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The 1996 CIA Factbook
by United States. Central Intelligence Agency.
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Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Humayun KABIR chancery: 2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007 telephone: [1] (202) 342-8372 through 8376 consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador David N. MERRILL embassy: Diplomatic Enclave, Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka mailing address: G.P.O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000; Dhaka 1212 telephone: [880] (2) 884700 through 884722 FAX: [880] (2) 883-744

Flag: green with a large red disk slightly to the hoist side of center; green is the traditional color of Islam



Economy ———-

Economic overview: Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains one of the world's poorest, most densely populated, and least developed nations. Annual GDP growth has averaged over 4% in recent years from a low base. Its economy is overwhelmingly agricultural, with the cultivation of rice the single most important activity in the economy. Major impediments to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, the inefficiency of state-owned enterprises, a rapidly growing labor force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, delays in exploiting energy resources (natural gas), inadequate power supplies, and, most recently, political disturbances. In 1995, progress on Bangladesh's development agenda has been slowed by frequent political unrest before and after national elections in early 1996. Opposition parties have challenged the government's authority by resigning from Parliament and sponsoring numerous countrywide strikes that have crippled transport, hindered business activity, and threatened to slow economic growth in 1996.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $144.5 billion (1995 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 4.6% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $1,130 (1995 est.)

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.5% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 50.1 million by occupation: agriculture 65%, services 21%, industry and mining 14% (1989) note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Oman (1991)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues: $2.8 billion expenditures: $4.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.8 billion (FY92/93)

Industries: jute manufacturing, cotton textiles, food processing, steel, fertilizer

Industrial production growth rate: 8.5% (1995 est.)

Electricity: capacity: 2,740,000 kW production: 9.2 billion kWh consumption per capita: 70 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: jute, rice, wheat, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; beef, milk, poultry

Illicit drugs: transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries

Exports: $2.7 billion (1995 est.) commodities: garments, jute and jute goods, leather, shrimp partners: US 33%, Western Europe 39% (Germany 8.4%, Italy 6%) (FY91/92 est.)

Imports: $4.7 billion (1995 est.) commodities: capital goods, petroleum, food, textiles partners: Hong Kong 7.5%, Singapore 7.4%, China 7.4%, Japan 7.1% (FY91/92 est.)

External debt: $15.7 billion (1995 est.)

Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $1.099 billion (1993)

Currency: 1 taka (Tk) = 100 poiska

Exchange rates: taka (Tk) per US$1 - 40.933 (January 19965), 40.278 (1995), 40.212 (1994), 39.567 (1993), 38.951 (1992), 36.596 (1991)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June



Transportation ———————

Railways: total: 2,892 km broad gauge: 978 km 1.676-m gauge narrow gauge: 1,914 km 1.000-m gauge (1992)

Highways: total: 13,627 km paved: 8,546 km unpaved: 5,081 km (1992)

Waterways: 5,150-8,046 km navigable waterways (includes 2,575-3,058 km main cargo routes)

Pipelines: natural gas 1,220 km

Ports: Chittagong, Dhaka, Chalna Port (Mongla)

Merchant marine: total: 37 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 296,503 GRT/423,274 DWT ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 29, oil tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 3 (1995 est.)

Airports: total: 15 with paved runways over 3 047 m: 2 with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 2 with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 4 with paved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 1 with paved runways under 914 m: 6 (1995 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 249,800 (1994 est.)

Telephone system: domestic: poor domestic telephone service international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighboring countries

Radio broadcast stations: AM 9, FM 6, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 11

Televisions: 350,000 (1993 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary forces (includes Bangladesh Rifles, Bangladesh Ansars, Armed Police Reserve, Village Defense Parties, National Cadet Corps)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 31,795,848 males fit for military service: 18,814,818 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $481 million, 1.7% of GDP (FY95/96)



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



@Barbados ————



Map —-

Location: 13 10 N, 59 32 W — Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela



Flag ——

Description: three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and blue with the head of a black trident centered on the gold band; the trident head represents independence and a break with the past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)



Geography ————-

Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela

Geographic coordinates: 13 10 N, 59 32 W

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

Area: total area: 430 sq km land area: 430 sq km comparative area: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 97 km

Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nm territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; rainy season (June to October)

Terrain: relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Mount Hillaby 336 m

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, natural gas

Land use: arable land: 77% permanent crops: 0% meadows and pastures: 9% forest and woodland: 0% other: 14%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Environment: current issues: pollution of coastal waters from waste disposal by ships; soil erosion; illegal solid waste disposal threatens contamination of aquifers natural hazards: hurricanes (especially June to October); periodic landslides international agreements: party to - Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Hazardous Wastes

Geographic note: easternmost Caribbean island



People ———

Population: 257,030 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 24% (male 31,263; female 29,822) 15-64 years: 66% (male 83,565; female 86,697) 65 years and over: 10% (male 9,929; female 15,754) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.26% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 15.29 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 8.21 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: -4.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.63 male(s)/female all ages: 0.94 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 18.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.35 years male: 71.65 years female: 77.25 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.78 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Barbadian(s) adjective: Barbadian

Ethnic divisions: African 80%, European 4%, other 16%

Religions: Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%, other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, unknown 3%, other 9% (1980)

Languages: English

Literacy: age 15 and over has ever attended school (1995 est.) total population: 97.4% male: 98% female: 96.8%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Barbados

Data code: BB

Type of government: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Bridgetown

Administrative divisions: 11 parishes; Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas note: the city of Bridgetown may be given parish status

Independence: 30 November 1966 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 30 November (1966)

Constitution: 30 November 1966

Legal system: English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952) is a hereditary monarch, represented by Acting Governor General Denys WILLIAMS (since 21 December 1995) who was appointed by the queen head of government: Prime Minister Owen Seymour ARTHUR (since 6 September 1994) was appointed by the governor general; Deputy Prime Minister Billie MILLER (since 6 September 1994) cabinet: Cabinet was appointed by the governor general on advice of the prime minister

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament Senate: consists of a 21-member body appointed by the governor general House of Assembly: election last held 6 September 1994 (next to be held by January 1999); results - percentage vote by party NA; seats - (28 total) BLP 19, DLP 8,NDP 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Judicature, judges are appointed by the Service Commissions for the Judicial and Legal Service

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Labor Party (DLP), David THOMPSON; Barbados Labor Party (BLP), Owen ARTHUR; National Democratic Party (NDP), Richard HAYNES

Other political or pressure groups: Barbados Workers Union, Leroy TROTMAN; People's Progressive Movement, Eric SEALY; Workers' Party of Barbados, Dr. George BELLE; Clement Payne Labor Union, David COMMISSIONG

International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIH, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Courtney N. BLACKMAN chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 939-9218, 9219 FAX: [1] (202) 332-7467 consulate(s) general: Miami and New York consulate(s): Los Angeles

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Jeanette W. HYDE embassy: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Building, Broad Street, Bridgetown mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown; FPO AA 34055 telephone: [1] (809) 436-4950 FAX: [1] (809) 429-5246

Flag: three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and blue with the head of a black trident centered on the gold band; the trident head represents independence and a break with the past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)



Economy ———-

Economic overview: Historically, the Barbadian economy has been dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but in recent years the production has diversified into manufacturing and tourism. Sluggish performances in the sugar and tourism sectors - which declined by 25% and 8% respectively - tempered economic expansion in 1995; output increased by 2% for the year, down from nearly 4% in 1994. Improved weather conditions in 1995 are expected to boost agriculture output in 1996. Since taking office in 1994, Prime Minister ARTHUR has aggressively moved to promote foreign direct investment as part of a policy designed to reduce nagging unemployment. The government has also been active in promoting regional integration initiatives.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.5 billion (1995 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 2% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $9,800 (1995 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 6.4% industry: 39.3% services: 54.3% (1994)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.7% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 126,000 (1993) by occupation: services and government 41%, commerce 15%, manufacturing and construction 18%, transportation, storage, communications, and financial institutions 8%, agriculture 6%, utilities 2% (1992 est.)

Unemployment rate: 19.9% (September 1995)

Budget: revenues: $550 million expenditures: $710 million, including capital expenditures of $86 million (FY95/96 est.)

Industries: tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export

Industrial production growth rate: 5% (1995 est.)

Electricity: capacity: 152,100 kW production: 510 million kWh consumption per capita: 1,841 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: sugarcane, vegetables, cotton

Illicit drugs: one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for the US and Europe

Exports: $158.6 million (f.o.b., 1995 est.) commodities: sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components, clothing partners: US 13%, UK 10%, Trinidad and Tobago 9%, Windward Islands 8%

Imports: $693 million (c.i.f., 1995 est.) commodities: consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components partners: US 36%, UK 11%, Trinidad and Tobago 11%, Japan 3%

External debt: $408 million (1995 est.)

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 Barbadian dollar (Bds$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Barbadian dollars (Bds$) per US$1 - 2.0113 (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March



Transportation ———————

Railways: 0 km

Highways: total: 1,550 km paved: 1,550 km

Ports: Bridgetown

Merchant marine: total: 34 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 183,937 GRT/271,707 DWT ships by type: bulk 6, cargo 21, combination bulk 3, oil tanker 3, roll-on/roll-off cargo 1 (1995 est.)

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



Communications ———————

Telephones: 87,343 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: domestic: island wide automatic telephone system international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia

Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 2, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 2 (1 pay)

Televisions: 69,350 (1993 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Royal Barbados Defense Force (includes Ground Forces and Coast Guard), Royal Barbados Police Force

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 71,667 males fit for military service: 49,726 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP



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



@Bassas da India ———————-

(possession of France)

Map —-

Location: 21 30 S, 39 50 E — Southern Africa, islands in the southern Mozambique Channel, about one-half of the way from Madagascar to Mozambique



Flag ——

Description: the flag of France is used



Geography ————-

Location: Southern Africa, islands in the southern Mozambique Channel, about one-half of the way from Madagascar to Mozambique

Geographic coordinates: 21 30 S, 39 50 E

Map references: Africa

Area: total area: 0.2 sq km land area: 0.2 sq km comparative area: about one-third the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 35.2 km

Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nm territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: claimed by Madagascar

Climate: tropical

Terrain: a volcanic rock 2.4 meters high lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m highest point: unnamed location 3 m

Natural resources: none

Land use: arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% meadows and pastures: 0% forest and woodland: 0% other: 100% (all rock)

Irrigated land: 0 sq km

Environment: current issues: NA natural hazards: maritime hazard since it is usually under water during high tide and surrounded by reefs; subject to periodic cyclones international agreements: NA



People ———

Population: uninhabited



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Bassas da India

Data code: BS

Type of government: French possession administered by a Commissioner of the Republic, resident in Reunion

Capital: none; administered by France from Reunion

Independence: none (possession of France)

Flag: the flag of France is used



Economy ———-

Economic overview: no economic activity



Transportation ———————

Ports: none; offshore anchorage only



Defense ———-

Defense note: defense is the responsibility of France



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



@Belarus ———-



Map —-

Location: 53 00 N, 28 00 E — Eastern Europe, east of Poland



Flag ——

Description: red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe of white on the hoist side bears in red the Belarusian national ornament



Geography ————-

Location: Eastern Europe, east of Poland

Geographic coordinates: 53 00 N, 28 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

Area: total area: 207,600 sq km land area: 207,600 sq km comparative area: slightly smaller than Kansas

Land boundaries: total: 3,098 km border countries: Latvia 141 km, Lithuania 502 km, Poland 605 km, Russia 959 km, Ukraine 891 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

International disputes: none

Climate: cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime

Terrain: generally flat and contains much marshland lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m

Natural resources: forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas

Land use: arable land: 29% permanent crops: 1% meadows and pastures: 15% forest and woodland: 0% other: 55%

Irrigated land: 1,490 sq km (1990)

Environment: current issues: soil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl' natural hazards: NA international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Biodiversity, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Climate Change, Law of the Sea

Geographic note: landlocked



People ———

Population: 10,415,973 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 21% (male 1,136,499; female 1,090,101) 15-64 years: 66% (male 3,334,077; female 3,536,982) 65 years and over: 13% (male 429,574; female 888,740) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.2% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 12.15 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 13.64 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.51 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: 0.94 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female all ages: 0.89 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 13.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.57 years male: 63.2 years female: 74.21 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.69 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Belarusian(s) adjective: Belarusian

Ethnic divisions: Byelorussian 77.9%, Russian 13.2%, Polish 4.1%, Ukrainian 2.9%, other 1.9%

Religions: Eastern Orthodox 60%, other (including Roman Catholic and Muslim) 40% (early 1990's)

Languages: Byelorussian, Russian, other

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989 est.) total population: 98% male: 99% female: 97%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Republic of Belarus conventional short form: Belarus local long form: Respublika Byelarus' local short form: none former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic

Data code: BO

Type of government: republic

Capital: Minsk

Administrative divisions: 6 voblastsi (singular - voblasts') and one municipality* (harady, singular - horad); Brestskaya (Brest), Homyel'skaya (Homyel'), Horad Minsk*, Hrodzyenskaya (Hrodna), Mahilyowskaya (Mahilyow), Minskaya, Vitsyebskaya (Vitsyebsk) note: the administrative centers of the voblastsi are included in parentheses

Independence: 25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union); the Belarussian Supreme Soviet issued a proclamation of independence; on 17 July 1990 Belarus issued a declaration of sovereignty

National holiday: Independence Day, 27 July (1990)

Constitution: adopted 15 March 1994; replaces constitution of April 1978

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994) was elected for a five-year term by popular vote; election last held 24 June and 10 July 1994 (next to be held NA 1999); results - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 85%, Vyacheslav KEBICH 15% head of government: Prime Minister Mikhail CHIGIR (since NA July 1994) was appointed by the president; Deputy Prime Ministers Vladimir GARKUN (since NA), Sergey LING (since NA), Leonid SINITSYN (since NA), Valeriy KOKAREV (since NA), Vladimir RUSAKEVICH (since NA) cabinet: Council of Ministers note: first presidential elections took place in June-July 1994

Legislative branch: unicameral Supreme Soviet: elections last held May, Nov-Dec 1995 (two rounds, each with a run-off; next to be held NA 2000); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (260 total) KPB 42, Agrarian 33, CAB 9, Party of People's Concord 8, UPNAZ 2, SDPB 2, BPR 1, Green Party 1, Republican Party of Labor and Justice 1, BSP 1, NFB 1, Social and Sports Party 1, Ecological Party 1, independents 95, vacant 62

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president; Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders: Belarusian Communist Party (KPB), Vasiliy NOVIKOV, Viktor CHIKIN, chairmen; Agrarian Party, Semen SHARETSKIY; Civic Accord Bloc (CAB); Party of People's Concord, Gennadiy KARPENKO; Party of All-Belarusian Unity and Concord (UPNAZ), Dmitriy BULAKOV; Belarusian Social-Democrat Hramada (SDBP), Alex TRUSOV; Belarusian Patriotic Movement (BPR), Anatol BARANKEVICH; Green Party of Belarus, Mikalay KARTASH; Republican Party of Labor and Justice, Anatol NETSILKIN; Belarus Peasants (BSP), Yevgeniy LUGIN, chairman; Belarusian Popular Front (NFB), Zenon POZNYAK, chairman; Belarusian Social Sports Party, Vladimir ALEKSANDROVICH; Ecological Party, Aleksiy MIKULICH; National Democratic Party of Belarus (NDPB), Victor NAVUMENKA; United Democratic Party of Belarus (ADPB), Aleksandr DOBROVOLSKIY; Belarusian Socialist Party (SPB), Vyacheslav KUZNETSOV; Slavic Assembly (SAB), Nikolai SYARECHEV; Liberal-Democratic Party (LDPB), Vasil KRIVENKA; Belarusian Christian-Democratic Unity (BKDZ), Petr SILKO; Polish Democratic Union (PDZ), Konstantin TARASEVICH; Party of Beer Lovers, Yuriy GONCHAR; Belarusian Labor Party (BPP), Aleksandr BUKHVOSTOV

International organization participation: CCC, CE (guest), CIS, EBRD, ECE, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NACC, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Sergey Nikolayevich MARTYNOV chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009 telephone: [1] (202) 986-1604 FAX: [1] (202) 986-1805 consulate(s) general: New York

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Kenneth Spencer YALOWITZ embassy: Starovilenskaya #46-220002, Minsk mailing address: use embassy street address telephone: [375] (172) 31-50-00 FAX: [375] (172) 34-78-53

Flag: red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe of white on the hoist side bears in red the Belarusian national ornament



Economy ———-

Economic overview: At the time of independence in late 1991, Belarus was one of the most developed of the former Soviet states, inheriting a modern - by Soviet standards - machine building sector and robust agricultural sector. However, the breakup of the Soviet Union and its traditional trade ties, as well as the government's failure to embrace market reforms, has resulted in a sharp economic decline. Privatization is virtually nonexistent and the system of state orders and distribution persists. Although President LUKASHENKO pronounces his 1995 macro stabilization policies a success - annual inflation dropped from 2,220% in 1994 to 244% in 1995 - the IMF has criticized his insistence on maintaining the steady exchange rate for Belarusian rubel, which has traded at 11,500 to the dollar since late 1994. The IMF suspended Minsk's $300 million standby program in November 1995 until the government would agree to a devaluation of the rubel. The overvalued rubel has especially hurt Belarusian exporters, most of which now operate at a loss. In addition, the January 1995 Customs Union agreement with Russia - which required Minsk to adjust its foreign trade practices to mirror Moscow's - has resulted in higher import tariffs for Belarusian consumers; tariffs have risen from 5%-20% to 20%-40%.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $49.2 billion (1995 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1994)

GDP real growth rate: -10% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $4,700 (1995 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 21% industry: 49% services: 30% (1991 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 244% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 4.259 million by occupation: industry and construction 40%, agriculture and forestry 21%, other 39% (1992)

Unemployment rate: 2.6% officially registered unemployed (December 1994); large numbers of underemployed workers

Budget: revenues: $4.95 billion expenditures: $5.47 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1996 est.)

Industries: tractors, metal-cutting machine tools, off-highway dump trucks up to 110-metric-ton load capacity, wheel-type earth movers for construction and mining, eight-wheel-drive, high-flotation trucks with cargo capacity of 25 metric tons for use in tundra and roadless areas, equipment for animal husbandry and livestock feeding, motorcycles, television sets, chemical fibers, fertilizer, linen fabric, wool fabric, radios, refrigerators, other consumer goods

Industrial production growth rate: -11% (1995 est.)

Electricity: capacity: 7,010,000 kW production: 24.9 billion kWh consumption per capita: 2,300 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture: grain, potatoes, vegetables; meat, milk

Illicit drugs: illicit cultivator of opium poppy and cannabis; mostly for the domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to Western Europe

Exports: $4.2 billion (f.o.b., 1995) commodities: machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs partners: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany

Imports: $4.6 billion (c.i.f., 1995) commodities: fuel, natural gas, industrial raw materials, textiles, sugar partners: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany

External debt: $2 billion (September 1995 est.)

Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $186 million (1993) note: commitments, $3,930 million ($1,845 million disbursements), 1992-95

Currency: Belarusian rubel (BR)

Exchange rates: Belarusian rubels per US$1 - 11,500 (yearend 1995), 10,600 (yearend 1994)

Fiscal year: calendar year



Transportation ———————

Railways: total: 5,488 km broad gauge: 5,488 km 1.520-m gauge (873 km electrified) (1993)

Highways: total: 92,200 km paved: 61,000 km (including graveled) unpaved: 31,200 km (1994 est.)

Waterways: NA km; note - Belarus has extensive and widely used canal and river systems

Pipelines: crude oil 1,470 km; refined products 1,100 km; natural gas 1,980 km (1992)

Ports: Mazyr

Merchant marine: note: claims 5% of former Soviet fleet (1995 est.)

Airports: total: 118 with paved runways over 3 047 m: 2 with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 18 with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 5 with paved runways under 914 m: 11 with unpaved runways over 3 047 m: 1 with unpaved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 6 with unpaved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 4 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 9 with unpaved runways under 914 m: 62 (1994 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 1.849 million (1991 est.)

Telephone system: telephone service inadequate for the purposes of either business or the population; about 70% of the telephones are in homes; over 750,000 applications from households for telephones remain unsatisfied (1992 est.); new investment centers on international connections and business needs domestic: the new NMT-450 analog cellular system is now operating in Minsk international: international traffic is carried by the Moscow international gateway switch and also by satellite; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (through Canada) and 1 Eutelsat (through the UK)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 35, FM 18, shortwave 0

Radios: 3.17 million (1991 est.) (5,615,000 with multiple speaker systems for program diffusion)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (one national and one private; the license of the private station was suspended during the parliamentary elections of 1994)

Televisions: 3.5 million (1992 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Army, Air Force, Air Defense Force, Republic Security Forces (internal and border troops)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 2,635,570 males fit for military service: 2,067,676 males reach military age (18) annually: 76,006 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: 892 billion rubels, 1% of GDP (1995); note - conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results



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



@Belgium ———-



Map —-

Location: 50 50 N, 4 00 E — Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands



Flag ——

Description: three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the design was based on the flag of France



Geography ————-

Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands

Geographic coordinates: 50 50 N, 4 00 E

Map references: Europe

Area: total area: 30,510 sq km land area: 30,230 sq km comparative area: slightly larger than Maryland

Land boundaries: total: 1,385 km border countries: France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km, Netherlands 450 km

Coastline: 64 km

Maritime claims: continental shelf: median line with neighbors exclusive fishing zone: median line with neighbors (extends about 68 km from coast) territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

Terrain: flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast lowest point: North Sea 0 m highest point: Signal de Botrange 694 m

Natural resources: coal, natural gas

Land use: arable land: 24% permanent crops: 1% meadows and pastures: 20% forest and woodland: 21% other: 34%

Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment: current issues: Meuse River, a major source of drinking water, polluted from steel production wastes; other rivers polluted by animal wastes and fertilizers; industrial air pollution contributes to acid rain in neighboring countries natural hazards: flooding is a threat in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea

Geographic note: crossroads of Western Europe; majority of West European capitals within 1,000 km of Brussels which is the seat of the EU



People ———

Population: 10,170,241 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 18% (male 930,919; female 886,632) 15-64 years: 66% (male 3,380,105; female 3,326,853) 65 years and over: 16% (male 663,760; female 981,972) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.33% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 12 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 10.3 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female all ages: 0.96 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 6.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.09 years male: 73.86 years female: 80.51 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.69 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Belgian(s) adjective: Belgian

Ethnic divisions: Fleming 55%, Walloon 33%, mixed or other 12%

Religions: Roman Catholic 75%, Protestant or other 25%

Languages: Dutch 56%, French 32%, German 1%, legally bilingual 11% (divided along ethnic lines)

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1980 est.) total population: 99% male: NA% female: NA%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium conventional short form: Belgium local long form: Royaume de Belgique local short form: Belgique

Data code: BE

Type of government: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Brussels

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (French: provinces, singular - province; Flemish: provincien, singular - provincie); Antwerpen, Brabant, Hainaut, Liege, Limburg, Luxembourg, Namur, Oost-Vlaanderen, West-Vlaanderen note: constitutional reforms passed by Parliament in 1993 increased the number of provinces to 10 by splitting the province of Brabant into two new provinces, Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant

Independence: 4 October 1830 (from the Netherlands)

National holiday: National Day, 21 July (ascension of King LEOPOLD to the throne in 1831)

Constitution: 7 February 1831, last revised 14 July 1993; parliament approved a constitutional package creating a federal state

Legal system: civil law system influenced by English constitutional theory; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch: chief of state: King ALBERT II (since 9 August 1993) is a constitutional monarch head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Luc DEHAENE (since 6 March 1992) was appointed by the king and then approved by Parliament cabinet: Cabinet is appointed by the king and approved by Parliament

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament Senate (Flemish - Senaat French - Senat): elections last held 21 May 1995 (next to be held by the end of 1999); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (71 total, 40 directly elected; 31 will be indirectly elected at a later date) CVP 7, SP 6, VLD 6, VU 2, AGALEV 1, VB 3, PS 5, PRL 5, PSC 3, ECOLO 2; note - before the 1995 elections, there were 184 seats Chamber of Deputies(Flemish - Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordig: elections last held 21 May 1995 (next to be held by the end of 1999); results - CVP 17.2%, PS 11.9%, SP 12.6%, VLD 13.1%, PRL 10.3%, PSC 7.7%, VB 7.8%, VU 4.7%, ECOLO 4.0%, AGALEV 4.4%, FN 2.3%; seats - (150 total) CVP 29, PS 21, SP 20, VLD 21, PRL 18, PSC 12, VB 11, VU 5, ECOLO 6, AGALEV 5, FN 2; note - before the 1995 elections, there were 212 seats

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Flemish - Hof van Cassatie, French - Cour de Cassation), judges are appointed for life by the Belgian monarch

Political parties and leaders: Flemish Christian Democrats (CVP - Christian People's Party), Johan VAN HECKE, president; Francophone Christian Democrats (PSC - Social Christian Party), Gerard DEPREZ, president; Flemish Socialist Party (SP), Louis TOBBACK, president; Francophone Socialist Party (PS), Philippe BUSQUIN, president; Flemish Liberal Democrats (VLD), Herman DE CROO, president; Francophone Liberal Reformation Party (PRL), Louis MICHEL, president; Francophone Democratic Front (FDF), Olivier MAINGAIN, president; Volksunie (VU), Bert ANCIAUX, president; Vlaams Blok (VB), Karel DILLEN, chairman; National Front (FN), Daniel FERET, president; AGALEV (Flemish Greens), no president; ECOLO (Francophone Greens), no president; other minor parties

Other political or pressure groups: Christian and Socialist Trade Unions; Federation of Belgian Industries; numerous other associations representing bankers, manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical professions; various organizations represent the cultural interests of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as the Flemish Action Committee Against Nuclear Weapons and Pax Christi

International organization participation: ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EBRD, ECE, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCRO, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMOGIP, UNPROFOR, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Andre ADAM chancery: 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 333-6900 FAX: [1] (202) 333-3079 consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Alan J. BLINKEN embassy: 27 Boulevard du Regent, B-1000 Brussels mailing address: APO AE 09724, PSC 82, Box 002, Brussels telephone: [32] (2) 508-2111 FAX: [32] (2) 511-2725

Flag: three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the design was based on the flag of France



Economy ———-

Economic overview: This small private enterprise economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the populous Flemish area in the north, although the government is encouraging reinvestment in the southern region of Walloon. With few natural resources, Belgium must import substantial quantities of raw materials and export a large volume of manufactures, making its economy unusually dependent on the state of world markets. Two-thirds of its trade is with other EU countries. The economy grew at a strong 4% annual pace during the period 1988-90, slowed to 1% in 1991-92, dropped by 1.5% in 1993, and recovered with moderate 2.3% growth in 1994 and 1995. Belgium's public debt has risen to 140% of GDP, and the government is trying to control its expenditures to bring the figure more into line with other industrialized countries.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $197 billion (1995 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 2.3% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $19,500 (1995 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 2% industry: 28% services: 70% (1994)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.6% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 4.126 million by occupation: services 63.6%, industry 28%, construction 6.1%, agriculture 2.3% (1988)

Unemployment rate: 14% (1995 est.)

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

Industries: engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum, coal

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity: capacity: 14,040,000 kW production: 66 billion kWh consumption per capita: 6,334 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk

Illicit drugs: source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for cocaine entering the European market

Exports: $108 billion (f.o.b., 1994) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU) commodities: iron and steel, transportation equipment, tractors, diamonds, petroleum products partners: EU 67.2% (Germany 19%), US 5.8%, former Communist countries 1.4% (1994)

Imports: $140 billion (c.i.f., 1994) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union commodities: fuels, grains, chemicals, foodstuffs partners: EU 68% (Germany 22.1%), US 8.8%, former Communist countries 0.8% (1994)

External debt: $31.3 billion (1992 est.)

Economic aid: donor: ODA, $808 million (1993)

Currency: 1 Belgian franc (BF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Belgian francs (BF) per US$1 - 30.036 (January 1996), 29.480 (1995), 33.456 (1994), 34.597 (1993), 32.150 (1992), 34.148 (1991)

Fiscal year: calendar year



Transportation ———————

Railways: total: 3,396 km (2,363 km electrified; 2,563 km double track) standard gauge: 3,396 km 1.435-m gauge (1995)

Highways: total: 137,876 km paved: 129,603 km (including 1,667 km of expressways) unpaved: 8,273 km (1992 est.)

Waterways: 2,043 km (1,528 km in regular commercial use)

Pipelines: crude oil 161 km; petroleum products 1,167 km; natural gas 3,300 km

Ports: Antwerp, Brugge, Gent, Hasselt, Liege, Mons, Namur, Oostende, Zeebrugge

Merchant marine: total: 23 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 64,220 GRT/83,360 DWT ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 8, chemical tanker 5, liquefied gas tanker 3, oil tanker 6 (1995 est.)

Airports: total: 42 with paved runways over 3 047 m: 6 with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 9 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: 21 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 3 (1995 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1995 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 5.691 million (1992 est.)

Telephone system: highly developed, technologically advanced, and completely automated domestic and international telephone and telegraph facilities domestic: nationwide cellular telephone system; extensive cable network; limited microwave radio relay network international: 5 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Eutelsat

Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 39, shortwave 0

Radios: 100,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 32 (1987 est.)

Televisions: 3,315,662 (1993 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Gendarmerie

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 2,571,588 males fit for military service: 2,135,375 males reach military age (19) annually: 61,986 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $4.6 billion, 1.7% of GDP (1995)



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



@Belize ———



Map —-

Location: 17 15 N, 88 45 W — Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico



Flag ——

Description: blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges; centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland



Geography ————-

Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico

Geographic coordinates: 17 15 N, 88 45 W

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

Area: total area: 22,960 sq km land area: 22,800 sq km comparative area: slightly larger than Massachusetts

Land boundaries: total: 516 km border countries: Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 250 km

Coastline: 386 km

Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nm territorial sea: 12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south; note - from the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for the negotiation of a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala

International disputes: border with Guatemala in dispute; talks to resolve the dispute are stalled

Climate: tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to February)

Terrain: flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m highest point: Victoria Peak 1,160 m

Natural resources: arable land potential, timber, fish

Land use: arable land: 2% permanent crops: 0% meadows and pastures: 2% forest and woodland: 44% other: 52%

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment: current issues: deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff natural hazards: frequent, devastating hurricanes (September to December) and coastal flooding (especially in south) international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Whaling

Geographic note: national capital moved 80 km inland from Belize City to Belmopan because of hurricanes; only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean



People ———

Population: 219,296 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 43% (male 48,291; female 46,451) 15-64 years: 53% (male 59,132; female 57,498) 65 years and over: 4% (male 3,881; female 4,043) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.42% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 32.8 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 5.73 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: -2.89 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: 1.03 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female all ages: 1.03 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 33.9 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.53 years male: 66.58 years female: 70.58 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.12 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Belizean(s) adjective: Belizean

Ethnic divisions: mestizo 44%, Creole 30%, Maya 11%, Garifuna 7%, other 8%

Religions: Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 30% (Anglican 12%, Methodist 6%, Mennonite 4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1%, other 2%), none 2%, other 6% (1980)

Languages: English (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (Carib)

Literacy: age 14 and over has ever attended school (1991 est.) total population: 70.3% male: 70.3% female: 70.3%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Belize former: British Honduras

Data code: BH

Type of government: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Belmopan

Administrative divisions: 6 districts; Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, Toledo

Independence: 21 September 1981 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 21 September (1981)

Constitution: 21 September 1981

Legal system: English law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), a hereditary monarch, is represented by Governor General Sir Colville YOUNG (since 17 November 1993), who, according to the constitution, must be a Belizean; was appointed by the queen head of government: Prime Minister Manuel ESQUIVEL (since July 1993) was appointed by the governor general; Deputy Prime Minister Dean BARROW (since NA 1993) cabinet: Cabinet was appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister

Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly Senate: consists of an eight-member appointed body; five members are appointed on the advice of the prime minister, two on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and one after consultation with the Belize Advisory Council (this council serves as an independent body to advise the governor general with respect to difficult decisions such as granting pardons, commutations, stays of execution, the removal of justices of appeal who appear to be incompetent, etc.) National Assembly: elections last held 30 June 1993 (next to be held NA June 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (28 total) PUP 13 UDP 15

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, the chief justice is appointed by the governor general on advice of the prime minister

Political parties and leaders: People's United Party (PUP), George PRICE, Florencio MARIN, Said MUSA; United Democratic Party (UDP), Manuel ESQUIVEL, Dean LINDO, Dean BARROW; National Alliance for Belizean Rights, Philip GOLDSON

Other political or pressure groups: Society for the Promotion of Education and Research (SPEAR), Assad SHOMAN; United Workers Front, leader NA

International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIH, UPU, WCL, WHO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Dean R. LINDO chancery: 2535 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 332-9636 FAX: [1] (202) 332-6888 consulate(s) general: Los Angeles consulate(s): New York

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador George Charles BRUNO embassy: Gabourel Lane and Hutson Street, Belize City mailing address: P. O. Box 286, Belize City; APO: Unit 7401, APO AA 34025 telephone: [501] (2) 77161 through 77163 FAX: [501] (2) 30802

Flag: blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges; centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland



Economy ———-

Economic overview: The small, essentially private enterprise economy is based primarily on agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, with tourism and construction assuming increasing importance. Agriculture accounts for about 30% of GDP and provides 75% of export earnings, while sugar, the chief crop, accounts for almost 40% of hard currency earnings. The US, Belize's main trading partner, is assisting in efforts to reduce dependency on sugar with an agricultural diversification program.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $575 million (1994 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 2% (1994 est.)

GDP per capita: $2,750 (1994 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 30% industry: NA services: NA (1995 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (1994 est.)

Labor force: 51,500 by occupation: agriculture 30%, services 16%, government 15.4%, commerce 11.2%, manufacturing 10.3% note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel (1985)

Unemployment rate: 10% (1993 est.)

Budget: revenues: $126.8 million expenditures: $123.1 million, including capital expenditures of $44.8 million (FY90/91 est.)

Industries: garment production, food processing, tourism, construction

Industrial production growth rate: 3.7% (1990)

Electricity: capacity: 34,532 kW production: 110 million kWh consumption per capita: 490 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: bananas, coca, citrus, sugarcane; lumber; fish, cultured shrimp

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for cocaine; an illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; minor money-laundering center

Exports: $115 million (f.o.b., 1993) commodities: sugar, citrus fruits, bananas, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood partners: US 38%, UK, other EC (1994)

Imports: $281 million (c.i.f., 1993) commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, food, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals partners: US 53%, UK, other EC, Mexico (1994)

External debt: $167.5 million (1992)

Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Belizean dollar (Bz$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Belizean dollars (Bz$) per US$1 - 2.00 (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March



Transportation ———————

Railways: 0 km

Highways: total: 2,560 km paved: 336 km unpaved: 2,224 km (1987 est.)

Waterways: 825 km river network used by shallow-draft craft; seasonally navigable

Ports: Belize City, Big Creek, Corozol, Punta Gorda

Merchant marine: total: 89 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 311,731 GRT/470,272 DWT ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 60, container 6, liquefied gas tanker 1, oil tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 4, roll-on/roll-off cargo 4, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1 (1995 est.)

Airports: total: 35 with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 1 with paved runways under 914 m: 25 with unpaved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 1 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 8 (1995 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 15,917 (1990 est.)

Telephone system: above-average system domestic: trunk network depends primarily on microwave radio relay international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 1

Televisions: 27,048 (1993 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Belize Defense Force (includes Army, Navy, Air Force, and Volunteer Guard), Belize National Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 52,290 males fit for military service: 31,086 males reach military age (18) annually: 2,390 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $8.1 million, NA% of GDP (FY95/96)



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



@Benin ——-



Map —-

Location: 9 30 N, 2 15 E — Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Nigeria and Togo



Flag ——

Description: two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red with a vertical green band on the hoist side



Geography ————-

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Nigeria and Togo

Geographic coordinates: 9 30 N, 2 15 E

Map references: Africa

Area: total area: 112,620 sq km land area: 110,620 sq km comparative area: slightly smaller than Pennsylvania

Land boundaries: total: 1,989 km border countries: Burkina Faso 306 km, Niger 266 km, Nigeria 773 km, Togo 644 km

Coastline: 121 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north

Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Mount Tanekas 641 m

Natural resources: small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber

Land use: arable land: 12% permanent crops: 4% meadows and pastures: 4% forest and woodland: 35% other: 45%

Irrigated land: 60 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment: current issues: recent droughts have severely affected marginal agriculture in north; inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north in winter international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Desertification, Law of the Sea

Geographic note: no natural harbors



People ———

Population: 5,709,529 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 48% (male 1,376,531; female 1,367,394) 15-64 years: 50% (male 1,349,386; female 1,480,251) 65 years and over: 2% (male 60,030; female 75,937) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.32% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 46.76 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 13.53 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: 1.01 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female all ages: 0.95 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 105.1 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 52.69 years male: 50.74 years female: 54.7 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.64 children born/woman (1996 est.)

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

Ethnic divisions: African 99% (42 ethnic groups, most important being Fon, Adja, Yoruba, Bariba), Europeans 5,500

Religions: indigenous beliefs 70%, Muslim 15%, Christian 15%

Languages: French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1995 est.) total population: 37% male: 48.7% female: 25.8%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Republic of Benin conventional short form: Benin local long form: Republique du Benin local short form: Benin former: Dahomey

Data code: BN

Type of government: republic under multiparty democratic rule dropped Marxism-Leninism December 1989; democratic reforms adopted February 1990; transition to multiparty system completed 4 April 1991

Capital: Porto-Novo

Administrative divisions: 6 provinces; Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Mono, Oueme, Zou

Independence: 1 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 1 August (1990)

Constitution: 2 December 1990

Legal system: based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state and head of government: President Mathieu KEREKOU (since 4 April 1996) was elected for a five-year term by popular vote; election last held 18 March 1996 (next to be held March 2001); results - Mathieu KEREKOU 52.49%, Nicephore SOGLO 47.51% cabinet: Executive Council, appointed by the president

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale): elections last held 28 March 1995 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (83 total) Renaissance Party and allies 20, PRD 19, FARD-ALAFIA 10, PSD 7, NCC 3, RDL-VIVOTEN 3, Communist Party 2, Alliance Chameleon 1, RDP 1, ADP 1, other 16

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders: as of February 1996, more than 80 political parties were officially recognized; the following are represented in the National Assembly: Alliance of the National Party for Democracy and Development (PNDD) and the Democratic Renewal Party (PRD), Pascal Chabi KAO; Action for Renewal and Development (FARD-ALAFIA), Mathieu KEREKOU; Alliance of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the National Union for Solidarity and Progress (UNSP), Bruno AMOUSSOU; Alliance Chameleon; Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), Adekpedjon AKINDES; Alliance for Social Democracy (ASD), Robert DOSSOU; Assembly of Liberal Democrats for National Reconstruction (RDL), Severin ADJOVI; Communist Party of Benin, Pascal FATONDJI, First Secretary; Our Common Cause (NCC), Albert TEVOEDJRE; Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP); The Renaissance Party, Nicephore SOGLO

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, ECA, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIH, UPU, WADB, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Lucien Edgar TONOUKOUIN chancery: 2737 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656, 6657, 6658 FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador John M. YATES embassy: Rue Caporal Bernard Anani, Cotonou mailing address: B. P. 2012, Cotonou telephone: [229] 30-06-50, 30-05-13, 30-17-92 FAX: [229] 30-14-39, 30-19-74

Flag: two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red with a vertical green band on the hoist side



Economy ———-

Economic overview: The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output, which had averaged a sound 4% in 1990-94, rose to 6% in 1995. Rapid population growth, now 3.3% per year, offset much of this growth in output. Inflation jumped to 55% in 1994 (compared to 3% in 1993) following the 50% currency devaluation in January 1994, but subsided gradually in 1995. Commercial and transport activities, which make up 37% of GDP, are extremely vulnerable to developments in Nigeria as evidenced by decreased reexport trade in 1994 due to a severe contraction in Nigerian demand. Support by the Paris Club and official bilateral creditors has eased the external debt situation in recent years. The government, still burdened with money-losing state enterprises and a bloated civil service, has been gradually implementing a World Bank supported structural adjustment program since 1991.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $7.6 billion (1995 est.)

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

GDP per capita: $1,380 (1995 est.)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 36.8% industry: 12.6% services: 50.6% (1993)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 55% (1994 est.)

Labor force: 1.9 million (1987) by occupation: agriculture 60%, transport, commerce, and public services 38%, industry less than 2%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues: $272 million (1993 est.) expenditures: $375 million, including capital expenditures of $84 million (1993 est.)

Industries: textiles, cigarettes; beverages, food; construction materials, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity: capacity: 30,000 kW production: 10 million kWh consumption per capita: 25 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: corn, sorghum, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, rice, cotton, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, livestock

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for narcotics associated with Nigerian trafficking organizations and most commonly destined for Western Europe and the US

Exports: $310 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.) commodities: cotton, crude oil, palm products, cocoa partners: France, Morocco 37%, Portugal 14%, Spain, Italy, UK, US, Libya

Imports: $439 million (c.i.f., 1994 est.) commodities: foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco, petroleum products, intermediate goods, capital goods, light consumer goods partners: France 24%, Thailand 12%, Netherlands 7%, US 5%, China, Hong Kong

External debt: $1.5 billion (1993 est.)

Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: CFA francs (CFAF) per US$1 - 500.56 (January 1996), 499.15 (1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993), 264.69 (1992), 282.11 (1991) note: beginning 12 January 1994 the CFA franc was devalued to CFAF 100 per French franc from CFAF 50 at which it had been fixed since 1948

Fiscal year: calendar year



Transportation ———————

Railways: total: 578 km (single track) (1995 est.) narrow gauge: 578 km 1.000-m gauge

Highways: total: 6,070 km paved: 1,214 km unpaved: 4,856 km (1992 est.)

Waterways: navigable along small sections, important only locally

Ports: Cotonou, Porto-Novo

Merchant marine: none

Airports: total: 5 with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 2 with unpaved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 1 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 2 (1995 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 16,200 (1986 est.)

Telephone system: domestic: fair system of open wire and microwave radio relay international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); submarine cable

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 2, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 2

Televisions: 20,000 (1993 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Armed Forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force), National Gendarmerie

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 1,212,440 females age 15-49: 1,290,773 males fit for military service: 620,923 females fit for military service: 653,094 males reach military age (18) annually: 62,526 females reach military age (18) annually: 60,968 (1996 est.) note: both sexes are liable for military service

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $33 million, 3.2% of GDP (1994)



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



@Bermuda ———-

(dependent territory of the UK)

Map —-

Location: 32 20 N, 64 45 W — North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of North Carolina (US)



Flag ——

Description: red with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Bermudian coat of arms (white and blue shield with a red lion holding a scrolled shield showing the sinking of the ship Sea Venture off Bermuda in 1609) centered on the outer half of the flag



Geography ————-

Location: North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of North Carolina (US)

Geographic coordinates: 32 20 N, 64 45 W

Map references: North America

Area: total area: 50 sq km land area: 50 sq km comparative area: about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 103 km

Maritime claims: exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: subtropical; mild, humid; gales, strong winds common in winter

Terrain: low hills separated by fertile depressions lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Town Hill 76 m

Natural resources: limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism

Land use: arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% meadows and pastures: 0% forest and woodland: 20% other: 80%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Environment: current issues: NA natural hazards: hurricanes (June to November) international agreements: NA

Geographic note: consists of about 360 small coral islands with ample rainfall, but no rivers or freshwater lakes; some reclaimed land leased by US Government



People ———

Population: 62,099 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: NA 15-64 years: NA 65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: 0.76% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 15 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 7.3 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: NA male(s)/female under 15 years: NA male(s)/female 15-64 years: NA male(s)/female 65 years and over: NA male(s)/female all ages: NA male(s)/female

Infant mortality rate: 13.16 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.03 years male: 73.36 years female: 76.97 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.8 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Bermudian(s) adjective: Bermudian

Ethnic divisions: black 61%, white and other 39%

Religions: Anglican 37%, Roman Catholic 14%, African Methodist Episcopal (Zion) 10%, Methodist 6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5%, other 28%

Languages: English

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1970 est.) total population: 98% male: 98% female: 99%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Bermuda

Data code: BD

Type of government: dependent territory of the UK

Capital: Hamilton

Administrative divisions: 9 parishes and 2 municipalities*; Devonshire, Hamilton, Hamilton*, Paget, Pembroke, Saint George*, Saint Georges, Sandys, Smiths, Southampton, Warwick

Independence: none (dependent territory of the UK)

National holiday: Bermuda Day, 24 May

Constitution: 8 June 1968

Legal system: English law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (of the United Kingdom since 6 February 1952), a hereditary monarch, is represented by Governor Lord David WADDINGTON (since 25 August 1992), who was appointed by the queen head of government: Premier David SAUL (since 25 August 1995) was appointed by the governor; Deputy Premier Jerome DILL (since 1 September 1995) cabinet: Cabinet was nominated by the premier, appointed by the governor

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament Senate: consists of an 11-member body appointed by the governor House of Assembly: elections last held 5 October 1993 (next to be held by NA October 1998); results - UBP 50%, PLP 46%, independents 4%; seats - (40 total) UBP 22, PLP 18

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: United Bermuda Party (UBP), David SAUL; Progressive Labor Party (PLP), Frederick WADE; National Liberal Party (NLP), Gilbert DARRELL

Other political or pressure groups: Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU), Ottiwell SIMMONS

International organization participation: Caricom (observer), CCC, ICFTU, Interpol (subbureau), IOC

Diplomatic representation in US: none (dependent territory of the UK)

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Robert A. FARMER consulate general(s): Crown Hill, 16 Middle Road, Devonshire, Hamilton mailing address: P. O. Box HM325, Hamilton HMBX; American Consulate General Hamilton, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5300 telephone: [1] (441) 295-1342 FAX: [1] (441) 295-1592

Flag: red with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Bermudian coat of arms (white and blue shield with a red lion holding a scrolled shield showing the sinking of the ship Sea Venture off Bermuda in 1609) centered on the outer half of the flag



Economy ———-

Economic overview: Bermuda enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, having successfully exploited its location by providing luxury tourist facilities and financial services. The tourist industry attracts more than 90% of its business from North America. The industrial sector is small, and agriculture is severely limited by a lack of suitable land. About 80% of food needs are imported. International business contributes over 60% of Bermuda's economic output; a failed independence vote in late 1995 can be partially attributed to Bermudian's fear of scaring away foreign firms. Hurricane Felix, which hit Bermuda twice over three days, caused an estimated $2.5 million in damages in August of 1995.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.7 billion (1994 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 2.5% (1994 est.)

GDP per capita: $28,000 (1994 est.)

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.6% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 33,650 (1992) by occupation: clerical 25%, services 22%, laborers 21%, professional and technical 13%, administrative and managerial 10%, sales 7%, agriculture and fishing 2% (1984)

Unemployment rate: NEGL% (1995)

Budget: revenues: $327.5 million expenditures: $308.9 million, including capital expenditures of $35.4 million (FY90/91 est.)

Industries: tourism, finance, structural concrete products, paints, pharmaceuticals, ship repairing

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity: capacity: 140,000 kW production: 504 million kWh consumption per capita: 7,745 kWh (1993)

Agriculture: bananas, vegetables, citrus, flowers; dairy products

Exports: $60 million (f.o.b., 1991) commodities: semitropical produce, light manufactures, reexports of pharmaceuticals partners: US 62.4%, UK 20%

Imports: $519 million (f.o.b., 1993) commodities: fuel, foodstuffs, machinery partners: US 38%, UK 5%, Canada 5%

External debt: $NA

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 Bermudian dollar (Bd$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Bermudian dollar (Bd$) per US$1 - 1.0000 (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March



Transportation ———————

Railways: 0 km

Highways: total: 208 km paved: 208 km unpaved: 0 km (1986 est.) note: in addition, there are 400 km of paved and unpaved roads that are privately owned

Ports: Hamilton, Saint George

Merchant marine: total: 69 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,146,693 GRT/5,007,242 DWT ships by type: bulk 10, cargo 3, container 7, liquefied gas tanker 16, oil tanker 16, refrigerated cargo 10, roll-on/roll-off cargo 4, short-sea passenger 1, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1 note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 11 countries among which are UK 17, US 13, Canada 10, Norway 9, Nigeria 4, Sweden 3, Hong Kong 2, Syria 2, Mexico 1, and NZ 1 (1995 est.)

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



Communications ———————

Telephones: 54,000 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: domestic: modern, fully automatic telephone system international: 3 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 3, shortwave 0

Radios: 78,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 2

Televisions: 57,000 (1992 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Bermuda Regiment, Bermuda Police Force, Bermuda Reserve Constabulary

Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP

Defense note: defense is the responsibility of the UK



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



@Bhutan ———



Map —-

Location: 27 30 N, 90 30 E — Southern Asia, between China and India



Flag ——

Description: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from the hoist side



Geography ————-

Location: Southern Asia, between China and India

Geographic coordinates: 27 30 N, 90 30 E

Map references: Asia

Area: total area: 47,000 sq km land area: 47,000 sq km comparative area: slightly more than half the size of Indiana

Land boundaries: total: 1,075 km border countries: China 470 km, India 605 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

International disputes: none

Climate: varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas

Terrain: mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna lowest point: Dangme Chu 97 m highest point: Khula Kangri I 7,553 m

Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbide

Land use: arable land: 2% permanent crops: 0% meadows and pastures: 5% forest and woodland: 70% other: 23%

Irrigated land: 340 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment: current issues: soil erosion; limited access to potable water natural hazards: violent storms coming down from the Himalayas are the source of the country's name which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent landslides during the rainy season international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Nuclear Test Ban; signed, but not ratified - Law of the Sea

Geographic note: landlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls several key Himalayan mountain passes



People ———

Population: 1,822,625 (July 1996 est.) note: other estimates range as low as 600,000

Age structure: 0-14 years: 40% (male 378,407; female 351,146) 15-64 years: 56% (male 524,972; female 496,715) 65 years and over: 4% (male 36,304; female 35,081) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.32% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 38.48 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 15.28 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: 1.08 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 1.04 male(s)/female all ages: 1.06 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 116.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 51.46 years male: 51.96 years female: 50.93 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.33 children born/woman (1996 est.)

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

Ethnic divisions: Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35%, indigenous or migrant tribes 15%

Religions: Lamaistic Buddhism 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%

Languages: Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1995 est.) total population: 42.2% male: 56.2% female: 28.1%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan conventional short form: Bhutan

Data code: BT

Type of government: monarchy; special treaty relationship with India

Capital: Thimphu

Administrative divisions: 18 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha, Chirang, Daga, Geylegphug, Ha, Lhuntshi, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Shemgang, Tashigang, Thimphu, Tongsa, Wangdi Phodrang

Independence: 8 August 1949 (from India)

National holiday: National Day, 17 December (1907) (Ugyen Wangchuck became first hereditary king)

Constitution: no written constitution or bill of rights note: Bhutan uses 1953 Royal decree for the Constitution of the National Assembly

Legal system: based on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: each family has one vote in village-level elections

Executive branch: Chief of State and Head of Government (Druk Gyalpo): King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK (since 24 July 1972) is a hereditary monarch Royal Advisory Council (Lodoi Tsokde): was nominated by the king cabinet: Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog) was appointed by the king

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (Tshogdu): members serve for three years; seats - (150 total, 105 elected from village constituencies, 12 represent religious bodies, and 33 designated by the king to represent government and other secular interests)

Judicial branch: the Supreme Court of Appeal is the king; High Court, judges appointed by the king

Political parties and leaders: no legal parties

Other political or pressure groups: Buddhist clergy; Indian merchant community; ethnic Nepalese organizations leading militant antigovernment campaign

International organization participation: AsDB, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IMF, Intelsat, IOC, ITU, NAM, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO

Diplomatic representation in US: none; note - Bhutan has a Permanent Mission to the UN, headed by Ugyen TSERING; address: 2 United Nations Plaza, 27th Floor, New York, NY 10017; telephone [1] (212) 826-1919; the Bhutanese mission to the UN has consular jurisdiction in the US consulate(s) general: New York honorary consulate(s): San Francisco; Washington, DC

US diplomatic representation: the US and Bhutan have no formal diplomatic relations, although informal contact is maintained between the Bhutanese and US Embassy in New Delhi (India)

Flag: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from the hoist side



Economy ———-

Economic overview: The economy, one of the world's smallest and least developed, is based on agriculture and forestry, which provide the main livelihood for 90% of the population and account for about half of GDP. Agriculture consists largely of subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Rugged mountains dominate the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. The economy is closely aligned with India's through strong trade and monetary links. The industrial sector is small and technologically backward, with most production of the cottage industry type. Most development projects, such as road construction, rely on Indian migrant labor. Bhutan's hydropower potential and its attraction for tourists are key resources; however, the government limits the number of tourists to 4,000 per year to minimize foreign influence. The Bhutanese Government has made some progress in expanding the nation's productive base and improving social welfare but growth continues to be constrained by the government's desire to protect the country's environment and cultural traditions. Growth picked up in 1995 and the country's balance of payments remained strong with comfortable reserves. The cautious fiscal stance planned for FY95/96 suggests continued economic stability in 1996. However, excessive controls and uncertain policies in areas like industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper foreign investment.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.3 billion (1995 est.)

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

GDP per capita: $730 (1995 est.)

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.6% (FY94/95 est.)

Labor force: NA by occupation: agriculture 93%, services 5%, industry and commerce 2% note: massive lack of skilled labor

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues: $52 million expenditures: $150 million, including capital expenditures of $95 million (FY93/94 est.) note: the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of Bhutan's budget expenditures

Industries: cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide

Industrial production growth rate: 7.6% (1992 est.)

Electricity: capacity: 360,000 kW production: 1.7 billion kWh consumption per capita: 143 kWh (1993) note: Bhutan exports electricity to India

Agriculture: rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs

Exports: $70.9 million (f.o.b., FY94/95 est.) commodities: cardamon, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit, electricity (to India), precious stones, spices partners: India 94%, Bangladesh

Imports: $113.6 million (c.i.f., FY94/95 est.) commodities: fuel and lubricants, grain, machinery and parts, vehicles, fabrics, rice partners: India 77%, Japan, UK, Germany, US

External debt: $141 million (October 1994)

Economic aid: recipient: $NA

Currency: 1 ngultrum (Nu) = 100 chetrum; note - Indian currency is also legal tender

Exchange rates: ngultrum (Nu) per US$1 - 35.766 (January 1996), 32.427 (1995), 31.374 (1994), 30.493 (1993), 25.918 (1992), 22.742 (1991); note - the Bhutanese ngultrum is at par with the Indian rupee

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June



Transportation ———————

Railways: 0 km

Highways: total: 1,296 km paved: 416 km unpaved: 880 km (1988 est.)

Ports: none

Airports: total: 2 with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 1 with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 1 (1995 est.)



Communications ———————

Telephones: 4,620 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: domestic: domestic telephone service is very poor with very few telephones in use international: international telephone and telegraph service is by landline through India; a satellite earth station was planned (1990)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1990)

Radios: 23,000 (1989 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 0 (1990 est.)

Televisions: 200 (1985 est.)



Defense ———-

Branches: Royal Bhutan Army, Palace Guard, Militia

Manpower availability: males age 15-49: 444,875 males fit for military service: 237,529 males reach military age (18) annually: 17,634 (1996 est.)

Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP



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



@Bolivia ———-



Map —-

Location: 17 00 S, 65 00 W — Central South America, southwest of Brazil



Flag ——

Description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with the coat of arms centered on the yellow band; similar to the flag of Ghana, which has a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band



Geography ————-

Location: Central South America, southwest of Brazil

Geographic coordinates: 17 00 S, 65 00 W

Map references: South America

Area: total area: 1,098,580 sq km land area: 1,084,390 sq km comparative area: slightly less than three times the size of Montana

Land boundaries: total: 6,743 km border countries: Argentina 832 km, Brazil 3,400 km, Chile 861 km, Paraguay 750 km, Peru 900 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

International disputes: has wanted a sovereign corridor to the South Pacific Ocean since the Atacama area was lost to Chile in 1884; dispute with Chile over Rio Lauca water rights

Climate: varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid

Terrain: rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin lowest point: Rio Paraguay 90 m highest point: Cerro Illimani 6,882 m

Natural resources: tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber

Land use: arable land: 3% permanent crops: 0% meadows and pastures: 25% forest and woodland: 52% other: 20%

Irrigated land: 1,650 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment: current issues: the clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of biodiversity; industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and irrigation natural hazards: cold, thin air of high plateau is obstacle to efficient fuel combustion, as well as to physical activity by those unaccustomed to it from birth; flooding in the northeast (March-April) international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection

Geographic note: landlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru



People ———

Population: 7,165,257 (July 1996 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 39% (male 1,422,313; female 1,390,885) 15-64 years: 56% (male 1,959,989; female 2,042,135) 65 years and over: 5% (male 153,111; female 196,824) (July 1996 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.82% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 32.37 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 10.75 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: -3.41 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: 0.78 male(s)/female all ages: 0.97 male(s)/female (1996 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 67.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 59.81 years male: 56.94 years female: 62.82 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.25 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Nationality: noun: Bolivian(s) adjective: Bolivian

Ethnic divisions: Quechua 30%, Aymara 25%, mestizo (mixed European and Indian ancestry) 25%-30%, European 5%-15%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist)

Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official)

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1995 est.) total population: 83.1% male: 90.5% female: 76%



Government —————

Name of country: conventional long form: Republic of Bolivia conventional short form: Bolivia local long form: Republica de Bolivia local short form: Bolivia

Data code: BL

Type of government: republic

Capital: La Paz (seat of government); Sucre (legal capital and seat of judiciary)

Administrative divisions: 9 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Beni, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Tarija

Independence: 6 August 1825 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 6 August (1825)

Constitution: 2 February 1967

Legal system: based on Spanish law and Napoleonic Code; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age, universal and compulsory (married); 21 years of age, universal and compulsory (single)

Executive branch: chief of state and head of government: President Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA Bustamente (since 6 August 1993) and Vice President Victor Hugo CARDENAS Conde (since 6 August 1993) were elected for four-year terms by popular vote; election last held 6 June 1993 (next to be held NA May 1997); results - Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA (MNR) 34%, Hugo BANZER Suarez (ADN/MIR alliance) 20%, Carlos PALENQUE Aviles (CONDEPA) 14%, Max FERNANDEZ Rojas (UCS) 13%, Antonio ARANIBAR Quiroga (MBL) 5%; no candidate received a majority of the popular vote; Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA won a congressional runoff election on 4 August 1993 after forming a coalition with Max FERNANDEZ and Antonio ARANIBAR; FERNANDEZ died in a plane crash 26 November 1995 cabinet: Cabinet was appointed by the president from panel of candidates proposed by the Senate

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress (Congreso Nacional) Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados): elections last held 6 June 1993 (next to be held NA May 1997); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (130 total) MNR 52, UCS 20, ADN 17, MIR 17, CONDEPA 13, MBL 7, ARBOL 1, ASD 1, EJE 1, PCD 1 Chamber of Senators (Camara de Senadores): elections last held 6 June 1993 (next to be held NA May 1997); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (27 total) MNR 17, ADN 4, MIR 4, CONDEPA 1, UCS 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema), judges appointed for a 10-year term by National Congress

Political parties and leaders: Left parties: Free Bolivia Movement (MBL), Antonio ARANIBAR; April 9 Revolutionary Vanguard (VR-9), Carlos SERRATE; Alternative of Democratic Socialism (ASD), Jerjes JUSTINIANO; Revolutionary Front of the Left (FRI), Oscar ZAMORA; Bolivian Socialist Falange (FSB); Socialist Unzaguista Movement (MAS); Socialist Party One (PS-1); Bolivian Communist Party (PCB) Center-Left parties: Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR), Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA; Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR), Jaime PAZ Zamora, Oscar EID; Christian Democrat (PCD), Jorge AGREDA Center-Right party: Nationalist Democratic Action (ADN), Jorge LANDIVAR, Hugo BANZER Populist parties: Civic Solidarity Union (UCS), Johnny FERNANDEZ; Conscience of the Fatherland (CONDEPA), Carlos PALENQUE Aviles; Popular Patriotic Movement (MPP), Julio MANTILLA; Unity and Progress Movement (MUP), Ivo KULJIS Evangelical: Bolivian Renovating Alliance (ARBOL), Hugo VILLEGAS indigenous: Tupac Katari Revolutionary Liberation Movement (MRTK-L), Victor Hugo CARDENAS Conde; Patriotic Axis of Convergence (EJE-P), Ramiro BARRANCHEA; National Katarista Movement (MKN), Fernando UNTOJA

International organization participation: AG, ECLAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Fernando Alvaro COSSIO chancery: 3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 483-4410 through 4412 FAX: [1] (202) 328-3712 consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco

US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Curtis Warren KAMMAN embassy: Avenida Arce 2780, San Jorge, La Paz mailing address: P. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032 telephone: [591] (2) 430251 FAX: [591] (2) 433900

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with the coat of arms centered on the yellow band; similar to the flag of Ghana, which has a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band



Economy ———-

Economic overview: With its long history of semifeudal social controls, dependence on volatile prices for its mineral exports, and bouts of hyperinflation, Bolivia has remained one of the poorest and least developed Latin American countries. However, Bolivia has experienced generally improving economic conditions since the PAZ Estenssoro administration (1985-89) introduced market-oriented policies which reduced inflation from 11,700% in 1985 to about 20% in 1988. PAZ Estenssoro was followed as president by Jaime PAZ Zamora (1989-93) who continued the free-market policies of his predecessor, despite opposition from his own party and from Bolivia's once powerful labor movement. By maintaining fiscal discipline, PAZ Zamora helped reduce inflation to 9.3% in 1993, while GDP grew by an annual average of 3.25% during his tenure. Inaugurated in August 1993, President SANCHEZ DE LOZADA has vowed to advance the market-oriented economic reforms he helped launch as PAZ Estenssoro's planning minister. His successes so far have included the signing of a free trade agreement with Mexico and progress on his unique privatization plan. The main privatization bill was passed by the Bolivian legislature in late March 1994. Since that time, the administration has privatized the electric power generation sector, the state airline, the state telephone company, and the national railroad. The state mining and petroleum companies are expected to be privatized in 1996.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $20 billion (1995 est.)

GDP real growth rate: 3.7% (1995 est.)

GDP per capita: $2,530 (1995 est.)

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 12% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 3.54 million by occupation: agriculture NA%, services and utilities 20%, manufacturing, mining and construction 7% (1993)

Unemployment rate: urban rate 8% (1995 est.)

Budget: revenues: $3.75 billion expenditures: $3.75 billion, including capital expenditures of $556.2 million (1995 est.)

Industries: mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing

Industrial production growth rate: 5% (1994 est.)

Electricity: capacity: 756,200 kW production: 2.116 billion kWh consumption per capita: 367 kWh (1994)

Agriculture: coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes; timber

Illicit drugs: world's third-largest cultivator of coca (after Peru and Colombia) with an estimated 48,600 hectares under cultivation in 1995, a one percent increase in overall cultivation of coca over 1994 levels; Bolivia, however, is the second-largest producer of harvested coca leaf; even so, voluntary and forced eradication programs resulted in leaf production dropping from 89,800 metric tons in 1994 to 85,000 tons in 1995; government considers all but 12,000 hectares illicit; intermediate coca products and cocaine exported to or through Colombia and Brazil to the US and other international drug markets; alternative crop program aims to reduce illicit coca cultivation

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