Tuvalu is a state in the southwest of the Pacific Ocean, in Polynesia. It consists of 9 low-lying coral atolls, the surface of which does not exceed 5 meters above sea level. The population of the islands is 11,052 people (2017), mostly Polynesian Tuvalu. The official languages are English and Tuvalu. Believers are predominantly Protestant Congregationists. Administrative divisions - 8 island councils. The capital of Tuvalu is Funafuti.
Tuvalu islands are of coral origin, with shrubby vegetation. The climate on the islands is hot and humid. The islands were discovered by the Spaniard A. Mendanya. In 1892, the Ellis Islands, together with the Gilbert Islands, became part of the British colonial empire. In 1974, the inhabitants of the Ellis Islands decided to secede from the Gilbert Islands in a referendum and from October 1, 1975 became a separate British colony called Tuvalu. On October 1, 1978, Tuvalu was declared independent. The core of Tuvalu's economy is copra production (200-300 tons per year) and fishing. There are light industry enterprises. Copra and frozen fish are exported mainly to Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. The country's monetary unit is the Tuvalu dollar, which is equal to the Australian dollar, which also circulates in Tuvalu.
The state budget is formed mainly from the income from the sale of postage stamps, own coins and remittances from abroad from Tuvalu residents working there (in particular, in Nauru, about 1,000 people work in the phosphorite mines). Proceeds from an international trust fund set up by Australia, New Zealand and the UK with support from Japan and South Korea also play a significant role. Thanks to a prudent investment policy in the economy over 12 years, this fund was able to double its initial investment, which in 1999 amounted to more than $ 35 million. An important source of income is the funds coming from the United States under the 1988 fisheries treaty.
According to the constitution adopted on October 1, 1978, Tuvalu is an independent state within the Commonwealth, led by Great Britain. The head of state is the Queen of Great Britain, who is represented by the Governor-General who is a citizen of Tuvalu. The legislature is a 12-member unicameral parliament, elected by direct universal suffrage for four years. Executive power is vested in the government, headed by a prime minister elected by parliament. The country has an independent judicial system with 8 island courts and a High Court.
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