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Andorra

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Andorra (Catalan: Andorra), officially the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), is a small landlocked country in western Europe, form in 1278 as a co-principality located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. The Co-Princes of Andorra are the joint heads of state, with these offices held by the Spanish Bishop of Urgell and the President of France (Joan-Enric Vives i Sicília and Emmanuel Macron e since 12th May 2003 and 14th May 2017 e).

Geography and climate

Andorra is a small mountainous country, consisting of valleys and gorges surrounded by high peaks. Elevations range from 840m at Riu Runer to 2,946m at Pic de Coma Pedrosa, the highest point, with an average altitude of 1,996m, and much of the territory is forested. It has an area of around 465sq.km, with a maximum length of 30km and width of 20km. There are several lakes within the mountains, and four rivers.

The climate is a temperate one of warm summers and cold, snowy winters. Rainfall is to be expected throughout the year and averages around 800mm annually. The average annual minimum temperature is -2ºC and the average maximum is 24ºC.

Population

Andorra keeps a register of citizens in place of having a periodic census, and reports a population of 85,015 in 2010,[1] rising from around 50,000 in the late 1980s, and from around 5,000 in the late fifties. In 2003, 93% of Andorrans lived in urban areas. The largest towns are Andorra la Vella, the capital, with around 23,000 residents in 2004, and Escaldes-Engordany, which in 2004 had around 17,000 inhabitants.

Economy

The economy of Andorra is based largely on the services sector, which accounts for almost 90% of the per-capita GDP.[2] Of those employed in the services sector a great many are engaged in catering for the roughly 11 million tourists that visit Andorra each year.

Tax haven status

In 2000 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development issued a report which identified, among others, Andorra as a tax haven. By April 2002, 31 of the countries identified by the report had committed themselves to OECD "standards of transparency and exchange of information", leaving Andorra and six others listed as "uncooperative tax havens".

Between 2003 and 2007 Nauru, Vanuatu, Liberia and the Marshall Islands all made commitments to adhere to OECD transparency standards and were removed from the list. In May 2009, following similar commitments made by Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monaco, all three were removed from the OECD list, nullifying their tax haven status.[3]

References

  1. Andorran National Statistics Office, total population figures
  2. UK Trade & Investment, economic figures for Andorra
  3. OECD, List of Unco-operative Tax Havens