Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The 1997 CIA World Factbook

Part 5 out of 47

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 4.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

operate under Panamanian and Cypriot registry (1996 est.)

Airports: 54 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total : 47
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 17 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 7 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Royal Bahamas Defense Force (Coast Guard only),
Royal Bahamas Police Force

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: NA

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : NA

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $20 million (FY95/96)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 3.8% (FY95/96)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for
US and Europe; banking industry vulnerable to money-laundering
______________________________________________________________________

BAHRAIN

@Bahrain:Geography

Location: Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi
Arabia

Geographic coordinates: 26 00 N, 50 33 E

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total : 620 sq km
land: 620 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 161 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers

Terrain: mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central
escarpment

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m

Natural resources: oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 6%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 92% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: periodic droughts; dust storms

Environment - current issues: desertification resulting from the
degradation of limited arable land, periods of drought, and dust
storms; coastal degradation (damage to coastlines, coral reefs, and
sea vegetation) resulting from oil spills and other discharges from
large tankers, oil refineries, and distribution stations; no natural
fresh water resources so that groundwater and sea water are the only
sources for all water needs

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified : none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources;
strategic location in Persian Gulf which much of Western world's
petroleum must transit to reach open ocean

@Bahrain:People

Population: 603,318 (July 1997 est.)
note: includes 221,182 non-nationals (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31% (male 94,330; female 91,532)
15-64 years: 66% (male 240,496; female 160,662)
65 years and over : 3% (male 8,375; female 7,923) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.18% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 23.01 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 3.27 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years : 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.5 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.06 male(s)/female
total population: 1.32 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 16.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.63 years
male: 72.1 years
female : 77.24 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.04 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Bahraini(s)
adjective: Bahraini

Ethnic groups: Bahraini 63%, Asian 13%, other Arab 10%, Iranian 8%,
other 6%

Religions: Shi'a Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim 25%

Languages: Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu

Literacy:
definition : age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.2%
male: 89.1%
female: 79.4% (1995 est.)

@Bahrain:Government

Country name:
conventional long form : State of Bahrain
conventional short form: Bahrain
local long form: Dawlat al Bahrayn
local short form: Al Bahrayn

Data code: BA

Government type: traditional monarchy

National capital: Manama

Administrative divisions: 12 municipalities (manatiq, singular -
mintaqah); Al Hadd, Al Manamah, Al Mintaqah al Gharbiyah, Al Mintaqah
al Wusta, Al Mintaqah ash Shamaliyah, Al Muharraq, Ar Rifa'wa al
Mintaqah al Janubiyah, Jidd Hafs, Madinat Hamad, Madinat 'Isa, Juzur
Hawar, Sitrah
note : all municipalities administered from Manama

Independence: 15 August 1971 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 16 December (1971)

Constitution: 26 May 1973, effective 6 December 1973

Legal system: based on Islamic law and English common law

Suffrage: none

Executive branch:
chief of state : Amir ISA bin Salman Al Khalifa (since 2 November
1961); Heir Apparent HAMAD bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa (son of the
Amir, born 28 January 1949)
head of government: Prime Minister KHALIFA bin Salman Al Khalifa
(since 19 January 1970)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the amir
elections: none; the amir is a traditional Arab monarch; prime
minister appointed by the amir

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly was dissolved 26
August 1975 and legislative powers were assumed by the Cabinet;
appointed Advisory Council established 16 December 1992

Judicial branch: High Civil Appeals Court

Political parties and leaders: political parties prohibited

Political pressure groups and leaders: several small, clandestine
leftist and Islamic fundamentalist groups are active; following the
arrest of a popular Shi'a cleric, Shi'a activists have fomented unrest
sporadically since late 1994, demanding the return of an elected
National Assembly and an end to unemployment

International organization participation: ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF,
ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO,
IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU,
NAM, OAPEC, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Muhammad ABD AL-GHAFFAR Abdallah
chancery: 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone : [1] (202) 342-0741, 342-0742
FAX: [1] (202) 362-2192
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador David M. RANSOM (scheduled to depart in
June 1997)
embassy : Building No. 979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli Sports Club),
Zinj District, Manama
mailing address: FPO AE 09834-5100; International Mail Box 26431,
Manama (International Mail)
telephone: [973] 273-300
FAX : [973] 275-418

Flag description: red with a white serrated band (eight white points)
on the hoist side

Economy

Economy - overview: In Bahrain, petroleum production and processing
account for about 60% of export receipts, 60% of government revenues,
and 30% of GDP. Economic conditions have fluctuated with the changing
fortunes of oil since 1985, for example, during and following the Gulf
crisis of 1990-91. With its highly developed communication and
transport facilities, Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms
with business in the Gulf. A large share of exports consists of
petroleum products made from imported crude. Construction proceeds on
several major industrial projects. Unemployment, especially among the
young, and the depletion of both oil and underground water resources
are major long-term economic problems.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $7.7 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 3% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $13,000 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1%
industry: 38%
services: 61% (1995)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 0% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 140,000
by occupation: industry and commerce 85%, agriculture 5%, services 5%,
government 3% (1982)
note: 44.39% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national
(July 1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: 15% (1996 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1.49 billion
expenditures: $1.67 billion, including capital expenditures of $300
million (1995)

Industries: petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting,
offshore banking, ship repairing; tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 3.4% (1995)

Electricity - capacity: 1.05 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 4.28 billion kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 7,102 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products;
shrimp, fish

Exports:
total value: $4.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities : petroleum and petroleum products 61%, aluminum 7%
partners: India 22%, Japan 12%, Saudi Arabia 6%, US 6%, UAE 5% (1995)

Imports:
total value : $3.5 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: nonoil 63%, crude oil 37%
partners: Saudi Arabia 40%, US 13%, UK 7%, Japan 5%, Switzerland 5%
(1995)

Debt - external: $3.2 billion (1995)

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 Bahraini dinar (BD) = 1,000 fils

Exchange rates: Bahraini dinars (BD) per US$1 - 0.3760 (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Bahrain:Communications

Telephones: 73,552 (1987 est.)

Telephone system: modern system; good domestic services and excellent
international connections
domestic: NA
international: tropospheric scatter to Qatar and UAE; microwave radio
relay to Saudi Arabia; submarine cable to Qatar, UAE, and Saudi
Arabia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1
Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat

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

Radios: 320,000 (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (1988 est.)

Televisions: 270,000 (1993 est.)

@Bahrain:Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 2,740 km
paved: 2,159 km
unpaved: 581 km (1992 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 56 km; petroleum products 16 km; natural gas 32
km

Ports and harbors: Manama, Mina' Salman, Sitrah

Merchant marine:
total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 117,060 GRT/194,061 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 3, chemical tanker 1, oil tanker 1 (1996
est.)

Airports: 3 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 2 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard,
Internal Security Forces

Military manpower - military age: 15 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 216,444 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 119,781 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $256 million (1994)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 6.4% (1994)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: territorial dispute with Qatar over the
Hawar Islands; maritime boundary with Qatar
______________________________________________________________________

BAKER ISLAND

(territory of the US)

@Baker Island:Geography

Location: Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, about one-half of
the way from Hawaii to Australia

Geographic coordinates: 0 13 N, 176 31 W

Map references: Oceania

Area:
total: 1.4 sq km
land: 1.4 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: about 2.5 times the size of The Mall in
Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 4.8 km

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

Climate: equatorial; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun

Terrain: low, nearly level coral island surrounded by a narrow
fringing reef

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 8 m

Natural resources: guano (deposits worked until 1891)

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 100%

Irrigated land: 0 sq km (1993)

Natural hazards: the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can
be a maritime hazard

Environment - current issues: no natural fresh water resources

Environment - international agreements:
party to: NA
signed, but not ratified: NA

Geography - note: treeless, sparse, and scattered vegetation
consisting of grasses, prostrate vines, and low growing shrubs;
primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds,
shorebirds, and marine wildlife

@Baker Island:People

Population: uninhabited
note : American civilians evacuated in 1942 after Japanese air and
naval attacks during World War II; occupied by US military during
World War II, but abandoned after the war; public entry is by
special-use permit only and generally restricted to scientists and
educators; a cemetery and cemetery ruins are located near the middle
of the west coast

@Baker Island:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Baker Island

Data code: FQ

Dependency status: unincorporated territory of the US; administered by
the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior as
part of the National Wildlife Refuge system

National capital: none; administered from Washington, DC

Flag description: the flag of the US is used

Economy

Economy - overview: no economic activity

@Baker Island:Transportation

Ports and harbors: none; offshore anchorage only; note - there is one
boat landing area along the middle of the west coast

Airports: 1 abandoned World War II runway of 1,665 m

Transportation - note: there is a day beacon near the middle of the
west coast

Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the US; visited
annually by the US Coast Guard

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none
______________________________________________________________________

BANGLADESH

@Bangladesh:Geography

Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma
and India

Geographic coordinates: 24 00 N, 90 00 E

Map references: Asia

Area:
total: 144,000 sq km
land: 133,910 sq km
water : 10,090 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Wisconsin

Land boundaries:
total : 4,246 km
border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km

Coastline: 580 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone : 18 nm
continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; cool, dry winter (October to March); hot, humid
summer (March to June); cool, rainy monsoon (June to October)

Terrain: mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Reng Tlang 957 m

Natural resources: natural gas, arable land, timber

Land use:
arable land: 73%
permanent crops: 2%
permanent pastures : 5%
forests and woodland: 15%
other: 5% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 31,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: droughts, cyclones; much of the country routinely
flooded during the summer monsoon season

Environment - current issues: many people are landless and forced to
live on and cultivate flood-prone land; limited access to potable
water; water-borne diseases prevalent; water pollution especially of
fishing areas results from the use of commercial pesticides;
intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the
northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation;
deforestation; severe overpopulation

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test
Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

@Bangladesh:People

Population: 125,340,261 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 38% (male 24,397,316; female 23,417,919)
15-64 years : 59% (male 37,758,378; female 35,715,343)
65 years and over: 3% (male 2,204,445; female 1,846,860) (July 1997
est.)

Population growth rate: 1.82% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 29.8 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 10.9 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years : 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.19 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 100 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 56.26 years
male: 56.35 years
female : 56.16 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.45 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun : Bangladeshi(s)
adjective: Bangladesh

Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, Biharis 250,000, tribals less than 1
million

Religions: Muslim 88.3%, Hindu 10.5%, other 1.2%

Languages: Bangla (official), English

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38.1%
male: 49.4%
female : 26.1% (1995 est.)

@Bangladesh:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
conventional short form: Bangladesh
former : East Pakistan

Data code: BG

Government type: republic

National capital: Dhaka

Administrative divisions: 4 divisions; Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna,
Rajshahi
note: there may be two new divisions named Barisal and Sylhet

Independence: 16 December 1971 (from Pakistan)

National holiday: Independence Day, 26 March (1971)

Constitution: 4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972, suspended
following coup of 24 March 1982, restored 10 November 1986, amended
many times

Legal system: based on English common law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Shahabuddin AHMED (since 9 October 1996);
note - the president's duties are normally ceremonial, but with the
13th amendment to the constitution ("Caretaker Government Amendment"),
the president's role becomes significant at times when Parliament is
dissolved and a caretaker government is installed - at presidential
direction - to supervise the elections
head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina WAJED (since 23 June
1996)
cabinet : Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the
president
elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year
term; election last held 24 July 1996 (next to be held by NA October
2001); following legislative elections, the leader of the party that
wins the most seats is usually appointed prime minister by the
president
election results : Shahabuddin AHMED elected president without
opposition; percent of National Parliament vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad
(330 seats; 300 elected by popular vote from single territorial
constituencies, 30 seats reserved for women; members serve five-year
terms)
elections: last held 12 June 1996 (next to be held NA 2001)
election results: percent of vote by party - AL 33.87%, BNP 30.87%;
seats by party - AL 178, BNP 113, JP 33, JI 3, other 2, election still
to be held 1; note - the elections of 12 June 1996 brought to power an
Awami League government for the first time in twenty-one years; held
under a neutral, caretaker administration, the elections were
characterized by a peaceful, orderly process and massive voter
turnout, ending a bitter two-year impasse between the former BNP and
opposition parties that had paralyzed National Parliament and led to
widespread street violence

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, the Chief Justices and other judges
are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders: Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP),
Khaleda ZIAur RAHMAN; Awami League (AL), Sheikh Hasina WAJED; Jatiyo
Party (JP), Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD; Jamaat-E-Islami (JI), Motiur
Rahman NIZAMI; Bangladesh Communist Party (BCP), Saifuddin Ahmed MANIK

International organization participation: AsDB, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP,
FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC,
IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO,
ITU, MINURSO, NAM, OIC, SAARC, UN, UNAVEM III, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR,
UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMIH, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNOMIL, UNPREDEP,
UNTAES, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Khwaja Mohammad SHEHABUDDIN
chancery: 2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone : [1] (202) 342-8372 through 8376
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

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

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

Economy

Economy - 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 largely 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 slow
implementation of economic reforms. Frequent strikes that crippled the
economy in 1995 and early 1996 subsided after Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina WAJED's Awami League government assumed power in mid-1996,
allowing a return to normal economic activity. The current government
has made some headway improving the climate for foreign investors and
liberalizing the capital markets; for example, it has negotiated with
foreign firms for oil and gas exploration, better countrywide
distribution of cooking gas, and the construction of natural gas
pipelines and power plants. Progress on other economic reforms has
been halting because of opposition from the bureaucracy, public sector
unions, and other vested interest groups.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $155.1 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4.7% (1996)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,260 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 31%
industry: 18%
services: 51% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 4% (FY95/96)

Labor force:
total: 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: 35.9% (1996)

Budget:
revenues : $4.1 billion
expenditures: $6 billion, including capital expenditures of $3 billion
(FY95/96 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 5.7% (1996 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 2.98 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 10.01 billion kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 76 kWh (1995 est.)

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

Exports:
total value: $3.9 billion (FY95/96 est.)
commodities : garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and
seafood
partners: Western Europe 42%, US 30%, Hong Kong 4%, Japan 3% (FY95/96
est.)

Imports:
total value: $6.8 billion (FY95/96 est.)
commodities: capital goods, textiles, food, petroleum products
partners: India 21%, China 10%, Western Europe 8%, Hong Kong 7%,
Singapore 6% (FY95/96 est.)

Debt - external: $17.1 billion (1996)

Economic aid:
recipient : $1.585 billion (FY95/96)

Currency: 1 taka (Tk) = 100 poiska

Exchange rates: taka (Tk) per US$1 - 42.450 (January 1997), 41.794
(1996), 40.278 (1995), 40.212 (1994), 39.567 (1993), 38.951 (1992)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

@Bangladesh: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.)

@Bangladesh: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 : 168,513 km
paved: 15,672 km
unpaved: 152,841 km (1995 est.)

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

Pipelines: natural gas 1,220 km

Ports and harbors: Chittagong, Dhaka, Chalna Port (Mongla)

Merchant marine:
total: 41 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 323,057 GRT/464,090 DWT
ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 32, oil tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 2,
roll-on/roll-off cargo 2 (1996 est.)

Airports: 15 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 14
over 3,047 m : 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 6 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Military

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

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 32,797,816 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 19,406,790 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $481 million (FY95/96)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.7% (FY95/96)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: a portion of the boundary with India in
dispute; Bangladesh and India signed a treaty 12 December 1996 to
share water from the Ganges

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

BARBADOS

@Barbados: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: 430 sq km
land: 430 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 97 km

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

Climate: tropical; rainy season (June to October)

Terrain: relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Hillaby 336 m

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, natural gas

Land use:
arable land: 37%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 5%
forests and woodland : 12%
other: 46% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides

Environment - current issues: pollution of coastal waters from waste
disposal by ships; soil erosion; illegal solid waste disposal
threatens contamination of aquifers

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of
the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity

Geography - note: easternmost Caribbean island

@Barbados:People

Population: 258,756 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 24% (male 31,025; female 30,197)
15-64 years: 66% (male 83,977; female 87,208)
65 years and over : 10% (male 10,002; female 16,347) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.12% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 15.35 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 8.25 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -5.87 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.61 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 17.8 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.6 years
male : 71.84 years
female: 77.43 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.88 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Barbadian(s)
adjective: Barbadian

Ethnic groups: black 80%, white 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:
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97.4%
male: 98%
female: 96.8% (1995 est.)

@Barbados:Government

Country name:
conventional long form : none
conventional short form: Barbados

Data code: BB

Government type: parliamentary democracy

National 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 of the UK (since 6 February 1952),
represented by Governor General Sir Clifford Straughn HUSBANDS (since
1 June 1996)
head of government : Prime Minister Owen Seymour ARTHUR (since 6
September 1994); Deputy Prime Minister Billie MILLER (since 6
September 1994)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of
the prime minister
elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; governor general
appointed by the queen; prime minister appointed by the governor
general

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate
(21-member body appointed by the governor general) and the House of
Assembly (28 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to
serve five-year terms)
elections : House of Assembly - last held 6 September 1994 (next to be
held by January 1999)
election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA;
seats by party - 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 or DLP [David
THOMPSON]; Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Owen ARTHUR]; National
Democratic Party or NDP [Richard HAYNES]

Political pressure groups and leaders: 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, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the 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

Diplomatic representation from the US:
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] (246) 436-4950
FAX: [1] (246) 429-5246

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

Economy

Economy - overview: Historically, the Barbadian economy had been
dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but in
recent years the production has diversified into manufacturing and
tourism. The start of the Port Charles Marina project in Speightstown
helped the tourism industry continue to expand in 1996. The industry
generated $331.8 million by the end of June and was expected to double
by the end of the year. Prime Minister Owen ARTHUR called for
"prudent" financial management to ensure that economic growth would
continue. As part of his plan, the Prime Minister introduced a
controversial Value Added Tax (VAT) in an effort to reform the tax
administration process. The VAT will be administered at 15% for most
industries and 7% for the tourism industry. The government has also
continued its efforts to promote regional integration initiatives, to
reduce the unacceptably high unemployment rate, and to encourage
direct foreign investment.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.65 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $10,300 (1996 est.)

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

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 1.8% (1995)

Labor force:
total: 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: 16.2% (1996)

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: 7.7% (1995)

Electricity - capacity: 153,000 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 644 million kWh (1995)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 2,208 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, vegetables, cotton

Exports:
total value: $235 million (f.o.b., 1995)
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:
total value: $763 million (c.i.f., 1995)
commodities: consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction
materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
partners: US 36%, UK 11%, Trinidad and Tobago 11%, Japan 3%

Debt - external: $359 million (December 1996)

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

@Barbados: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.)

@Barbados:Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 1,610 km
paved : 1,542 km
unpaved: 68 km (1995 est.)

Ports and harbors: Bridgetown

Merchant marine:
total: 51 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 453,828 GRT/684,470 DWT
ships by type : bulk 16, cargo 27, combination bulk 4, oil tanker 3,
refrigerated cargo 1 (1996 est.)

Airports: 1 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Military

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

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 71,547 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 49,446 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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

BASSAS DA INDIA

(possession of France)

@Bassas da India: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: 0.2 sq km
land: 0.2 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: 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

Climate: tropical

Terrain: a volcanic rock 2.4 meters high

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 3 m

Natural resources: none

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

Irrigated land: 0 sq km (1993)

Natural hazards: maritime hazard since it is usually under water
during high tide and surrounded by reefs; subject to periodic cyclones

Environment - current issues: NA

Environment - international agreements:
party to: NA
signed, but not ratified: NA

@Bassas da India:People

Population: uninhabited

@Bassas da India:Government

Country name:
conventional long form : none
conventional short form: Bassas da India

Data code: BS

Dependency status: possession of France; administered by a high
commissioner of the Republic, resident in Reunion

National capital: none; administered by France from Reunion

Independence: none (possession of France)

Flag description: the flag of France is used

Economy

Economy - overview: no economic activity

@Bassas da India:Transportation

Ports and harbors: none; offshore anchorage only

Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: claimed by Madagascar
______________________________________________________________________

BELARUS

@Belarus:Geography

Location: Eastern Europe, east of Poland

Geographic coordinates: 53 00 N, 28 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

Area:
total: 207,600 sq km
land: 207,600 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Kansas

Land boundaries:
total: 3,098 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)

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

Terrain: generally flat and contains much marshland

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m
highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m

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

Land use:
arable land : 29%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 34%
other: 21% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: soil pollution from pesticide use;
southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986
nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl' in northern Ukraine

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Sulphur 85, Biodiversity, Environmental Modification, Marine
Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change, Law of the Sea

Geography - note: landlocked

@Belarus:People

Population: 10,412,219 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21% (male 1,092,760; female 1,047,992)
15-64 years : 66% (male 3,346,111; female 3,547,352)
65 years and over: 13% (male 452,267; female 925,737) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.01% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 9.75 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 13.23 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 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: 0.49 male(s)/female
total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 13.9 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.4 years
male: 62.48 years
female: 74.61 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.35 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Belarusian(s)
adjective: Belarusian

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

Religions: Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic,
Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)

Languages: Byelorussian, Russian, other

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

@Belarus:Government

Country name:
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

Government type: republic

National 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: administrative divisions have the same names as their
administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name
following in parentheses)

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

National holiday: Independence Day, 3 July (1990); note - date set by
referendum of November 1996

Constitution: referendum of 27 November 1996 (declared illegitimate by
the international community) adopted a new constitution massing power
in the hands of the president; signed into law on 28 November 1996

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)
head of government: Prime Minister Sergey LING (acting since NA
November 1996, confirmed NA February 1997); First Deputy Prime
Minister Pyotr PROKOPOVICH (since NA); Deputy Prime Ministers Vladimir
GARKUN (since NA), Valeriy KOKAREV (since NA), Vladimir RUSAKEVICH
(since NA), Vasyl DALGALYOV (since NA)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term;
election last held 24 June and 10 July 1994 (next to be held NA 2001
because of the additional two years provided by the November 1996
referendum); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO elected president; percent of
vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 85%, Vyacheslav KEBICH 15%
note: first presidential elections took place in June-July 1994

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament established by the 28
November Constitution consists of the Council of the Republic (64
seats; the president appoints 8 and each oblast plus the Minsk city
government elect 8) and the Chamber of Representatives (110 seats;
note - present members came from the defunct Supreme Soviet)
elections: last held May and November-December 1995 (two rounds, each
with a run-off; next to be held NA 2000)
election results : percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - 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; note - after the November 1996 referendum, seats for the
Chamber of Representatives were filled by former Supreme Soviet
members as follows: PKB 24, Agrarian 14, Party of Peoples Concord 5,
LDPB 1, UPNAZ 1, Green World Party 1, Belarusian Social Sports Party
1, Ecological Party 1, Republican Party of Labor and Justice 1,
independents 60; 58 of the 64 seats in the Council of the Republic
have been appointed/elected

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president;
Constitutional Court, half of the judges appointed by the president
and half appointed by the Chamber of Representatives

Political parties and leaders: Belarusian Communist Party or KPB
[Yefrem SOKOLOV and Viktor CHIKIN, chairmen]; Agrarian Party
[Aleksandr PAVLOV, chairman]; Civic Accord Bloc (United Civic Party)
or CAB [Stanislav BOGDANKEVICH, chairman]; Party of People's Concord
[Leonid SECHKO, chairman]; Party of All-Belarusian Unity and Concord
or UPNAZ [Dmitriy BULAKOV, chairman]; Belarusian Social-Democrat
Hramada or SDBP [Nikolai STATKEVICH, chairman]; Belarusian Patriotic
Movement (Belarusian Patriotic Party) or BPR [Anatol BARANKEVICH];
Green Party of Belarus [Nikolai KARTASH, chairman]; Republican Party
of Labor and Justice [Anatol NETYLKIN, chairman]; Belarus Peasants or
BSP [Yevgeniy LUGIN, chairman]; Belarusian Popular Front or NFB [Levon
BARSHEVSKIY, acting chairman]; Belarusian Social Sports Party
[Aleksandr ALEKSANDROVICH, chairman]; Ecological Party [Liudmila
YELIZAROVA, chairman]; National Democratic Party of Belarus or NDPB
[Viktor NAUMENKO, chairman]; United Democratic Party of Belarus or
ADPB [Aleksandr DOBROVOLSKIY]; Belarusian Socialist Party or SPB
[Vyacheslav KUZNETSOV]; Slavic Assembly or SAB [Nikolai SYARECHEV];
Liberal-Democratic Party or LDPB [Sergei GAIDUKEVICH, chairman];
Belarusian Christian-Democratic Unity or BKDZ [Petr SILKO]; Polish
Democratic Union or PDZ [Konstantin TARASEVICH]; Party of Beer Lovers
[Yuriy GONCHAR]; Party of Communists Belarusian or PKB [Sergei
KALYAKIN and Vasiliy NOVIKOV, chairmen]; Belarusian Labor Party or BPP
[Aleksandr BUKHVOSTOV]

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

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

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador 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 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

Economy

Economy - 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 in December 1991, 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 exchange rate policies and suspended Minsk's $300
million standby program in November 1995. The overvalued ruble 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 rose from 5%-20% to 20%-40%. In general, as of the
beginning of 1997, Belarus has badly lagged in moving away from the
old centrally planned policies of the former USSR.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $51.9 billion (1996 estimate as
extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1994)

GDP - real growth rate: 3% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,000 (1996 est.)

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

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 33% (1996)

Labor force:
total: 4.731 million
by occupation: industry and construction 36%, agriculture and forestry
19%, services 45% (1995)

Unemployment rate: 3.1% officially registered unemployed (December
1996); large numbers of underemployed workers

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

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: 3.2% (1996 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 7.21 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 23.7 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 2,553 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: grain, potatoes, vegetables; meat, milk

Exports:
total value: $5.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
partners: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany

Imports:
total value: $6.8 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: fuel, natural gas, industrial raw materials, textiles,
sugar
partners: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany

Debt - external: $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 ruble (BR)

Exchange rates: Belarusian rubles per US$1 - 16,613 (September monthly
average 1996),15,500 (yearend 1996), 11,500 (yearend 1995), 10,600
(yearend 1994), 699 (yearend 1993), 15 (yearend 1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Belarus: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.)

@Belarus:Transportation

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

Highways:
total: 51,547 km
paved: 50,825 km
unpaved: 722 km (1995 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 and harbors: Mazyr

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

Airports: 118 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 36
over 3,047 m : 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
under 914 m: 11 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 82
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m : 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 62 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Army, Air Force, Air Defense Force, Interior
Ministry Troops, Border Guards

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 2,659,236 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 2,083,696 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 77,496 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: 2.4 trillion rubles (1997);
note - conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the
current exchange rate could produce misleading results

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: treaty with Lithuania defining the border
awaits demarcation

Illicit drugs: limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly
for the domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to
Russia and Western Europe
______________________________________________________________________

BELGIUM

@Belgium: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 : 30,510 sq km
land: 30,230 sq km
water: 280 sq km

Area - comparative: about the size of Maryland

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

Coastline: 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

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

Terrain: flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills,
rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: North Sea 0 m
highest point : Signal de Botrange 694 m

Natural resources: coal, natural gas

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

Irrigated land: 10 sq km including Luxembourg (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: flooding is a threat in areas of reclaimed coastal
land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes

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

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85,
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity,
Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification,
Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear
Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83,
Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Law of
the Sea

Geography - note: crossroads of Western Europe; majority of West
European capitals within 1,000 km of Brussels which is the seat of
both the EU and NATO

@Belgium:People

Population: 10,165,059 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 17% (male 911,881; female 868,361)
15-64 years: 66% (male 3,385,319; female 3,318,940)
65 years and over : 17% (male 681,432; female 999,126) (July 1997
est.)

Population growth rate: 0.11% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 10.43 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 10.41 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.05 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
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 6.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.19 years
male : 73.95 years
female: 80.59 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.5 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Belgian(s)
adjective: Belgian

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

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

Languages: Flemish 56%, French 32%, German 1%, legally bilingual 11%

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

@Belgium:Government

Country name:
conventional long form : Kingdom of Belgium
conventional short form: Belgium
local long form: Royaume de Belgique/Koninkrijk Belgie
local short form: Belgique/Belgie

Data code: BE

Government type: federal parliamentary democracy under a
constitutional monarch

National 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
theoretically increased the number of provinces to 10 by splitting the
province of Brabant into two new provinces, Flemish Brabant and
Walloon Brabant, but this has not been confirmed by the US Government

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)
head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Luc DEHAENE (since 6 March
1992)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the king and approved by
Parliament
elections: none; the king is a constitutional monarch; prime minister
appointed by the king and then approved by Parliament

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate or
Senaat in Flemish, Senat in French (71 seats; 40 members are directly
elected, 31 will be indirectly elected at a later date; members serve
four-year terms) and a Chamber of Deputies or Kamer van
Volksvertegenwoordigers in Flemish, Chambre des Representants in
French (150 seats; members are directly elected by proportional
representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate and Chamber of Deputies - last held 21 May 1995
(next to be held by the end of 1999)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by
party - 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 - percent of vote by party - 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 by party - 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
note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered
devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of
government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a
complex division of responsibilities; this reality leaves six
governments each with its own legislative assembly; for other acronyms
of the listed parties see Political parties and leaders

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

Political parties and leaders: Flemish Christian Democrats or CVP
(Christian People's Party) [Marc VAN PEEL, president]; Francophone
Christian Democrats or PSC (Social Christian Party) [Gerard DEPREZ,
president]; Flemish Socialist Party or SP [Louis TOBBACK, president];
Francophone Socialist Party or PS [Philippe BUSQUIN, president];
Flemish Liberal Democrats or VLD [Herman DE CROO, president];
Francophone Liberal Reformation Party or PRL [Louis MICHEL,
president]; Francophone Democratic Front or FDF [Olivier MAINGAIN,
president]; Volksunie or VU [Bert ANCIAUX, president]; Vlaams Blok or
VB; National Front or FN [Frank VANHECKE, president]; AGALEV (Flemish
Greens) [no president]; ECOLO (Francophone Greens) [no president];
other minor parties

Political pressure groups and leaders: 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, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS
(observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO,
UNMOGIP, UNMOP, UNPREDEP, UNRWA, UNTAES, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO,
WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the 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

Diplomatic representation from the US:
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 description: three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side),
yellow, and red; the design was based on the flag of France

Economy

Economy - overview: This highly developed 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

Book of the day: