Country Profile: Montenegro
Capital and largest city
Area13 812 sq km
Population678 177 (2007 est.)
Montenegro is a country in South Europe, bordered by the Adriatic Sea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Albania. Montenegro is a member of the UN, OSCE, CEFTA, Council of Europe, and is a potential candidate for membership of the EU and Nato.
Although most of Montenegro's population speak the Serbian language from the Iyekavian dialect, there was a move towards an official country language, and in 2007, Montenegrin was promoted. Other languages commonly spoken include Croatian, Bosnian, Albanian and Serbian.
Montenegro's economy has struggled in the past, but is now in the transitional period towards being a service economy, and it carries the goal of being a tourist destination as well as member of the EU. Agricultural produce includes grains, tobacco, potatoes, citrus fruits, olives, grapes; sheepherding; and commercial fishing. Montenegro's main industries are steelmaking, agricultural processing, consumer goods, and tourism, and its natural resources bauxite and hydroelectricity. The country's main trading partners are Italy, Switzerland, Bosnia, Greece and Germany.
Although Montenegro imports most of its energy in the form of fossil fuels natural gas and oil, the country does have the capacity to produce the more sustainable and less environmentally damaging hydroelectricity, as proved by Mratinje Dam, which produces much of the country's hydropower. In the future, it is likely that the country will have to expand upon such sustainable methods of energy production, with concerns over the damaging effects of climate change and global warming a prevalent global issue.
Montenegro has a thriving tourist trade, producing much of the country's GDP, due to its beautiful and varied landscape, and historical heritage. The mixture of coast and mountainous regions attracts thousands of visitors every year, but the Yugoslav War greatly affected this particular sector. Now, there are several projects ongoing to expand and develop Montenegro's tourist trade, such as the proposed Jaz Beach and Velika Plaza.
Water polo is one of the most popular sports in Montenegro, with the country winning the European Championships in 2008. Football is also popular in the country.
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