Akrotiri

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



GEOGRAPHY
Location: peninsula on the southwest coast of Cyprus
Geographic coordinates: 34 37 N, 32 58 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: total: 123 sq km note: includes a salt lake and wetlands
Area - comparative: about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: total: 47.4 km
border countries: Cyprus 47.4 km
Coastline: 56.3 km
Climate: temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
Environment - current issues: shooting around the salt lake; note - breeding place for loggerhead and green turtles; only remaining colony of griffon vultures is on the base
Geography - note: British extraterritorial rights also extended to several small off-post sites scattered across Cyprus



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



GOVERNMENT
Country name: conventional long form: Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area
conventional short form: Akrotiri
Dependency status: overseas territory of UK; administered by an administrator who is also the Commander, British Forces Cyprus
Capital: name: Episkopi Cantonment; also serves as capital of Dhekelia
geographic coordinates: 34 40 N, 32 51 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Constitution: Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council 1960, effective 16 August 1960
Legal system: the Sovereign Base Area Administration has its own court system to deal with civil and criminal matters; laws applicable to the Cypriot population are, as far as possible, the same as the laws of the Republic of Cyprus
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952) head of government: Administrator Air Vice-Marshal Richard LACEY (since 26 April 2006); note - reports to the British Ministry of Defense elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the administrator is appointed by the monarch
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Flag description: the flag of the UK is used



ECONOMY
Economy - overview: Economic activity is limited to providing services to the military and their families located in Akrotiri. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.
Currency (code): Cypriot pound (CYP)
Exchange rates: Cypriot pounds per US dollar - 0.46019 (2006), 0.4641 (2005), 0.4686 (2004), 0.5174 (2003), 0.6107 (2002)



COMMUNICATIONS
Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM 1, shortwave NA (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides Radio 1 and Radio 2 service to Akrotiri, Dhekelia, and Nicosia) (2006)
Television broadcast stations: 0 (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides multi-channel satellite service to Akrotiri, Dhekelia, and Nicosia) (2006)



MILITARTY
Military - note: Akrotiri has a full RAF base, Headquarters for British Forces on Cyprus, and Episkopi Support Unit

This page was last updated on 1 May, 2008

Lesotho

INTRODUCTION
Background: Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. The Basuto National Party ruled for the first two decades. King MOSHOESHOE was exiled in 1990, but returned to Lesotho in 1992 and was reinstated in 1995. Constitutional government was restored in 1993 after seven years of military rule. In 1998, violent protests and a military mutiny following a contentious election prompted a brief but bloody intervention by South African and Botswanan military forces under the aegis of the Southern African Development Community. Subsequent constitutional reforms restored relative political stability. Peaceful parliamentary elections were held in 2002, but the National Assembly elections of February 2007 were hotly contested and aggrieved parties continue to periodically demonstrate their distrust of the results.



GEOGRAPHY
Location: Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa
Geographic coordinates: 29 30 S, 28 30 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 30,355 sq km
land: 30,355 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries: total: 909 km
border countries: South Africa 909 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers
Terrain: mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers 1,400 m
highest point: Thabana Ntlenyana 3,482 m
Natural resources: water, agricultural and grazing land, diamonds, sand, clay, building stone
Land use: arable land: 10.87%
permanent crops: 0.13%
other: 89% (2005)
Irrigated land: 30 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 5.2 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 0.05 cu km/yr (40%/40%/20%)
per capita: 28 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: periodic droughts
Environment - current issues: population pressure forcing settlement in marginal areas results in overgrazing, severe soil erosion, and soil exhaustion; desertification; Highlands Water Project controls, stores, and redirects water to South Africa
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note: landlocked, completely surrounded by South Africa; mountainous, more than 80% of the country is 1,800 meters above sea level



PEOPLE
Population: 2,125,262
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 35.7% (male 382,308/female 377,303)
15-64 years: 59.3% (male 613,979/female 645,818)
65 years and over: 5% (male 42,621/female 63,233) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 21.1 years
male: 20.4 years
female: 21.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.144% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 24.72 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 22.49 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.013 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.951 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.674 male(s)/female
total population: 0.956 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 79.85 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 84.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 75.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 39.97 years
male: 40.73 years
female: 39.18 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.21 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 28.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 320,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 29,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)
adjective: Basotho
Ethnic groups: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%,
Religions: Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%
Languages: Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84.8%
male: 74.5%
female: 94.5% (2003 est.)



GOVERNMENT
Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Lesotho
conventional short form: Lesotho
local long form: Kingdom of Lesotho
local short form: Lesotho
former: Basutoland
Government type: parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Maseru
geographic coordinates: 29 19 S, 27 29 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 10 districts; Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohale's Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha's Nek, Quthing, Thaba-Tseka
Independence: 4 October 1966 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 4 October (1966)
Constitution: 2 April 1993
Legal system: based on English common law and Roman-Dutch law; judicial review of legislative acts in High Court and Court of Appeal; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: King LETSIE III (since 7 February 1996); note - King LETSIE III formerly occupied the throne from November 1990 to February 1995 while his father was in exile
head of government: Prime Minister Pakalitha MOSISILI (since 23 May 1998)
cabinet: Cabinet
elections: none - according to the constitution, the leader of the majority party in the Assembly automatically becomes prime minister; the monarch is hereditary, but, under the terms of the constitution, that came into effect after the March 1993 election, the monarch is a "living symbol of national unity" with no executive or legislative powers; under traditional law the college of chiefs has the power to depose the monarch, determine who is next in the line of succession, or who shall serve as regent in the event that the successor is not of mature age
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (33 members - 22 principal chiefs and 11 other members appointed by the ruling party) and the Assembly (120 seats, 80 by popular vote and 40 by proportional vote; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
elections: last held 17 February 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
stelection results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LCD 61, NIP 21, ABC 17, LWP 10, ACP 4, BNP 3, other 4
Judicial branch: High Court (chief justice appointed by the monarch acting on the advice of the Prime Minister); Court of Appeal; Magistrate Courts; customary or traditional court
Political parties and leaders: Alliance of Congress Parties or ACP; All Basotho Convention or ABC [Thomas THABANE]; Basotholand African Congress or BAC [Khauhelo RALITAPOLE]; Basotho Congress Party or BCP [Ntsukunyane MPHANYA]; Basotho National Party or BNP [Maj. Gen. Justin Metsing LEKHANYA]; Kopanang Basotho Party or KPB [Pheelo MOSALA]; Lesotho Congress for Democracy or LCD (the governing party) [Pakalitha MOSISILI]; Lesotho Education Party or LEP [Thabo PITSO]; Lesotho Workers Party or LWP [Macaefa BILLY]; Marematlou Freedom Party or MFP [Vincent MALEBO]; National Independent Party or NIP [Anthony MANYELI]; New Lesotho Freedom Party or NLFP [Manapo MAJARA]; Popular Front for Democracy or PFD [Lekhetho RAKUOANE]; Sefate Democratic Union or SDU [Bofihla NKUEBE]; Social Democratic Party of SDP [Masitise SELESO]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mabasia MOHOBANE
chancery: 2511 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 797-5533 through 5536
FAX: [1] (202) 234-6815
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Robert NOLAN
embassy: 254 Kingsway, Maseru West (Consular Section)
mailing address: P. O. Box 333, Maseru 100, Lesotho
telephone: [266] 22 312666
FAX: [266] 22 310116
Flag description: three horizontal stripes of blue (top), white, and green in the proportions of 3:4:3; the colors represent rain, peace, and prosperity respectively; centered in the white stripe is a black Basotho hat representing the indigenous people; the flag was unfurled in October 2006 to celebrate 40 years of independence



ECONOMY
Economy - overview: Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho relies on remittances from miners employed in South Africa and customs duties from the Southern Africa Customs Union for the majority of government revenue. However, the government has recently strengthened its tax system to reduce dependency on customs duties. Completion of a major hydropower facility in January 1998 now permits the sale of water to South Africa and also generates royalties for Lesotho. Lesotho produces about 90% of its own electrical power needs. As the number of mineworkers has declined steadily over the past several years, a small manufacturing base has developed based on farm products that support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries, as well as a rapidly expanding apparel-assembly sector. The latter has grown significantly mainly due to Lesotho qualifying for the trade benefits contained in the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. The economy is still primarily based on subsistence agriculture, especially livestock, although drought has decreased agricultural activity. The extreme inequality in the distribution of income remains a major drawback. Lesotho has signed an Interim Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility with the IMF. In July 2007 Lesotho signed a Millennium Challenge Account Compact with the US worth $362.5 million.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $3.088 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $1.588 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,500 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 15.2%
industry: 45%
services: 39.7% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 838,000 (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 86% of resident population engaged in subsistence agriculture; roughly 35% of the active male wage earners work in South Africa
industry and services: 14% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate: 45% (2002)
Population below poverty line: 49% (1999)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.9%
highest 10%: 43.4% (2002 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 63.2 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 12% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 48.5% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $951.4 million
expenditures: $855.4 million (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley; livestock
Industries: food, beverages, textiles, apparel assembly, handicrafts, construction, tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 12% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 350 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2005)
Electricity - consumption: 338.5 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 13 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2005)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 1,400 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 1,400 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: $-28 million (2007 est.)
Exports: $905 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: manufactures 75% (clothing, footwear, road vehicles), wool and mohair, food and live animals (2000)
Exports - partners: US 81.9%, Belgium 15%, Canada 1.9% (2006)
Imports: $1.584 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: food; building materials, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum products
Imports - partners: Hong Kong 33.4%, China 31.2%, Germany 7.7%, India 7.3% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $68.82 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $889 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $693 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Currency (code): loti (LSL); South African rand (ZAR)
Currency code: LSL; ZAR
Exchange rates: maloti per US dollar - 7.25 (2007), 6.85 (2006), 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004), 7.5648 (2003)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March



COMMUNICATIONS
Telephones - main lines in use: 48,000 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 249,800 (2005)
Telephone system: general assessment: rudimentary system consisting of a modest but growing number of landlines, a small microwave radio relay system, and a small radiotelephone communication system; mobile-cellular telephone system is expanding
domestic: privatized in 2001, Telecom Lesotho tasked with providing an additional 50,000 fixed-line connections within five years, a target not met; mobile-cellular service is expanding with a subscribership approaching 15 per 100 persons; rural services are scant
international: country code - 266; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: NA (2002)
Television broadcast stations: 1 (2000)
Televisions: NA
Internet country code: .ls
Internet hosts: 66 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 51,500 (2005)



TRANSPORTATION
Airports: 28 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 25
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 21 (2007)
Roadways: total: 5,940 km
paved: 1,087 km
unpaved: 4,853 km (1999)



MILITARY
Military branches: Lesotho Defense Force (LDF): Army and Air Wing
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age (est.); no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 428,982
females age 18-49: 440,102 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 180,797
females age 18-49: 160,681 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.6% (2006)
Military - note: the Lesotho Government in 1999 began an open debate on the future structure, size, and role of the armed forces, especially considering the Lesotho Defense Force's (LDF) history of intervening in political affairs



TRANSNATIONAL ISSUES
Disputes - international: none

This page was last updated on 15 April, 2008

Tuvalu

INTRODUCTION
Background: In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over a 12-year period.



GEOGRAPHY
Location: Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 S, 178 00 E
Map references: Oceania
Area: total: 26 sq km
land: 26 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 24 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)
Terrain: very low-lying and narrow coral atolls
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 5 m
Natural resources: fish
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 66.67%
other: 33.33% (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: severe tropical storms are usually rare, but, in 1997, there were three cyclones; low level of islands make them sensitive to changes in sea level
Environment - current issues: since there are no streams or rivers and groundwater is not potable, most water needs must be met by catchment systems with storage facilities (the Japanese Government has built one desalination plant and plans to build one other); beachhead erosion because of the use of sand for building materials; excessive clearance of forest undergrowth for use as fuel; damage to coral reefs from the spread of the Crown of Thorns starfish; Tuvalu is concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table; in 2000, the government appealed to Australia and New Zealand to take in Tuvaluans if rising sea levels should make evacuation necessary
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: one of the smallest and most remote countries on Earth; six of the 9 coral atolls - Nanumea, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti, and Nukulaelae - have lagoons open to the ocean; Nanumaya and Niutao have landlocked lagoons; Niulakita does not have a lagoon



PEOPLE
Population: 12,177 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 29.4% (male 1,826/female 1,754)
15-64 years: 65.4% (male 3,891/female 4,073)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 236/female 397) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 25.2 years
male: 24.2 years
female: 26.4 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.577% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 22.75 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 6.98 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: NA (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 18.97 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.56 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.97 years
male: 66.7 years
female: 71.36 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.94 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Tuvaluan(s)
adjective: Tuvaluan
Ethnic groups: Polynesian 96%, Micronesian 4%
Religions: Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, Baha'i 1%, other 0.6%
Languages: Tuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)
Literacy: NA



GOVERNMENT
Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Tuvalu
local long form: none
local short form: Tuvalu
former: Ellice Islands
note: "Tuvalu" means "group of eight," referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands
Government type: constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Funafuti
geographic coordinates: 8 30 S, 179 12 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: administrative offices are located in Vaiaku Village on Fongafale Islet
Administrative divisions: none
Independence: 1 October 1978 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 1 October (1978)
Constitution: 1 October 1978
Legal system: NA
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Filoimea TELITO (since 15 April 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Apisai IELEMIA (since 14 August 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by and from the members of Parliament; election last held 14 August 2006 (next to be held following parliamentary elections in 2010)
election results: Apisai IELEMIA elected Prime Minister in a Parliamentary election on 14 August 2006
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Fale I Fono, also called House of Assembly (15 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 3 August 2006 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 15
Judicial branch: High Court (a chief justice visits twice a year to preside over its sessions; its rulings can be appealed to the Court of Appeal in Fiji); eight Island Courts (with limited jurisdiction)
Political parties and leaders: there are no political parties but members of Parliament usually align themselves in informal groupings
Political pressure groups and leaders: none
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, C, FAO, IFRCS (observer), IMO, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO
Diplomatic representation in the US: Tuvalu does not have an embassy in the US - the country's only diplomatic post is in Fiji - Tuvalu does, however, have a UN office located at 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400D, New York, NY 10017, telephone: [1] (212) 490-0534
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Tuvalu; the US ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tuvalu
Flag description:light blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the outer half of the flag represents a map of the country with nine yellow five-pointed stars symbolizing the nine islands



ECONOMY
Economy - overview: Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. The country has no known mineral resources and few exports. Subsistence farming and fishing are the primary economic activities. Fewer than 1,000 tourists, on average, visit Tuvalu annually. Job opportunities are scarce and public sector workers make up the majority of those employed. About 15% of the adult male population work as seamen on merchant ships abroad and remittances are a vital source of income, contributing around $4 million in 2006. Substantial income is received annually from the Tuvalu Trust Fund (TTF), an international trust fund established in 1987 by Australia, NZ, and the UK and supported also by Japan and South Korea. Thanks to wise investments and conservative withdrawals, this fund grew from an initial $17 million to an estimated value of $77 million in 2006. The TFF contributed nearly $9 million towards the government budget in 2006 and is an important cushion for meeting shortfalls in the government's budget. The US Government is also a major revenue source for Tuvalu because of payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries. In an effort to ensure financial stability and sustainability, the government is pursuing public sector reforms, including privatization of some government functions and personnel cuts. Tuvalu also derives royalties from the lease of its ".tv" Internet domain name, with revenue of more than $2 million in 2006. A minor source of government revenue comes from the sale of stamps and coins. With merchandise exports only a fraction of merchandise imports, continued reliance must be placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and income from overseas investments. Growing income disparities and the vulnerability of the country to climatic change are among leading concerns for the nation.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $14.94 million (2002 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $14.94 million (2002)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,600 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 16.6%
industry: 27.2%
services: 56.2% (2002)
Labor force: 3,615 (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: note: people make a living mainly through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls and from wages sent home by those abroad (mostly workers in the phosphate industry and sailors)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.8% (2006 est.)
Budget: revenues: $21.54 million
expenditures: $23.05 million (2006)
Agriculture - products: coconuts; fish
Industries: fishing, tourism, copra
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: NA
hydro: NA
nuclear: NA
other: NA
Current account balance: -$11.68 million (2003)
Exports: $1 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities: copra, fish
Exports - partners: Germany 60.5%, Italy 20.1%, Fiji 6.9% (2006)
Imports: $12.91 million c.i.f. (2005)
Imports - commodities: food, animals, mineral fuels, machinery, manufactured goods
Imports - partners: Fiji 46.1%, Japan 18.9%, China 18.2%, Australia 7.7%, NZ 4.1% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $10.49 million
note: includes distributions from the Tuvalu Trust Fund (2006)
Debt - external: $NA
Currency (code): Australian dollar (AUD); note - there is also a Tuvaluan dollar
Currency code: AUD
Exchange rates: Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.2137 (2007), 1.328 (2006), 1.3095 (2005), 1.3598 (2004), 1.5419 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year



COMMUNICATIONS
Telephones - main lines in use: 900 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 1,300 (2005)
Telephone system: general assessment: serves particular needs for internal communications
domestic: radiotelephone communications between islands
international: country code - 688; international calls can be made by satellite
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (2004)
Radios: 4,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 0 (2004)
Televisions: 800
Internet country code: .tv
Internet hosts: 30,200 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 1,300 (2002)



TRANSPORTATION
Airports: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
Roadways: total: 8 km
paved: 8 km (2002)
Merchant marine: total: 74 ships (1000 GRT or over) 568,759 GRT/928,697 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 45, chemical tanker 5, container 2, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 13, refrigerated cargo 1, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 61 (China 25, Hong Kong 10, Kenya 1, Maldives 1, Romania 1, Russia 4, Singapore 13, Thailand 1, Turkey 1, US 1, Vietnam 3) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Funafuti



MILITARY
Military branches: no regular military forces; Police Force
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA



TRANSNATIONAL ISSUES
Disputes - international: none

This page was last updated on 15 April, 2008