Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is the second-smallest independent state in the world, after the Holy See (Vatican City). It is located on the Mediterranean coast, 18 kilometers (11 mi.) east of Nice, France, and is surrounded on three sides by France.

Monaco is divided into four sections: Monaco-Ville, the old city on a rocky promontory extending into the Mediterranean; La Condamine, the section along the port; Monte-Carlo, the principal residential and resort area; and Fontvieille, a newly constructed area reclaimed from the sea.

The country has an economy primarily geared toward finance, commerce, and tourism. Low taxes have drawn many foreign companies to Monaco and account for around 50% of the 593 million annual government income (2002). Similarly, tourism accounts for close to 25% of the annual revenue, as the Principality of Monaco also has been a major center for tourism ever since its famed casino was established in 1856.

Monaco is noted for its activity in the field of marine sciences. Its Oceanographic Museum, formerly directed by Jacques Cousteau, is one of the most renowned institutions of its kind in the world. Monaco imports and exports products and services from all over the world. There is no commercial agriculture in Monaco.