%, Germany 8%, UK 7%, France 6% (1994 est.)

External debt: $NA

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 Kuwaiti dinar (KD) = 1,000 fils

Exchange rates: Kuwaiti dinars (KD) per US$1 - 0.2993 (January 1996), 0.2984 (1995), 0.2976 (1994), 0.3017 (1993), 0.2934 (1992), 0.2843 (1991)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June



Transportation ———————

Railways: 0 km

Highways: total: 4,273 km paved: NA km (including 280 km of expressways) (1989 est.) unpaved: NA km

Pipelines: crude oil 877 km; petroleum products 40 km; natural gas 165 km

Ports: Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Kuwait, Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi, Mina' Su'ud

Merchant marine: total: 46 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,053,667 GRT/3,242,305 DWT ships by type: cargo 10, container 3, liquefied gas tanker 7, livestock carrier 4, oil tanker 21, vehicle carrier 1 (1995 est.)

Airports: total: 4 with paved runways over 3 047 m: 3 with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 1 (1995 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1995 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 548,000 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: the civil network suffered some damage as a result of the Gulf war, but most of the telephone exchanges were left intact and, by the end of 1994, domestic and international telecommunications had been restored to normal operation; the quality of service is excellent domestic: new telephone exchanges provide a large capacity for new subscribers; trunk traffic is carried by microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, open wire and fiber-optic cable; a cellular telephone system operates throughout Kuwait and the country is well supplied with pay telephones international: coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 1 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 0, shortwave 0

Radios: 720,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 3 (1986 est.)

Televisions: 800,000 (1993 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, Ministry of Interior Forces, Coast Guard

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 658,270 males fit for military service: 391,586 males reach military age (18) annually: 17,544 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $3.5 billion, 12.8% of GDP (FY95/96)



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



@Kyrgyzstan —————



Map —-

Location: 41 00 N, 75 00 E — Central Asia, west of China



Flag ——

Description: red field with a yellow sun in the center having 40 rays representing the 40 Kirghiz tribes; on the obverse side the rays run counterclockwise, on the reverse, clockwise; in the center of the sun is a red ring crossed by two sets of three lines, a stylized representation of the roof of the traditional Kirghiz yurt



Geography ————-

Location: Central Asia, west of China

Geographic coordinates: 41 00 N, 75 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

Area: total area: 198,500 sq km land area: 191,300 sq km comparative area: slightly smaller than South Dakota

Land boundaries: total: 3,878 km border countries: China 858 km, Kazakstan 1,051 km, Tajikistan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,099 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

International disputes: territorial dispute with Tajikistan on southwestern boundary in Isfara Valley area

Climate: dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone

Terrain: peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation lowest point: Kara-Daryya 132 m highest point: Jengish Chokusu 7,439 m

Natural resources: abundant hydroelectric potential; significant deposits of gold and rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc

Land use: arable land: 7% permanent crops: NEGL% meadows and pastures: 42% forest and woodland: 0% other: 51%

Irrigated land: 10,320 sq km (1990)

Environment: current issues: water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices natural hazards: NA international agreements: NA

Geographic note: landlocked



People ———

Population: 4,529,648 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 37% (male 847,859; female 828,889) 15-64 years: 57% (male 1,263,044; female 1,312,040) 65 years and over: 6% (male 100,524; female 177,292) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.07% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 26.02 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 8.83 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: -16.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.57 male(s)/female all ages: 0.95 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 77.8 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 63.86 years male: 59.18 years female: 68.77 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.22 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Kyrgyz(s) adjective: Kyrgyz

Ethnic divisions: Kirghiz 52.4%, Russian 21.5%, Uzbek 12.9%, Ukrainian 2.5%, German 2.4%, other 8.3%

Religions: Muslim NA%, Russian Orthodox NA%

Languages: Kirghiz (Kyrgyz) - official language, Russian - official language note: in March 1996, the Kyrgyz legislature amended the constitution to make Russian an official language, along with Kyrgyz, in territories and work places where Russian-speaking citizens predominate

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989 est.) total population: 97% male: 99% female: 96%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy local short form: none former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic

Data code: KG

Type of government: republic

Capital: Bishkek

Administrative divisions: 6 oblasttar (singular - oblast) and 1 city* (singular - shaar); Bishkek Shaary*, Chuy Oblasty (Bishkek), Jalal-Abad Oblasty, Naryn Oblasty, Osh Oblasty, Talas Oblasty, Ysyk-Kol Oblasty (Karakol) note: names in parentheses are administrative centers when name differs from oblast name

Independence: 31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: National Day, 2 December; Independence Day, 31 August (1991)

Constitution: adopted 5 May 1993 note: amendment proposed by President AKAYEV and passed in a national referendum on 10 February 1996 significantly expands the powers of the president at the expense of the legislature

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President Askar AKAYEV (since 28 October 1990) was elected for a five-year term by popular vote; elections last held 24 December 1995 (next to be held NA); results - Askar AKAYEV won election with 75% of vote with 86% of electorate voting; note - elections were held early which gave the two opposition candidates little time to campaign; AKAYEV may have orchestrated the "deregistration" of two other candidates, one of whom was a major rival head of government: Prime Minister Apas JUMAGULOV (since NA December 1993) was appointed by the president and reappointed February 1996 cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers was appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister

Legislative branch: bicameral Supreme Council (Zhogorku Kenesh) Assembly of People's Representatives: elections last held 5 February 1995 (next to be held NA 2000); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (70 total) seats by party NA; note - not all the 70 seats were filled at the 5 February elections; as a result, run-off elections were held at later dates; the assembly meets twice yearly Legislative Assembly: elections last held 5 February 1995 (next to be held NA 2000); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (35 total) seats by party NA; note - not all the 35 seats were filled at the 5 February elections; as a result, run-off elections were held note: the legislature became bicameral for the 5 February 1995 elections

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed for a 10-year term by the Zhogorku Kenesh on recommendation of the president; Constitutional Court; Higher Court of Arbitration

Political parties and leaders: Social Democratic Party (SDP); Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan (DDK), Jypar JEKSHEYEV, chairman; National Unity; Communist Party of Kyrgyzstan (PCK), Absamat MASALIYEV, chairman; Democratic Movement of Free Kyrgyzstan (ErK), Tursunbay Bakir UULU, chairman; Republican Popular Party of Kyrgyzstan; Agrarian Party of Kyrgyzstan; Atu Meken Party, Omurbek TEKEBAYEV; ASABA

Other political or pressure groups: National Unity Democratic Movement; Peasant Party; Council of Free Trade Unions; Union of Entrepreneurs; Agrarian Party

International organization participation: AsDB, CIS, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NACC, OIC, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Acting Ambassador Almas CHUKIN chancery: (temporary) Suite 706, 1511 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 telephone: [1] (202) 347-3732 FAX: [1] (202) 347-3718

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Eileen A. MALLOY embassy: Erkindik Prospekt #66, Bishkek 720002 mailing address: use embassy street address telephone: [7] (3312) 22-29-20, 22-27-77, 22-26-31, 22-24-73 FAX: [7] (3312) 22-35-51

Flag: red field with a yellow sun in the center having 40 rays representing the 40 Kirghiz tribes; on the obverse side the rays run counterclockwise, on the reverse, clockwise; in the center of the sun is a red ring crossed by two sets of three lines, a stylized representation of the roof of the traditional Kirghiz yurt



Economy ———-

Economic overview: Kyrgyzstan is a small, poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products and exports. Industrial exports included gold, mercury, uranium, and hydropower. Kyrgyzstan has been one of the most progressive countries of the former Soviet Union in carrying out market reforms. Following a successful stabilization program, which has lowered inflation from 88% in 1994 to 32% for 1995, attention is turning toward stimulating growth. About half of government stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production have been severe since the break up of the Soviet Union, but by mid-1995 production began to level off as exports began to increase. The level of hardship for pensioners, unemployed workers, and government workers with salaries arrears continues to be very high. Foreign assistance plays a substantial role in the country's budget. In early 1996, the economy apparently is slowly beginning to restore previous levels of output.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $5.4 billion (1995 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1994)

GDP real growth rate: -6% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $1,140 (1995 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 32% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 1.836 million by occupation: agriculture and forestry 38%, industry and construction 21%, other 41% (1990)

Unemployment rate: 4.8% includes officially registered unemployed; also large numbers of unregistered unemployed and underemployed workers (December 1995)

Budget: revenues: $NA expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals

Industrial production growth rate: -12.5% (1995)

Electricity: capacity: 3,660,000 kW production: 12.3 billion kWh consumption per capita: 2,500 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture: wool, tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle

Illicit drugs: illicit cultivator of cannabis and opium poppy; mostly for CIS consumption; government eradication program; used as transshipment point for illicit drugs to Western Europe and North America from Southwest Asia

Exports: $380 million (1995) commodities: cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, hydropower; machinery; shoes partners: Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Turkey, Cuba, and Germany

Imports: $439 million (1995) commodities: grain, lumber, industrial products, ferrous metals, fuel, machinery, textiles, footwear partners: Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, China, and UK

External debt: $480 million (of which $115 million to Russia) (1995 est.)

Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $56 million (1993) note: commitments, 1992-95, $1,695 million ($390 million disbursements)

Currency: introduced national currency, the som (10 May 1993)

Exchange rates: soms per US$1 - 11.2 (yearend 1995), 10.6 (yearend 1994)

Fiscal year: calendar year



Transportation ———————

Railways: total: 370 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines broad gauge: 370 km 1.520-m gauge (1990)

Highways: total: 28,400 km paved: 22,400 km unpaved: 6,000 km (1990)

Pipelines: natural gas 200 km

Ports: Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)

Airports: total: 54 with paved runways over 3 047 m: 1 with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 3 with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 9 with paved runways under 914 m: 1 with unpaved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 4 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 4 with unpaved runways under 914 m: 32 (1994 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 342,000 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: poorly developed; about 100,000 unsatisfied applications for household telephones domestic: principally microwave radio relay international: connections with other CIS countries by landline or microwave radio relay and with other countries by leased connections with Moscow international gateway switch and by satellite; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik and 1 Intelsat

Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA; note -1 state-run radio broadcast station

Radios: 825,000 (radio receiver systems with multiple speakers for program diffusion 748,000)

Television broadcast stations: 1 note: receives Turkish broadcasts

Televisions: 875,000



Defense ———-

Branches: Army, National Guard, Security Forces (internal and border troops), Civil Defense

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 1,096,985 males fit for military service: 890,901 males reach military age (18) annually: 44,159 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: 151 million soms, NA% of GDP (1995); note - conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results



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



@Laos ——



Map —-

Location: 18 00 N, 105 00 E — Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand



Flag ——

Description: three horizontal bands of red (top), blue (double width), and red with a large white disk centered in the blue band



Geography ————-

Location: Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand

Geographic coordinates: 18 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references: Southeast Asia

Area: total area: 236,800 sq km land area: 230,800 sq km comparative area: slightly larger than Utah

Land boundaries: total: 5,083 km border countries: Burma 235 km, Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km, Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

International disputes: boundary dispute with Thailand

Climate: tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)

Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus lowest point: Mekong River 70 m highest point: Phou Bia 2,817 m

Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones

Land use: arable land: 4% permanent crops: 0% meadows and pastures: 3% forest and woodland: 58% other: 35%

Irrigated land: 1,554 sq km (1992 est.)

Environment: current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; a majority of the population does not have access to potable water natural hazards: floods, droughts, and blight international agreements: party to - Environmental Modification, Nuclear Test Ban; signed, but not ratified - Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea

Geographic note: landlocked



People ———

Population: 4,975,772 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 45% (male 1,142,825; female 1,114,628) 15-64 years: 51% (male 1,237,660; female 1,316,591) 65 years and over: 4% (male 75,748; female 88,320) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.81% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 41.94 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 13.83 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female all ages: 0.98 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 96.8 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 52.69 years male: 51.14 years female: 54.31 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.87 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Lao(s) or Laotian(s) adjective: Lao or Laotian

Ethnic divisions: Lao Loum (lowland) 68%, Lao Theung (upland) 22%, Lao Soung (highland) including the Hmong ("Meo") and the Yao (Mien) 9%, ethnic Vietnamese/Chinese 1%

Religions: Buddhist 60%, animist and other 40%

Languages: Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1995 est.) total population: 56.6% male: 69.4% female: 44.4%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic conventional short form: Laos local long form: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao local short form: none

Data code: LA

Type of government: Communist state

Capital: Vientiane

Administrative divisions: 16 provinces (khoueng, singular and plural) and 1 municipality* (kampheng nakhon, singular and plural); Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louangnamtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan*, Viangchan, Xaignabouli, Xekong, Xiangkhoang

Independence: 19 July 1949 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 2 December (1975) (proclamation of the Lao People's Democratic Republic)

Constitution: promulgated 14 August 1991

Legal system: based on traditional customs, French legal norms and procedures, and Socialist practice

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President NOUHAK PHOUMSAVAN (since 25 November 1992) was elected for a five-year term by the National Assembly head of government: Prime Minister Gen. KHAMTAI SIPHANDON (since 15 August 1991) was appointed for a five-year term by the president with the approval of the National Assembly; Deputy Prime Minister KHAMPHOUI KEOBOUALAPHA (since NA) cabinet: Council of Ministers was appointed by the president, approved by the National Assembly

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly: members elected for five-year terms; elections last held 20 December 1992 (next to be held NA 1997); results - percent of vote NA; seats - (85 total) LPRP 85

Judicial branch: People's Supreme Court, the president of the People's Supreme Court is elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the National Assembly Standing Committee, the vice president of the People's Supreme Court and the judges are appointed by the National Assembly Standing Committee

Political parties and leaders: Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), KHAMTAI Siphandon, party president; other parties proscribed

Other political or pressure groups: noncommunist political groups proscribed; most opposition leaders fled the country in 1975

International organization participation: ACCT, AsDB, ASEAN (observer), CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, Mekong Group, NAM, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador HIEM PHOMMACHANH chancery: 2222 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 332-6416, 6417 FAX: [1] (202) 332-4923

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Victor L. TOMSETH embassy: Rue Bartholonie, B.P. 114, Vientiane mailing address: American Embassy, Box V, APO AP 96546 telephone: [856] (21) 212581, 212582, 212585 FAX: [856] (21) 212584

Flag: three horizontal bands of red (top), blue (double width), and red with a large white disk centered in the blue band



Economy ———-

Economic overview: The government of Laos - one of the few remaining official communist states - has been decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise since 1986. The results, starting from an extremely low base, have been striking - growth has averaged 7.5% annually since 1988. Even so, Laos is a landlocked country with a primitive infrastructure. It has no railroads, a rudimentary road system, and limited external and internal telecommunications. Electricity is available in only a few urban areas. Subsistence agriculture accounts for half of GDP and provides 80% of total employment. The predominant crop is rice. In non-drought years, Laos is self-sufficient overall in food, but each year flood, pests, and localized drought cause shortages in various parts of the country. For the foreseeable future the economy will continue to depend on aid from the IMF and other international sources; aid from the former USSR/Eastern Europe has been cut sharply. As in many developing countries, deforestation and soil erosion will hamper efforts to maintain the high rate of GDP growth.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $5.2 billion (1995 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 8% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $1,100 (1995 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 50% industry: 17% services: 33% (1993)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 20% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 1 million-1.5 million by occupation: agriculture 80% (1992 est.)

Unemployment rate: 21% (1992 est.)

Budget: revenues: $198 million expenditures: $351 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994)

Industries: tin and gypsum mining, timber, electric power, agricultural processing, construction

Industrial production growth rate: 7.5% (1992 est.)

Electricity: capacity: 260,000 kW production: 870 million kWh consumption per capita: 44 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee, sugarcane, cotton; water buffalo, pigs, cattle, poultry

Illicit drugs: world's third largest opium producer (180 metric tons from nearly 20,000 hectares in 1995); heroin producer; increasingly used as transshipment point for heroin produced in Burma; illicit producer of cannabis

Exports: $278 million (f.o.b., 1994) commodities: electricity, wood products, coffee, tin, garments partners: Thailand, Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands

Imports: $486 million (c.i.f., 1994) commodities: food, fuel oil, consumer goods, manufactures partners: Thailand, China, Japan, France, US

External debt: $2 billion (1995 est.)

Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 new kip (NK) = 100 at

Exchange rates: new kips (NK) per US$1 - 920 (1995), 717 (1994 est.), 720 (July 1993), 710 (May 1992), 710 (December 1991), 700 (September 1990), 576 (1989)

Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September



Transportation ———————

Railways: 0 km

Highways: total: 14,130 km paved: 2,261 km unpaved: 11,869 km (1992 est.)

Waterways: about 4,587 km, primarily Mekong and tributaries; 2,897 additional kilometers are sectionally navigable by craft drawing less than 0.5 m

Pipelines: petroleum products 136 km

Ports: none

Merchant marine: total: 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,370 GRT/3,000 DWT (1995 est.)

Airports: total: 39 with paved runways over 3 047 m: 1 with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 5 with paved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 3 with paved runways under 914 m: 16 with unpaved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 1 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 13 (1995 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 6,600 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: service to general public very poor; radiotelephone communications network provides generally erratic service to government users domestic: radiotelephone communications international: satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean Region)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 10, FM 0, shortwave 0

Radios: 560,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 2

Televisions: 32,000 (1993 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Lao People's Army (LPA; includes riverine naval and militia elements), Air Force, National Police Department

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 1,087,264 males fit for military service: 586,664 males reach military age (18) annually: 53,250 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $105 million, 8.1% of GDP (FY92/93)



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



@Latvia ———



Map —-

Location: 57 00 N, 25 00 E — Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania



Flag ——

Description: two horizontal bands of maroon (top and bottom), white (middle, narrower than other two bands)



Geography ————-

Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania

Geographic coordinates: 57 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references: Europe

Area: total area: 64,100 sq km land area: 64,100 sq km comparative area: slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries: total: 1,078 km border countries: Belarus 141 km, Estonia 267 km, Lithuania 453 km, Russia 217 km

Coastline: 531 km

Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nm territorial sea: 12 nm continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

International disputes: the Abrene/Pytalovo section of border ceded by the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic to Russia in 1944; the maritime borders with Lithuania and Estonia

Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters

Terrain: low plain lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m highest point: Gaizinkalns 312 m

Natural resources: minimal; amber, peat, limestone, dolomite

Land use: arable land: 27% permanent crops: 0% meadows and pastures: 13% forest and woodland: 39% other: 21%

Irrigated land: 160 sq km (1990)

Environment: current issues: air and water pollution because of a lack of waste conversion equipment; Gulf of Riga and Daugava River heavily polluted; contamination of soil and groundwater with chemicals and petroleum products at military bases natural hazards: NA international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Ship Pollution, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Ozone Layer Protection



People ———

Population: 2,468,982 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 20% (male 254,664; female 244,502) 15-64 years: 66% (male 775,690; female 848,128) 65 years and over: 14% (male 108,814; female 237,184) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: -1.39% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 10.94 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 15.19 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: -9.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.46 male(s)/female all ages: 0.86 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 21.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 66.91 years male: 60.84 years female: 73.27 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.62 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Latvian(s) adjective: Latvian

Ethnic divisions: Latvian 51.8%, Russian 33.8%, Byelorussian 4.5%, Ukrainian 3.4%, Polish 2.3%, other 4.2%

Religions: Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox

Languages: Lettish (official), Lithuanian, Russian, other

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989 est.) total population: 100% male: 100% female: 99%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Republic of Latvia conventional short form: Latvia local long form: Latvijas Republika local short form: Latvija former: Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic

Data code: LG

Type of government: republic

Capital: Riga

Administrative divisions: 26 counties (singular - rajons) and 7 municipalities*: Aizkraukles Rajons, Aluksnes Rajons, Balvu Rajons, Bauskas Rajons, Cesu Rajons, Daugavpils*, Daugavpils Rajons, Dobeles Rajons, Gulbenes Rajons, Jekabpils Rajons, Jelgava*, Jelgavas Rajons, Jurmala*, Kraslavas Rajons, Kuldigas Rajons, Leipaja*, Liepajas Rajons, Limbazu Rajons, Ludzas Rajons, Madonas Rajons, Ogres Rajons, Preiju Rajons, Rezekne*, Rezeknes Rajons, Riga*, Rigas Rajons, Saldus Rajons, Talsu Rajons, Tukuma Rajons, Valkas Rajons, Valmieras Rajons, Ventspils*, Ventspils Rajons

Independence: 6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918)

Constitution: newly elected Parliament in 1993 restored the 1933 constitution

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President Guntis ULMANIS (since 7 July 1993) was elected by Parliament (Saeima) in the third round of balloting; election last held 7 July 1993 (next to be held NA June 1996) head of government: Prime Minister Andris SKELE (since 21 December 1995) was appointed by the president cabinet: Council of Ministers was nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the Supreme Council

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (Saeima): elections last held 30 September-1 October 1995 (next to be held NA October 1998); results - Saimnieks 18%, LC 17%, For Latvia 16%, TB 14%, LNNK 8%, Unity 8%, LSZ/LKDS 7%, Harmony 6%, Socialist 6%; seats - (100 total) Saimnieks 18, LC 17, For Latvia 16, TB 14, LNNK 8, Unity 8, LSZ/LKDS 7, Harmony 6, Socialist 6

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges' appointments are confirmed by the Saeima

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party "Saimnieks" (DPS), Ziedonis CEVERS, chairman; Latvia's Way (LC), Valdis BIRKAVS; People's Movement For Latvia, Joachim SIEGERIST; Fatherland and Freedom (TB), Maris GRINBLATS; Latvian Unity Party (LVP), A. KAULS; Latvian National Conservative Party (LNNK), A. SEILE; Green Party (LSZ), O. BATAREVSK; Latvian Farmers Union (LZS), A. ROZENTALS; Christian Democrat Union (LKDS), P. KLAVINS; National Harmony Party (TSP), Janis JURKANS; Latvian Socialist Party (LSP), F. STROGANOVS; Latvian Liberal Party (LLP), J. DANOSS; Political Association of the Underprivileged (MPA), B. PELSE, V. DIMANTS, J. KALNINS; Latvian Democratic Labor Party (LDDP), J. BOJARS; Party of Russian Citizens (LKPP), V. SOROCHIN, V. IVANOV; Popular Front of Latvia (LTF), Uldis AUGSTKALNS; Political Union of Economists (TPA), E. KIDE; Latvian National Democratic Party (LNDP), A. MALINS; "Our Land" (MZ), M. DAMBEKALNE; Anticommunist Union (PA), P. MUCENIEKS; Latvian Social-Democratic Workers Party (LSDSP); Party for the Defense of Latvia's Defrauded People; Latvian Independence Party (LNP), V. KONOVALOUS

International organization participation: BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NACC, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Ojars Eriks KALNINS chancery: 4325 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011 telephone: [1] (202) 726-8213, 8214 FAX: [1] (202) 726-6785

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Larry C. NAPPER embassy: Raina Boulevard 7, LV-1510, Riga mailing address: PSC 78, Box R, APO AE 09723 telephone: [371] (2) 210-005 FAX: [371] (2) 226-530

Flag: two horizontal bands of maroon (top and bottom), white (middle, narrower than other two bands)



Economy ———-

Economic overview: Latvia's economic transformation to a modern market economy - rivaled only by Estonia among the former Soviet states - faltered in 1995 as a result of banking and budget crises. Latvia's largely unregulated financial sector suffered a series of bank failures, including the collapse of the country's largest commercial bank - Bank Baltija - due largely to criminal activity by the owners. The government's attempts to compensate depositors of failed banks exacerbated an existing budget shortfall; poor revenue collection and a soft treasury bill market had already caused the government to incur a larger than expected deficit early in the year. As a result of the crises, Latvia's budget deficit for 1995 was $168 million, double that originally planned. In addition, GDP growth came to a halt. The Central Bank maintained its tough monetary policies - severely limiting credits to the state, despite the budget problems - helping to keep annual inflation the lowest among the Baltic states, at about 20%. New Prime Minister SKELE wants to invigorate the privatization of industry; agriculture already is mainly in private hands.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $14.7 billion (1995 est.)

GDP real growth rate: -1.5% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $5,300 (1995 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1994)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 9% industry: 31% services: 60% (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 20% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 1.407 million by occupation: industry and construction 41%, agriculture and forestry 16%, other 43% (1990)

Unemployment rate: 6.5% (1995 est.)

Budget: revenues: $NA expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: buses, vans, street and railroad cars, synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, washing machines, radios, electronics, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, textiles; dependent on imports for energy, raw materials, and intermediate products

Industrial production growth rate: -9.5% (1994 est.)

Electricity: capacity: 2,080,000 kW production: 5.5 billion kWh consumption per capita: 1,864 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: grain, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables; meat, milk, eggs; fish

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for illicit drugs from Central and Southwest Asia and Latin America to Western Europe; limited producer of illicit opium; mostly for domestic consumption; also produces illicit amphetamines for export

Exports: $1.3 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.) commodities: timber, textiles, dairy products partners: Russia, Germany, Sweden, UK, Lithuania

Imports: $1.7 billion (c.i.f., 1995 est.) commodities: fuels, cars, chemicals partners: Russia, Germany, Sweden, Ukraine, UK, Lithuania, Finland

External debt: $NA

Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $122 million (1993) note: commitments from the West and international institutions, $525 million (1992-95)

Currency: 1 lat = 100 cents; introduced NA March 1993

Exchange rates: lats per US$1 - 0.544 (January 1996), 0.528 (1995), 0.560 (1994), 0.675 (1993), 0.736 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year



Transportation ———————

Railways: total: 2,412 km broad gauge: 2,379 km 1.520-m gauge (271 km electrified) (1992) narrow gauge: 33 km 0.750-m gauge (1994)

Highways: total: 66,718 km paved: 12,076 km unpaved: 54,642 km (1992 est.)

Waterways: 300 km perennially navigable

Pipelines: crude oil 750 km; refined products 780 km; natural gas 560 km (1992)

Ports: Daugavpils, Liepaja, Riga, Ventspils

Merchant marine: total: 56 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 519,859 GRT/678,987 DWT ships by type: cargo 7, oil tanker 24, refrigerated cargo 18, roll-on/roll-off cargo 7 (1995 est.)

Airports: total: 50 with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 6 with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 2 with paved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 1 with paved runways under 914 m: 27 with unpaved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 2 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 2 with unpaved runways under 914 m: 10 (1994 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 660,000 (1993 est.)

Telephone system: service is better than in most of the other former Soviet republics domestic: an NMT-450 analog cellular telephone network covers 75% of Latvia's population international: international traffic carried by leased connection to the Moscow international gateway switch, through the new Ericsson digital telephone exchange in Riga, and through the Finnish cellular net; Sprint data network carries electronic mail

Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA; note - there are 25 radio broadcast stations of unknown type

Radios: 1.4 million (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 30

Televisions: 1.1 million (1993 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces, Security Forces, Border Guard, Home Guard (Zemessardze)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 583,134 males fit for military service: 457,067 males reach military age (18) annually: 16,180 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: 176 million rubles, 3% to 5% of GDP (1994); note - conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the prevailing exchange rate could produce misleading results



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@Lebanon ———-

Lebanon has made progress toward rebuilding its political institutions and regaining its national sovereignty since the end of the devastating 16-year civil war which began in 1975. Under the Ta'if accord - the blueprint for national reconciliation - the Lebanese have established a more equitable political system, particularly by giving Muslims a greater say in the political process. Since December 1990, the Lebanese have formed four cabinets and conducted the first legislative election in 20 years. Most of the militias have been weakened or disbanded. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) has seized vast quantities of weapons used by the militias during the war and extended central government authority over about one-half of the country. Hizballah, the radical Shi'a party, retains most of its weapons. Foreign forces still occupy areas of Lebanon. Israel maintains troops in southern Lebanon and continues to support a proxy militia, The Army of South Lebanon (ASL), along a narrow stretch of territory contiguous to its border. The ASL's enclave encompasses this self-declared security zone and about 20 kilometers north to the strategic town of Jazzin. Syria maintains about 30,000 troops in Lebanon. These troops are based mainly in Beirut, North Lebanon, and the Bekaa Valley. Syria's deployment was legitimized by the Arab League early in Lebanon's civil war and in the Ta'if accord. Citing the continued weakness of the LAF, Beirut's requests, and failure of the Lebanese Government to implement all of the constitutional reforms in the Ta'if accord, Damascus has so far refused to withdraw its troops from Beirut.

Map —-

Location: 33 50 N, 35 50 E — Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria



Flag ——

Description: three horizontal bands of red (top), white (double width), and red with a green and brown cedar tree centered in the white band



Geography ————-

Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria

Geographic coordinates: 33 50 N, 35 50 E

Map references: Middle East

Area: total area: 10,400 sq km land area: 10,230 sq km comparative area: about 0.8 times the size of Connecticut

Land boundaries: total: 454 km border countries: Israel 79 km, Syria 375 km

Coastline: 225 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: Israeli troops in southern Lebanon since June 1982; Syrian troops in northern, central, and eastern Lebanon since October 1976

Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows

Terrain: narrow coastal plain; Al Biqa' (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m highest point: Jabal al Makmal 3,087 m

Natural resources: limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region

Land use: arable land: 21% permanent crops: 9% meadows and pastures: 1% forest and woodland: 8% other: 61%

Irrigated land: 860 sq km (1990 est.)

Environment: current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills natural hazards: dust storms, sandstorms international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Desertification, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

Geographic note: Nahr al Litani only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity



People ———

Population: 3,776,317 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 36% (male 687,631; female 662,100) 15-64 years: 59% (male 1,049,689; female 1,163,255) 65 years and over: 5% (male 98,406; female 115,236) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.16% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 27.93 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 6.35 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female all ages: 0.95 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 36.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.99 years male: 67.49 years female: 72.62 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.24 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Lebanese (singular and plural) adjective: Lebanese

Ethnic divisions: Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%

Religions: Islam 70% (5 legally recognized Islamic groups - Alawite or Nusayri, Druze, Isma'ilite, Shi'a, Sunni), Christian 30% (11 legally recognized Christian groups - 4 Orthodox Christian, 6 Catholic, 1 Protestant), Judaism NEGL%

Languages: Arabic (official), French (official), Armenian, English

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1995 est.) total population: 92.4% male: 94.7% female: 90.3%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Republic of Lebanon conventional short form: Lebanon local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah local short form: none

Data code: LE

Type of government: republic

Capital: Beirut

Administrative divisions: 5 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Biqa', Al Janub, Ash Shamal, Bayrut, Jabal Lubnan

Independence: 22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)

National holiday: Independence Day, 22 November (1943)

Constitution: 23 May 1926, amended a number of times

Legal system: mixture of Ottoman law, canon law, Napoleonic code, and civil law; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 21 years of age; compulsory for all males; authorized for women at age 21 with elementary education

Executive branch: chief of state: President Ilyas HARAWI (since 24 November 1989) was elected for a six-year term by the National Assembly and in 1995 the National Assembly amended the constitution to extend his term by three years; note - by custom, the president is a Maronite Christian, the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of the legislature is a Shi'a Muslim head of government: Prime Minister Rafiq al-HARIRI (since 22 October 1992) and Deputy Prime Minister Michel al-MURR (since NA) were appointed by the president in consultation with the National Assembly cabinet: Cabinet was chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the members of the National Assembly; the current Cabinet was formed in 1995

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (Arabic - Majlis Alnuwab French - Assembl: elections last held in the summer of 1992 (next to be held NA 1996); results - percent of vote NA; seats - (128 total, one-half Christian and one-half Muslim) independents 128

Judicial branch: four Courts of Cassation (three courts for civil and commercial cases and one court for criminal cases)

Political parties and leaders: political party activity is organized along largely sectarian lines; numerous political groupings exist, consisting of individual political figures and followers motivated by religious, clan, and economic considerations

International organization participation: ABEDA, ACCT, AFESD, AL, AMF, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OIC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Riyad TABBARAH chancery: 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 939-6300 FAX: [1] (202) 939-6324 consulate(s) general: Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Richard H. JONES embassy: Antelias, Beirut mailing address: P. O. Box 70-840, Beirut; PSC 815, Box 2, FPO AE 09836-0002 telephone: [961] (1) 402200, 403300, 406650, 406651, 426183, 417774, 889926 FAX: [961] (1) 407112

Flag: three horizontal bands of red (top), white (double width), and red with a green and brown cedar tree centered in the white band



Economy ———-

Economic overview: The 1975-91 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and all but ended Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. Peace has enabled the central government to restore control in Beirut, begin collecting taxes, and regain access to key port and government facilities. Economic recovery has been helped by a financially sound banking system and resilient small- and medium-scale manufacturers. Family remittances, banking services, manufactured and farm exports, and international aid are the main sources of foreign exchange. In the relatively settled year of 1991, industrial production, agricultural output, and exports showed substantial gains. The rebuilding of the war-ravaged country was delayed in 1992 because of an upturn in political wrangling. In October 1992, Rafiq al-HARIRI was appointed prime minister. A billionaire entrepreneur, al-HARIRI, announced ambitious plans for Lebanon's reconstruction, which involve a substantial influx of foreign aid and investment. The economy has posted considerable gains since 1992, with GDP rebounding, inflation falling, and foreign capital inflows jumping. Signs of strain have emerged in recent years, however, as the government budget deficit has risen and grassroots economic dissatisfaction has grown. Meantime, the future fate of Lebanon and its economy is being determined largely by outside forces - in Syria, other Arab nations, Israel, and the West.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $18.3 billion (1995 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 6.5% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $4,900 (1995 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 13% industry: 28% services: 59% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 650,000 by occupation: services 60%, industry 28%, agriculture 12% (1990 est.)

Unemployment rate: 30% (1995 est.)

Budget: revenues: $1.4 billion expenditures: $3.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

Industries: banking, food processing, textiles, cement, oil refining, chemicals, jewelry, some metal fabricating

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity: capacity: 1,220,000 kW production: 2.5 billion kWh consumption per capita: 676 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: citrus, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco, hemp (hashish); sheep, goats

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of hashish and heroin for the international drug trade; hashish production is shipped to Western Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America; a key locus of cocaine processing and trafficking; a Lebanese/Syrian 1994 eradication campaign practically eliminated the opium crop and caused a 50% decrease in the cannabis crop

Exports: $1 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.) commodities: agricultural products, chemicals, textiles, precious and semiprecious metals and jewelry, metals and metal products partners: Saudi Arabia 13%, Switzerland 12%, UAE 11%, Syria 9%, US 5%

Imports: $7.3 billion (c.i.f., 1995 est.) commodities: consumer goods, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products partners: Italy 14%, France 9%, US 8%, Turkey 5%, Saudi Arabia 3%

External debt: $1.2 billion (July 1995)

Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Lebanese pound (LL) = 100 piasters

Exchange rates: Lebanese pounds (LL) per US$1 - 1,584.0 (March 1996), 1,621.4 (1995), 1,680.1 (1994), 1,741.4 (1993), 1,712.8 (1992), 928.2 (1991)

Fiscal year: calendar year



Transportation ———————

Railways: total: 222 km standard gauge: 222 km 1.435-m (from Beirut to the Syrian border)

Highways: total: 7,370 km paved: 6,265 km unpaved: 1,105 km (1990 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 72 km (none in operation)

Ports: Al Batrun, Al Mina, An Naqurah, Antilyas, Az Zahrani, Beirut, Jubayl, Juniyah, Shikka, Sidon, Tripoli, Tyre

Merchant marine: total: 58 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 192,075 GRT/296,256 DWT ships by type: bulk 4, cargo 39, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk 1, combination ore/oil 1, container 2, livestock carrier 4, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 2 (1995 est.)

Airports: total: 7 with paved runways over 3 047 m: 1 with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 2 with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 1 with paved runways under 914 m: 2 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 1 (1995 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 150,000 (1990 est.)

Telephone system: telecommunications system severely damaged by civil war; rebuilding still underway domestic: primarily microwave radio relay and cable international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean) (erratic operations); coaxial cable to Syria; microwave radio relay to Syria but inoperable beyond Syria to Jordan; 3 submarine coaxial cables

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 3, shortwave 1 note: more than 100 AM and FM stations are operated sporadically by various factions

Radios: 2.37 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 13

Televisions: 1.1 million (1993 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF; includes Army, Navy, and Air Force)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 889,517 males fit for military service: 553,538 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $278 million, 5.5% of GDP (1994)



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



@Lesotho ———-



Map —-

Location: 29 30 S, 28 30 E — Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa



Flag ——

Description: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper half is white bearing the brown silhouette of a large shield with crossed spear and club; the lower half is a diagonal blue band with a green triangle in the corner



Geography ————-

Location: Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa

Geographic coordinates: 29 30 S, 28 30 E

Map references: Africa

Area: total area: 30,350 sq km land area: 30,350 sq km comparative area: slightly larger than Maryland

Land boundaries: total: 909 km border country: South Africa 909 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

International disputes: none

Climate: temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers

Terrain: mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains lowest point: junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers 1,400 m highest point: Mount Thabana Ntlenyana 3,482 m

Natural resources: water, agricultural and grazing land, some diamonds and other minerals

Land use: arable land: 10% permanent crops: 0% meadows and pastures: 66% forest and woodland: 0% other: 24%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Environment: current issues: population pressure forcing settlement in marginal areas results in overgrazing, severe soil erosion, soil exhaustion; desertification; Highlands Water Project will control, store, and redirect water to South Africa natural hazards: periodic droughts international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping

Geographic note: landlocked; surrounded by South Africa



People ———

Population: 1,970,781 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 41% (male 404,733; female 402,813) 15-64 years: 54% (male 519,493; female 553,618) 65 years and over: 5% (male 37,237; female 52,887) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.9% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 32.7 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 13.74 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female all ages: 0.95 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 81.6 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 52.08 years male: 50.08 years female: 54.14 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.32 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural) adjective: Basotho

Ethnic divisions: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans 1,600, Asians 800

Religions: Christian 80%, rest indigenous beliefs

Languages: Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1995 est.) total population: 71.3% male: 81.1% female: 62.3%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Kingdom of Lesotho conventional short form: Lesotho former: Basutoland

Data code: LT

Type of government: modified constitutional monarchy

Capital: Maseru

Administrative divisions: 10 districts; Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohale's Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha's Nek, Quthing, Thaba-Tseka

Independence: 4 October 1966 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 4 October (1966)

Constitution: 2 April 1993

Legal system: based on English common law and Roman-Dutch law; judicial review of legislative acts in High Court and Court of Appeal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: King LETSIE III (since 7 February 1996); the king is the former Crown Prince David Monato BERENG Seeiso and succeeded his father King MOSHOESHOE II, who died in an automobile accident on 16 January 1996; King LETSIE III formerly occupied the throne (November 1990 to February 1995) while his father was in exile note: the king is a hereditary monarch, but, under the terms of the constitution which came into effect after the March 1993 election, he has no executive or legislative powers; moreover, under traditional law the king can be elected or deposed by a majority vote of the College of Chiefs head of government: Prime Minister Ntsu MOKHEHLE (since 2 April 1993) cabinet: Cabinet

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament Senate: consists of 33 members (the 22 principal chiefs and 11 other members appointed by the ruling party) Assembly: members elected by popular vote; election last held NA March 1993 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats (65 total) BCP 65

Judicial branch: High Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrate's Court; customary or traditional court

Political parties and leaders: Basotho National Party (BNP), Evaristus SEKHONYANA; Basotho Congress Party (BCP), Ntsu MOKHEHLE; National Independent Party (NIP), A. C. MANYELI; Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP), Vincent MALEBO; United Democratic Party, Charles MOFELI; Communist Party of Lesotho (CPL), Jacob M. KENA

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Eunice M. BULANE chancery: 2511 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 797-5533 through 5536 FAX: [1] (202) 234-6815

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Bismarck MYRICK embassy: address NA, Maseru mailing address: P. O. Box 333, Maseru 100, Lesotho telephone: [266] 312666 FAX: [266] 310116

Flag: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper half is white bearing the brown silhouette of a large shield with crossed spear and club; the lower half is a diagonal blue band with a green triangle in the corner



Economy ———-

Economic overview: Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho has no important natural resources other than water. Its economy is based on agriculture, light manufacturing, and remittances from laborers employed in South Africa (these remittances supplement domestic income by as much as 45%). The great majority of households gain their livelihoods from subsistence farming and migrant labor; a large portion of the adult male work force is employed in South African mines. Manufacturing depends largely on farm products which support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries. Although drought has decreased agricultural activity over the past few years, improvement of a major hydropower facility will permit the sale of water to South Africa and will support the economy's continued expansion.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.8 billion (1994 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 13.5% (1994 est.)

GDP per capita: $1,430 (1994 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 10.4% industry: 48.8% services: 40.8% (1993)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9.5% (January 1995)

Labor force: 689,000 economically active by occupation: 86.2% of resident population engaged in subsistence agriculture; roughly 60% of the active male wage earners work in South Africa

Unemployment rate: substantial unemployment and underemployment

Budget: revenues: $445 million expenditures: $400 million, including capital expenditures of $128 million (FY94/95 est.)

Industries: food, beverages, textiles, handicrafts; construction; tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 12.5% (1994 est.)

Electricity: power supplied by South Africa

Agriculture: corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley; livestock

Exports: $142 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.) commodities: clothing, furniture, footwear, wool partners: South Africa 39%, EC 22%, North and South America 33% (1993)

Imports: $1 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.) commodities: mainly corn, building materials, clothing, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum products partners: South Africa 83%, Asia 12%, EC 3% (1993)

External debt: $512 million (1993)

Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 loti (L) = 100 lisente

Exchange rates: maloti (M) per US$1 - 3.6417 (January 1996), 3.6266 (1995), 3.5490 (1994), 3.2636 (1993), 2.8497 (1992), 2.7563 (1991); note - the Basotho loti is at par with the South African rand

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March



Transportation ———————

Railways: total: 2.6 km; note - owned by, operated by, and included in the statistics of South Africa narrow gauge: 2.6 km 1.067-m gauge

Highways: total: 5,324 km paved: 799 km unpaved: 4,525 km (1993 est.)

Ports: none

Airports: total: 29 with paved runways over 3 047 m: 1 with paved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 1 with paved runways under 914 m: 23 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 4 (1995 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 12,000 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: rudimentary system domestic: consists of a few landlines, a small microwave radio relay system, and a minor radiotelephone communication system international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 4, shortwave 0

Radios: 66,000

Television broadcast stations: 1

Televisions: 11,000 (1992 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Lesotho Defense Force (LDF; includes Army and Air Wing), Lesotho Mounted Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 455,218 males fit for military service: 245,774 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP



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@Liberia ———-

Years of civil strife have destroyed much of Liberia's economic infrastructure, made civil administration nearly impossible, and brought economic activity virtually to a halt. The deterioration of economic conditions has been greatly exacerbated by the flight of most business people with their expertise and capital. Civil order ended in 1990 when President Samuel Kanyon DOE was killed by rebel forces. The ensuing civil war persisted until August 1995 when the major factions signed the Abuja peace accord and, in September 1995, formed a transitional coalition government under Wilton SANKAWULO. The war was resumed in April 1996, when forces loyal to faction leaders Charles TAYLOR and Alhaji KROMAH attacked rival factions in Monrovia, further damaging the capital's already dilapidated infrastructure and causing panic among the remaining foreign residents, thousands of whom sought refuge in US facilities. Prospects for peace became extremely uncertain again.

Map —-

Location: 6 30 N, 9 30 W — Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone



Flag ——

Description: 11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a white five-pointed star on a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner; the design was based on the US flag



Geography ————-

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone

Geographic coordinates: 6 30 N, 9 30 W

Map references: Africa

Area: total area: 111,370 sq km land area: 96,320 sq km comparative area: slightly larger than Tennessee

Land boundaries: total: 1,585 km border countries: Guinea 563 km, Cote d'Ivoire 716 km, Sierra Leone 306 km

Coastline: 579 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,380 m

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