Monaco – The Beautiful Rock
The Principality of Monaco is a small independent state covering 2.02 km2 (0.78 sq mi), on the Mediterranean coast. It is surrounded by France and has a population of 38,300 people, and with a density of population of 18,713/km2 (48,466.4/sq mi) people, ranking 1st as the most dense population/area. Nearly half of which are French nationals.
The state is comprised of several adjoining areas. Monte-Carlo is the central recreation district and is home to an internationally famous Casino, fantastic hotels, and leisure facilities. Fontvieille, built mainly on land reclaimed from the sea, is an area for light industry and contains a tourist and sports complex and yacht harbor. Monaco-Ville is the old fortified townhome to the Prince’s Palace, while La Condamine is the main harbor, commercial and residential area.
A constitutional monarchy governs the state. Legislative authority is shared between the Prince and the National Council, comprised of members elected for five-year terms. The executive comprises the Prince and a small Council of Government led by a minister for the state-appointed by the Prince from a list of three French national candidates drawn up by the French Government. The rest of the council comprises three councilors nominated by the Prince responsible for Finances and the Economy, the Interior, and Public Works and Social Affairs.
As a result of its customs convention with France, Monaco was fully integrated into the E.U. and adopted the Euro as its currency in January 2002. It has also been a member of the U.N. since May 1993.
Economy of Monaco
Monaco has a modern and diverse economy. The state retains monopolies in several sectors, such as the telephone network and the postal service. However, according to Monaco IQ, approximately 5000 companies operate in the Principality in numerous economic sectors.
Tourism is one of Monaco’s primary industries within the service sector, accounting for about 13 percent of the economy. Monaco is a year-round leisure and business destination. There are extensive conference facilities, including the Forum Grimaldi Cultural and Exhibition Centre, which opened in 2000 and is one of the largest conference venues in Europe. The banking industry has significantly expanded since the removal of French foreign exchange controls in 1987. Today there are a variety of different banking establishments present in the state. According to the government of Monaco, the banking sector alone represents more than 18 percent of the state’s annual turnover. Monaco is also an important center for international trade, with many of the trading companies based there providing for the import requirements of former French colonies.
Figures from the government of Monaco show that the industrial sector represents approximately 8 percent of the state’s annual turnover. The industrial sector is centered in the Fontvieille zone and is focused on small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries such as chemicals, cosmetics, electronics, pharmaceuticals, plastics, printing, and textiles.
Standard of Living in Monaco
The Standard of living in the Principality of Monaco is high, and the state benefits from excellent education facilities and modern health care facilities. Monaco is also regarded as a very safe place to live and has low levels of crime. Monaco has no personal income tax, except for certain groups of French nationals, but the cost of living is relatively high.
Monaco has easy access to the rest of Europe via its international railway station in Monte Carlo and the access roads which link it to the A8 motorway and the European motorway system. It also benefits from two harbors, at the Condamine and Fontvieille, that are equipped to handle yachts of any tonnage. Intercontinental liners can anchor in the bay of Monaco.
Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport is just 15 miles to the west of Monaco. It caters for scheduled flights to and from numerous destinations throughout Europe and several destinations worldwide, including New York, Montreal, Dubai, Jeddah, and Riyadh. The airport’s freight terminal is open 24 hours a day and is connected to the east-west Franco-Italian motorway network. There are regular bus and train services between Monaco and the airport, and daily helicopter transfers are available, which complete the journey in 7 minutes.
There are 45,000 people employed in the Principality. Of these, only about a quarter are residents in Monaco, with the rest mainly coming from the surrounding population centers in France.
This influx of workers from France ensures that companies in Monaco enjoy access to a highly educated workforce. The public expenditure on education in France totals approximately 6 percent of the country’s GDP, outstripping both Germany and the U.K., which spend about 4.6 percent and 4.4 percent respectively. Furthermore, some 14 percent of 17 to 34-year-olds in France enroll in Higher Education, more than in Spain, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Germany.
Business Costs in Monaco
As well as having no income tax, Monaco has low business taxes, which enable it to flourish as a tax haven for foreign companies that have set up businesses and offices there.
The Monaco’s minimum wage is the same as the one in France, plus a 5% adjustment. Salaries in Monaco range from 1,550 EUR per month (minimum salary) to 6,523.00 EUR EUR per month (maximum median salary, actual maximum is much higher).