Monaco - Economy



Monaco depends for its livelihood chiefly on income from tourism, real estate, financial services, and small, high value-added, non-polluting industry. A substantial part of the principality's revenue from tourist sources comes from the operations of Sea-Bathing Co. (Société des Bains de Mer—SBM), in which the government holds a 69% interest. The SBM operates the gambling casino at Monte Carlo as well as four hotels, 19 restaurants, a cabaret, and the Thermos Margins spa. Its reported profits in 2002 were about $21 million, down from close to $30 million in 2001. The government also retains monopolies in telephone services, postal services and tobacco. A 22 ha landfill project at Fontvielle increased Monaco's total land area. Land reclamation since Prince Rainier's accession to the throne in 1949 has increased Monaco's territory by 23%.

The principality does not publish statistics on its economy and all estimate are rough. The government annual income was estimated at $586 million for 1997, about 25% derived from tourism. Monaco also serves as a tax haven for foreign non-French residents. In 2000 the OECD published a list of "uncooperative tax havens" that included Monaco. Two years later, Monaco was still on the list, though 31 other jurisdictions had been removed by promising to take corrective actions.

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