France

  • 7 June 2012

Geography:

Location: France is the largest country in the European Union, it extends from the North Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Part of the french territory are also French Guiana (Northern South America), Guadeloupe and Martinique (Caribbean islands), Mayotte and Reunion (islands in the Indian Ocean ) .
Total area: 675.417 sq km( 543.965 sq km metropolitan France ).
Capital: Paris
Natural resources : metropolitan France: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, fish .
French Guiana: gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay .
Natural hazards : metropolitan France: flooding, avalanches, midwinter windstorms, drought, forest fires in south near the Mediterranean .
Overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones), flooding and volcanic activity .
Environment current issues : some forests have been damaged from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions .

Demography:
Population: 65,630,692 (July 2012 est.)
Median age: 39,9 years
Population growth rate: 0,497 %
Birth rate: 12.72 births/1.000 population
Death rate: 8.85 deaths/1.000 population
Urban population: 85% of total population
Rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change
Ethnic groups: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities .
Languages : French
Religions : Roman Catholic (83%-88%), Protestant (2%), Jewish (1%), Muslim (5%-10%).
Overseas departments: Hindu, Buddhist and pagan .
Literacy rate: 99% (male: 99%, female: 99% ).

Government:
Government type: republic.
Independence: no official date .
Constitution: 28 September 1958.
Suffrage: universal .

Economy:

France plays an important role in the worldwide strategic decisions , being one of the permanent members of UN Security Council and being a member of Nato,G-8, G-20 and European Union.
The State intervention in french economy has gradually declined over the time .
Indeed, currently the only sectors that are still influenced by the presence of the State, are the armament industry and the public transport.

Currency : Euro
GDP (Gross Domestic Product): $2.808 trillion
GDP-per capita: $35,000
Unemployment rate: 9.1%
Public debt: 85.5% of GDP
Inflation rate : 2%
Central Bank discount rate: 1.75%

Production :

Agriculture: wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes. Other productions : beef, dairy products; fish .
Industries: machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing, tourism .
Industrial production growth rate : 3.7%

Energy sector:

Electricity:
• Production: 510 billion kWh
• Consumption: 460.9 billion kWh
• Exports: 44.91 billion kWh
• Imports: 25.7 billion kWh
Oil:
• Production: 84.820 bbl/day
• Consumption: 1.861 million bbl/day
• Exports : 487.200 bbl/day
• Imports: 2.22 million bbl/day
• Proved reserves : 91.63 million bbl

Natural gas:
• Production: 721 million cu m
• Consumption: 49.78 billion cu m
• Exports: 2.945 billion cu m
• Imports: 46.2 billion cu m
• Proved reserves: 6.796 billion cu m

Current account balance : -$74.3 billion

Exports: $578.4 billion
• Commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages .
• Main exports partners: Germany 16.4%, Italy 8.2%, Belgium 7.7%, Spain 7.6%, UK 6.8%, US 5.1%, Netherlands 4.2% .
Imports: $684.6 billion
• Commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals .
• Main imports partners : Germany 19.3%, Belgium 11.4%, Italy 8%, Netherlands 7.5%, Spain 6.8%, China 5.1%, UK 5% .

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold : $166.2 billion
External debt : $5.633 trillion

Stock of direct foreign investment :
• At home : $1.186 trillion
• Abroad : $1.787 trillion

Transportation :
Airports : 475
Railways : 29,640 km
Roadways : 951,200 km
Ports and terminals : Calais, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rouen .

Montenegro

  • 4 June 2012

Geography:
Location: Southeastern Europe. Montenegro has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the southeast.
Total area: 13,812 sq km
Capital: Podgorica
Natural resources : bauxite, hydroelectricity .
Natural hazards : destructive earthquakes
Environment current issues : pollution of coastal waters from sewage outlets, especially in tourist-related areas such as Kotor .

Demography:
Population: 657,394
Median age: 37.8 years
Population growth rate: -0.633%
Birth rate: 10.89 births/1.000 population
Death rate: 9.03 deaths/1.000 population
Urban population: 61% of total population
Rate of urbanization: 0.1% annual rate of change
Ethnic groups: Montenegrin 43%, Serbian 32%, Bosniak 8%, Albanian 5%, other (Muslims, Croats, Roma (Gypsy)) 12% .
Languages: Serbian 63.6%, Montenegrin (official) 22%, Bosnian 5.5%, Albanian 5.3%, unspecified (includes Croatian) 3.7%.
Religions : Orthodox 74.2%, Muslim 17.7%, Catholic 3.5%, other 0.6%, unspecified 3%, atheist 1%
Literacy rate: NA

Government:
Government type: republic
Independence: 3 June 2006 (from Serbia and Montenegro) .
Constitution: 19 October 2007
Suffrage: universal

Economy:
Montenegro’s economy is transitioning to a market system, but the state sector remains large and additional institutional changes are needed. The economy relies heavily on tourism and the export of refined metals. Unprofitable state-owned enterprises weigh on public finances.
Montenegro has privatized its large aluminum complex – the dominant industry – as well as most of its financial sector, and has begun to attract foreign direct investment in the tourism sector.

Currency : Euro
GDP (Gross Domestic Product): $6.957 billion
GDP-per capita: $11,200
Real growth rate : 1.8%
Unemployment rate: 11.5%
Public debt: 45% of GDP
Inflation rate : 3%
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 9.73%

Production:
Agriculture: tobacco, potatoes, citrus fruits, olives, grapes; sheep .
Industries: steelmaking, aluminum, agricultural processing, consumer goods, tourism .
Industrial production growth rate : NA

Energy sector:
Electricity:
• Production: 2.66 billion kWh
• Consumption: 4.1 billion kWh
• Exports: 0 kWh
• Imports: 1.5 billion kWh

Oil:
• Production: 0 bbl/day
• Consumption: 4,000 bbl/day
• Exports : 0 bbl/day
• Imports: 3,149 bbl/day
• Proved reserves : 0 bbl

Natural gas:
• Production: 0 cu m
• Consumption: 0 cu m NA cu m
• Exports: 0 cu m
• Imports: 0 cu m
• Proved reserves: 0 cu m

Current account balance: -$1.927 billion

Exports: $640 million
• Commodities: NA
• Main exports partners: Serbia 17.5%, Hungary 16.9%, Croatia 10.1%

Imports: $2.5 billion
• Commodities: NA
• Main imports partners : Serbia 28.4%, Greece 7.9%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 7.6% .

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold : $400 million
External debt : $1.2 billion
Stock of direct foreign investment : NA

Transportation:
Airports : 5
Railways : 250 km
Roadways : 7,624 km
Ports and terminals : Bar

Slovenia

  • 4 June 2012

Geography:
Location: south Central Europe . Slovenia borders with Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and southeast, and Hungary to the northeast .
Total area: 20,273 sq km
Capital: Ljubljana
Natural resources : lignite coal, lead, zinc, building stone, hydropower, forests
Natural hazards : flooding and earthquakes .
Environment current issues : Sava River polluted with domestic and industrial waste; pollution of coastal waters with heavy metals and toxic chemicals; forest damage near Koper from air pollution (originating at metallurgical and chemical plants) and resulting acid rain .

Demography:
Population: 1,996,617
Median age: 42.4 years
Population growth rate: -0.185%
Birth rate: 8.76 births/1,000 population
Death rate: 11 deaths/1,000 population
Urban population: 50% of total population
Rate of urbanization: 0.2% annual rate of change
Ethnic groups: Slovene 83.1%, Serb 2%, Croat 1.8%, Bosniak 1.1%, other or unspecified 12% .
Languages: Slovenian (official) 91.1%, Serbo-Croatian 4.5%, other or unspecified 4.4%, Italian (official, only in municipalities where Italian national communities reside), Hungarian (official, only in municipalities where Hungarian national communities reside).
Religions : Catholic 57.8%, Muslim 2.4%, Orthodox 2.3%, other Christian 0.9%, unaffiliated 3.5%, other or unspecified 23%, none 10.1% .
Literacy rate: 99.7% (male: 99.7%, female : 99.6%, ).

Government:
Government type: parliamentary republic
Independence: 25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
Constitution: 23 December 1991
Suffrage: universal

Economy:
Slovenia became the first 2004 European Union entrant to adopt the euro (on 1 January 2007) and has experienced one of the most stable political and economic transitions in Central and Southeastern Europe. With the highest per capita GDP in Central Europe, Slovenia has excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and a strategic location between the Balkans and Western Europe. Privatization has lagged since 2002, and the economy has one of highest levels of state control in the EU. Structural reforms to improve the business environment have allowed for somewhat greater foreign participation in Slovenia’s economy and have helped to lower unemployment.

Currency : Euro
GDP (Gross Domestic Product): $58.56 billion
GDP-per capita: $29.100
Real growth rate : 1.1%
Unemployment rate: 10.8%
Public debt: 45.5% of GDP
Inflation rate : 1.9%
Central Bank discount rate: 1.75%

Production:
Agriculture: potatoes, hops, wheat, sugar beets, corn, grapes; cattle, sheep, poultry .
Industries: ferrous metallurgy and aluminum products, lead and zinc smelting; electronics (including military electronics), trucks, automobiles, electric power equipment, wood products, textiles, chemicals, machine tools .
Industrial production growth rate : 4.5%

Energy sector:
Electricity:
• Production: 13 billion kWh
• Consumption: 14.7 billion kWh
• Exports: 9.197 billion kWh
• Imports: 3.041 billion kWh

Oil:
• Production: 5 bbl/day
• Consumption: 63.000 bbl/day
• Exports : 8.958 bbl/day
• Imports: 60.270 bbl/day
• Proved reserves : 0 bbl

Natural gas:
• Production: 0 cu m
• Consumption: 890 million cu m
• Exports: 0 cu m
• Imports: 890 million cu m
• Proved reserves: 0 cu m

Current account balance : -$764.9 million

Exports: $28.96 billion
• Commodities: manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food .
• Main exports partners: Germany 19.2%, Italy 12.5%, Austria 7.4%, France 6.8%, Croatia 6.4%, Hungary 4.4% .

Imports: $31.09 billion
• Commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, chemicals, fuels and lubricants, food .
• Main imports partners : Germany 16.2%, Italy 15.5%, Austria 10.6%, France 4.8%, Croatia 4.6%, China 4.1% .

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold : $1.248 billion
External debt : $61.23 billion
Stock of direct foreign investment :
• At home : $15.92 billion
• Abroad : $8.503 billion

Transportation :
Airports : 16
Railways : 1.228 km
Roadways : 38.925 km
Ports and terminals : Koper

Albania

  • 4 June 2012

Geography:
Location: Southeastern Europe.Albania shares a border with Montenegro to the northwest, with Kosovo to the northeast, with Macedonia to the north and east, and with Greece to the south and southeast. Western Albania faces the Adriatic Sea.
Total area: 28.748 sq km
Capital: Tirana
Natural resources : petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower .
Natural hazards : earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast; floods; drought .
Environment current issues : deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and domestic effluents .

Demography:
Population: 3.002.859
Median age: 30.4 years
Population growth rate: 0.28%
Birth rate: 12.38 births/1.000 population
Death rate: 6.25 deaths/1.000 population
Urban population: 52% of total population
Rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change
Ethnic groups: Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb,
Macedonian, Bulgarian).
Languages: Albanian (official), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects .
Religions : Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%.
Literacy rate: 98.7% (male: 99.2%, female: 98.3%).

Government:
Government type: parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire).
Constitution: 28 November 1998.
Suffrage: universal

Economy:
Albania is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. Macroeconomic growth averaged around 6% between 2004-08, but declined to about 3% in 2009-11. Inflation is low and stable. The government has taken measures to curb violent crime, and recently adopted a fiscal reform package aimed at reducing the large gray economy and attracting foreign investment.
Albania has shown potential for economic growth, as more and more businesses relocate there and consumer goods are becoming available from emerging market traders as part of the current massive global cost-cutting exercise.
The agricultural sector, which accounts for almost half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land.
The government,with help from EU funds, is taking steps to improve the poor national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained economic growth.
Tourism is gaining a fair share of Albania’s GDP with visitors growing every year.

Currency : Lek
GDP (Gross Domestic Product): $13.3 billion
GDP-per capita: $7.800
Unemployment rate: 13.4%
Public debt: 59.4% of GDP
Inflation rate : 3.9%
Central Bank discount rate: 5%

Production :
Agriculture: wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products .
Industries: food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower .
Industrial production growth rate : 3%

Energy sector:
Electricity:
• Production: 5.201 billion kWh
• Consumption: 6.593 billion kWh
• Exports: 0 kWh
• Imports: 1.884 billion kWh
Oil:
• Production: 10,930 bbl/day
• Consumption: 33,000 bbl/day
• Exports : 1,004 bbl/day
• Imports: 22,880 bbl/day
• Proved reserves : 199.1 million bbl
Natural gas:
• Production: 30 million cu m
• Consumption: 30 million cu m
• Exports: 0 cu m
• Imports: 0 cu m
• Proved reserves: 849.5 million cu m

Current account balance : -$1.38 billion

Exports: $1.886 billion
• Commodities: textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco.
• Main exports partners: Italy 50.8%, Kosovo 6.2%, Turkey 5.9%, Greece 5.4%, China 5.5% .
Imports: $5.022 billion
• Commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals .
• Main imports partners : Italy 28%, Greece 13%, China 6.3%, Turkey 5.6%, Germany 5.6% .

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold : $2.725 billion
External debt : $5.7 billion

Transportation :
Airports : 5
Railways : 339 km
Roadways : 18.000 km
Ports and terminals : Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore .

Croatia

  • 4 June 2012

Geography:
Location: Southeastern Europe . Croatia borders with Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the south-east, Montenegro to the south-east, the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and Slovenia to the northwest.
Total area: 56.594 sq km
Capital: Zagreb
Natural resources : oil, some coal, bauxite, low-grade iron ore, calcium, gypsum, natural asphalt, silica, mica, clays, salt, hydropower .
Natural hazards : destructive earthquakes .
Environment current issues : air pollution (from metallurgical plants) and resulting acid rain is damaging the forests; coastal pollution from industrial and domestic waste; landmine removal and reconstruction of infrastructure consequent to 1992-95 civil strife .

Demography:
Population: 4,480,043
Median age: 41.4 years
Population growth rate: -0.092%
Birth rate: 9.57 births/1.000 population
Death rate: 11.99 deaths/1.000 population
Urban population: 58% of total population
Rate of urbanization : 0.4% annual rate of change
Ethnic groups: Croat 89.6%, Serb 4.5%, other 5.9% (including Bosniak, Hungarian, Slovene, Czech, and Roma) .
Languages: Croatian (official) 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German) 2.9%.
Religions : Roman Catholic 87.8%, Orthodox 4.4%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim 1.3%, other and unspecified 0.9%, none 5.2% .
Literacy rate: 98.1% (male: 99.3% , female : 97.1% ).

Government:
Government type: presidential/parliamentary democracy
Independence: 25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
Constitution: 22 December 1990
Suffrage: universal

Economy:
Though stil one of the wealthiest of the former Yugoslav republics, Croatia’s economy suffered badly during the 1991-95 war. The country’s output during that time collapsed and Croatia missed the early waves of investment in Central and Eastern Europe that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall. Between 2000 and 2007, however, Croatia’s economic fortunes began to improve slowly with moderate but steady GDP growth between 4% and 6% led by a rebound in tourism and credit-driven consumer spending . The new government has announced a more flexible approach to privatization, including the sale in the coming years of state-owned businesses that are not of strategic importance. While macroeconomic stabilization has largely been achieved, structural reforms lag.

Currency : Kuna
GDP (Gross Domestic Product): $80.84 billion
GDP-per capita: $18.300
Real growth rate : 0.7%
Unemployment rate: 17.9%
Public debt: 43.9% of GDP
Inflation rate : 2.1%
Central Bank discount rate: 7%

Production :
Agriculture: arable crops (wheat, corn, barley, sugar beet, sunflower, rapeseed, alfalfa, clover); vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, onion, tomato, pepper); fruits (apples, plum, mandarins, olives), grapes for wine; livestock (cattle, cows, pigs); dairy products.
Industries: chemicals and plastics, machine tools, fabricated metal, electronics, pig iron and rolled steel products, aluminum, paper, wood products, construction materials, textiles, shipbuilding, petroleum and petroleum refining, food and beverages, tourism.
Industrial production growth rate : 1.2%

Energy sector:
Electricity:
• Production: 14.67 billion kWh
• Consumption: 18.87 billion kWh
• Exports: 1.916 billion kWh
• Imports: 6.6 billion kWh
Oil:
• Production: 13.780 bbl/day
• Consumption: 68.510 bbl/day
• Exports : 36.080 bbl/day
• Imports: 67.660 bbl/day
• Proved reserves : 66 million bbl

Natural gas:
• Production: 2.507 billion cu m
• Consumption: 2.974 billion cu m
• Exports: 439 million cu m
• Imports: 971.2 million cu m
• Proved reserves: 31.58 billion cu m

Current account balance : -$2.4 billion

Exports: $12.28 billion
• Commodities: transport equipment, machinery, textiles, chemicals, foodstuffs, fuels .
• Main exports partners: Italy 18.9%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 11.9%, Germany 10.6%, Slovenia 8%, Austria 5.4% .

Imports: $20.4 billion
• Commodities: machinery, transport and electrical equipment; chemicals, fuels and lubricants; foodstuffs .
• Main imports partners : Italy 15.2%, Germany 12.5%, Russia 9%, China 7.2%, Slovenia 5.9%, Austria 4.8% .

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold : $15.68 billion
External debt : $66.3 billion
Stock of direct foreign investment :
• At home : $33.9 billion
• Abroad : $5.75 billion

Transportation :
Airports : 69
Railways : 2,722 km
Roadways : 29,343 km (includes 1,047 km of expressways)
Ports and terminals : Omisalj, Ploce, Rijeka, Sibernik, Split, Vukovar (on Danube River)