Background Notes: New Zealand, July 1998
Released by the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Official Name:  New Zealand

PROFILE

Geography
Area: 270,534 sq. km. (104,440 sq. mi.); about the size of Colorado. 
Cities: Capital--Wellington (335,468). Other cities--Auckland (997,940), 
Christchurch (331,443). 
Terrain: Highly varied, from snow-capped mountains to lowland plains. 
Climate: Temperate to subtropical. 

People

Nationality: Noun--New Zealander(s). Adjective--New Zealand. 
Population (1996): 3.6 million. 
Annual growth rate: 1.4%. 
Ethnic groups: European 75%, Maori 14.5%, other Polynesian 5.6%. 
Religions: Anglican 22%, Presbyterian 16%, Roman Catholic 15%. 
Languages: English, Maori. 
Education: Years compulsory--ages 6-16. Attendance--100%. Literacy--99%. 
Health: Infant mortality rate--7.3/1,000. Life expectancy--males 73 
yrs., females 79 yrs. 
Work force (1.6 million): Services and government--59%. Industry and 
commerce--30.7%. Agriculture and mining--9.7%. 

Government

Type: Parliamentary. 
Constitution: No formal, written constitution. 
Independence: Declared a dominion in 1907.
Branches: Executive--Queen Elizabeth II (chief of state, represented by 
a governor general), prime minister (head of government), cabinet. 
Legislative--unicameral House of Representatives, commonly called 
parliament. Judicial--three-level system: District Courts, the High 
Court, and the Court of Appeals, with further appeal possible to the 
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. There are also specialized 
courts, such as, employment court,  family courts, youth courts, and the 
Maori Land Court.
Administrative subdivisions: 12 regions with directly elected councils 
and 74 districts (15 of which are designated as cities) with elected 
councils. There are also a number of community boards and specia-purpose 
bodies with partially elected, partially appointed memberships.
Political parties: National, Labour, the Alliance, New Zealand First, 
ACT, United New Zealand and several smaller parties not represented in 
Parliament. 
Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP (1996): $91 billion.
Real annual GDP growth rate: 2.8%. 
Per capita income: $16,281. 
Natural resources: Natural gas, iron sand, coal, timber.
Agriculture (9.7% of GDP): Products--wool, meat, dairy products, 
forestry products. 
Industry (46.1% of GDP): Types--food processing, textiles, machinery, 
transport 
equipment, fish, forestry products.
Trade (1996): Exports--$12 billion: meat, dairy products, manufactured 
products, forest products, fish, fruit and vegetables, wool. Major 
markets--Australia, Japan, U.S., U.K. Imports--$21.3 billion: machinery, 
manufactured goods, transportation equipment, chemicals, mineral 
fuels. Major suppliers--Australia, U.S., Japan, U.K.
 


PEOPLE

Most of the 3.6 million New Zealanders are of British origin. About 
14%  claim descent from the indigenous Maori population, which is of 
Polynesian origin. Nearly 75% of the people, including a large majority 
of the of the Maoris, live on the North Island. In addition, 167,000 
Pacific Islanders also live in New Zealand.

During the late 1870s, natural increase permanently replaced 
immigration as the chief contributor to population growth and has 
accounted for more than 75% of population growth in the 20th century. 
Nearly 85% of New Zealand's population lives in urban areas, where 
the service and manufacturing industries are growing rapidly.


HISTORY

Archaeological evidence indicates that New Zealand was populated by 
fishing and hunting people of East Polynesian ancestry perhaps 1,000 
years before Europeans arrived. Known to some scholars as the Moa-
hunters, they may have merged with later waves of Polynesians who, 
according to Maori tradition, arrived between 952 and 1150. Some of the 
Maoris called their new homeland "Aotearoa," usually translated as 
"land of the long white cloud."

In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch navigator, made the first recorded 
European sighting of New Zealand and sketched sections of the two 
main islands' west coasts. English Captain James Cook thoroughly 
explored the coastline during three South Pacific voyages beginning in 
1769. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, lumbering, seal 
hunting, and whaling attracted a few European settlers to New Zealand. 
In 1840, the United Kingdom established British sovereignty through the 
Treaty of Waitangi signed that year with Maori chiefs.

In the same year, selected groups from the U.K. began the colonization 
process. Expanding European settlement led to conflict with Maoris, 
most notably in the Maori land wars of the 1860s. British and colonial 
forces eventually overcame determined Maori resistance. During this 
period, many Maoris died from disease and warfare, much of it 
intertribal.

Constitutional government began to develop in the 1850s. In 1867, 
Maoris won the right to a certain number of  reserved seats in 
parliament. During this period, the livestock industry began to expand, 
and the foundations of New Zealand's modern economy took shape. By 
the end of the 19th century, improved transportation facilities made 
possible a great overseas trade in wool, meat, and dairy products.

By the 1890s, parliamentary government along democratic lines was 
well established, and New Zealand's social institutions assumed their 
present form. Women received the right to vote in national elections in 
1893. The turn of the century brought sweeping social reforms that 
built the foundation for New Zealand's version of the welfare state.

Maoris gradually recovered from population decline and, through 
interaction and intermarriage with settlers and missionaries, adopted 
much 
of European culture. In recent decades, Maoris have become 
increasingly urbanized and have become more politically active and 
culturally assertive. 

New Zealand was declared a dominion by a royal proclamation in 1907. It 
achieved full internal and external autonomy by the Statute of 
Westminster Adoption Act in 1947, although this merely formalized a 
situation that had existed for many years.


GOVERNMENT

New Zealand has a parliamentary system of government closely patterned 
on that of the United Kingdom and is a fully independent member of the 
Commonwealth.  It has no written constitution.

Executive authority is vested in a cabinet led by the prime minister, 
who is the leader of the political party or coalition of parties holding 
the majority of seats in parliament. All cabinet ministers must be 
members of parliament and are collectively responsible to it.

The unicameral parliament (House of Representatives) has 120 seats, 
five of which currently are reserved for Maoris elected on a separate 
Maori roll. However, Maoris also may run for, and have been elected 
to, non-reserved seats.  Parliaments are elected for a maximum term of 
three years, although elections can be called sooner.

The judiciary consists of the Court of Appeals, the High Court, and the 
District Courts.  New Zealand law has three principal sources--English 
common law, certain statutes of the U.K. Parliament enacted before 
1947, and statutes of the New Zealand Parliament. In interpreting 
common law, the courts have been concerned with preserving uniformity 
with common law as interpreted in the United Kingdom.  This uniformity 
is ensured  by the maintenance of the Privy Council in London as the 
final court of appeal and by judges' practice of following British 
decisions, even though, technically, they are not bound by them.

Local government in New Zealand has only the powers conferred upon it by 
parliament. The country's 12 regional councils are directly elected, set 
their own tax rates, and have a chairman elected by their members. 
Regional council responsibilities include environmental management, 
regional aspects of civil defense, and transportation planning. The 74 
"territorial authorities"--15 city councils, 58 district councils in 
rural areas, and one county council for the Chatham Islands--are 
directly elected, raise local taxes at rates they themselves set, and 
are headed by popularly elected mayors. The territorial authorities may 
delegate powers to local community boards.  These boards, instituted at 
the behest either local citizens or territorial authorities, advocate 
community views but cannot levy taxes, appoint staff, or own property.


Principal Government Officials

Chief of State--Queen Elizabeth II
Governor General--His Excellency Sir Michael Hardie Boys
Prime Minister--Jenny Shipley
Ambassador to the United States--James Bolger
Ambassador to the United Nations--Michael Powles

New Zealand maintains an embassy in the United States at 37 
Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC  20008 (tel. 202-328-4800, 
fax 202-667-5227). A consulate general is located in Los Angeles (tel. 
310-207-1605, 
fax 310-207-3605). Tourism information is available 
through the New Zealand Tourism Board office in Santa Monica, 
California (toll-free tel. 800-388-5494).

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

The conservative National Party and left-leaning Labour Party have 
dominated New Zealand political life since a Labour government came to 
power in 1935. During 14 years in office, the Labour Party implemented a 
broad array of social and economic legislation, including comprehensive 
social security, a large-scale public works program, a 40-hour workweek, 
a minimum basic wage, and compulsory unionism. The National Party won 
control of the government in 1949 and adopted many welfare measures 
instituted by the Labour Party. Except for two brief periods of Labour 
governments in 1957-60 and 1972-75, National held power until 1984. 
After regaining control in 1984, the Labor government  instituted a 
series of radical market-oriented reforms in response to New Zealand's 
mounting external debt.  It also enacted anti-nuclear legislation that 
effectively brought about New Zealand's suspension from the ANZUS 
security alliance with the United States and Australia. 
  
In October 1990, the National Party was again elected, capturing 67 of 
97 parliamentary seats in a landslide victory.  To the disappointment of 
some supporters, National continued the economic reforms introduced by 
Labor.  National was narrowly reelected in November 1993. Two seats each 
were won by two new opposition parties, the Alliance and New Zealand 
First. In a simultaneous referendum, New Zealanders changed their 
electoral system to a form of proportional representation designed to 
give smaller parties a larger voice in parliament.  In the 1996 
election, the first under the new "mixed-member-proportional" (MMP) 
system, the National Party, at 34% (44 Parliament seats)  barely edged 
out Labour (28% - 37 seats) as the top party.  New Zealand First (13%) 
with its 17 seats opted to join National in a coalition government.  


ECONOMY

New Zealand enjoys a high level of prosperity based on exports from its 
efficient agricultural system.  Leading agricultural exports include 
meat, forest products, fruit and vegetables, fish, wool and dairy 
products.  The country has substantial hydroelectric power and sizable 
reserves of natural gas.  Leading manufacturing sectors are food 
processing, metal fabrication, and wood and paper products.

New Zealand was a direct beneficiary of many of the reforms achieved 
under the Uruguay Round.  New Zealand agriculture, and the dairy sector 
in particular, have enjoyed many new trade opportunities.  Since 1984, 
government subsidies have been eliminated; import regulations have been 
liberalized; exchange rates have been freely floated; controls on 
interest rates, wages, and prices have been removed; and marginal rates 
of taxation reduced. Tight monetary policy and major efforts to reduce 
the government budget deficit have cut inflation from an annual rate of 
more than 18% in 1987 to about 1.6% in 1997. The restructuring and sale 
of government-owned enterprises has reduced government's role in the 
economy and permitted the retirement of some public debt. However, the 
reforms led to economic dislocations with unemployment reaching 11% in 
1991.  An improving economy brought unemployment down to 6.2% by March 
1996, but unemployment remains a significant social concern and has been 
rising for the past year to 6.8% in September 1997.


Economic growth has slowed substantially since an unsustainable peak of 
over 6% in 1994, in response to tighter monetary policy.  At the same 
time, by early 1998, real GDP growth was approaching 2% and economists 
believe that the Asian financial crisis could postpone New Zealand's 
long-expected economic recovery until perhaps 1999.  Business and 
consumer confidence are trending downward, negatively impacting both 
business investment and retail sales.

New Zealand's exports were hurt by the rapid appreciation of the NZ 
dollar from late 1994 to mid-1997 in response to tight monetary policy.  
With the loosening of monetary conditions throughout 1997, the NZ 
currency lost all of its gains against the U.S. dollar, boosting exports 
in the second half of 1997.  However, the Asian financial crisis has 
begun to bite into such key foreign exchange earners as tourism from 
Asia, forestry exports, and educational services.  Dairy and meat 
exports to Asia are also expected to suffer in 1998, while manufactured 
products are holding up well.  New Zealand commodity exporters are 
looking to U.S. and European markets to replace lost Asian customers.  
The current account has been deteriorating substantially in the last few 
years and is expected to create a downward risk for the NZ currency.

Prices and access to foreign markets are a constant concern to New 
Zealand.  Exports also have been helped by improving economic relations 
with Australia. Australia and New Zealand are partners in "Closer 
Economic Relations" (CER), which allows for free trade in goods and most 
services. Since 1990, CER has created a single market of more than 20 
million people, and this has provided new opportunities for New Zealand 
exporters. Australia is now the destination of 19.7% of New Zealand's 
exports, compared to 14% in 1983. Extending CER to product 
standardization and taxation policy is also under consideration.

U.S. goods and services are increasingly competitive in New Zealand. 
The market-led economy offers many opportunities for U.S. exporters 
and investors. Investment opportunities exist in chemicals, food 
preparation, finance, tourism and forest products, as well as in 
franchising. The best sales prospects are for computers, software, 
medical equipment, chemicals, sporting goods, and telecommunications and 
transportation equipment.

New Zealand welcomes and encourages foreign investment without 
discrimination. Approval by its Overseas Investment Commission(OIC) is 
required for foreign investments over $6.4 million or investments of any 
size in two specific sectors--commercial fishing and rural land. Foreign 
investment in commercial fishing is limited to a 25% holding, unless an 
exemption is granted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. While 
the level of ownership is not restricted for rural land, foreign 
purchasers are required to demonstrate that the purchase is beneficial 
to New Zealand. In practice, OIC approval requirements have not been an 
obstacle for U.S. investors. No performance requirements are attached to 
foreign direct investment. Full remittance of profits and capital is 
permitted through normal banking channels. 

A number of U.S. companies have subsidiary branches in New Zealand. Many 
companies operate through local agents, and some are in association in 
joint ventures. The U.S. Government recognized the generally liberal 
trading environment in New Zealand by signing a bilateral Trade and 
Investment Framework Agreement in 1992 providing for periodic 
government-to-government consultations on bilateral and multilateral 
trade and investment issues and concerns. 


NATIONAL SECURITY

New Zealand has three defense policy objectives: 1) defend New Zealand 
against low-level threats; 2) contribute to regional security; and 3) 
play a part in global security efforts.  New Zealand considers its own 
national defense needs to be modest.  

New Zealand states it maintains a "credible minimum force" to reassure 
its neighbors and allies of its commitment to regional stability, 
although critics maintain that the country's defense forces have fallen 
below this standard.  With a claimed area of direct strategic concern 
that extends from Australia to Southeast Asia to the South Pacific, and 
with defense expenditures that total less than 1.4% of GDP, New Zealand 
necessarily places substantial emphasis on its defense relationship with 
larger countries.  Before the ANZUS rift over NZ's anti-nuclear 
legislation, its defense relationship with the U.S. was very important 
to New Zealand.  In recent years, NZ has coordinated its defense efforts 
more closely with Australia.  

New Zealand is an active participant in multilateral peacekeeping.  It 
has taken a leading role in trying to bring peace to Bougainville, 
brokering a cease-fire and leading the "truce monitoring group" composed 
of NZ, Australia, Fiji, and Vanuatu.  New Zealand maintains a contingent 
in the Sinai Multinational Force and Observers and has contributed to UN 
peacekeeping operations in Angola, Cambodia, Somalia, and the former 
Yugoslavia.  It has also participated in the Multilateral Interception 
Force in the Persian Gulf.  

NZ participates in Mutual Assistance Programs (MAP), sharing training 
facilities and exchanges of personnel, and conducting joint exercises 
with the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, 
Singapore, Brunei, Fiji, Tonga, and other South Pacific states.  In 
addition to its MAP partners, NZ exercises with its Five Power Defense 
Arrangement partners (Australia, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and 
Singapore), as well as with Korea.  

Due to New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy, defense cooperation with the 
U.S. (including training exercises) has been significantly restricted 
since 1986.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

New Zealand's foreign policy is oriented chiefly toward developed 
democratic nations and emerging Pacific economies.  The country's major 
political parties have generally agreed on the broad outlines of foreign 
policy, and the current coalition government has been active in 
multilateral fora on issues of recurring interest to NZ: trade 
liberalization, disarmament, and arms control.  

New 
Zealand values the United Nations and its own participation in that 
organization.  It also values its participation in: the World Trade 
Organization (WTO); World Bank; International Monetary Fund (IMF); 
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); 
International Energy Agency; Asian Development Bank; South Pacific 
Forum; The Pacific Community; Colombo Plan; Asia Pacific Economic 
Cooperation (APEC); INTELSAT; and the International Whaling Commission.  
New Zealand is also an active member of the Commonwealth.  Despite the 
1985 rupture in the ANZUS alliance, New Zealand has maintained good 
working relations with the United States and Australia on a broad array 
of international issues.  

In the past, New Zealand's geographic isolation and its agricultural 
economy's general prosperity tended to minimize public interest in 
world affairs. However, growing global trade and other international 
economic events have made New Zealanders increasingly aware of their 
country's dependence on stable overseas markets.

New Zealand's economic involvement with Asia has been increasingly 
important, first through aid, mainly to Southeast Asia, and  through 
expanding trade with the growing economies of Asia. New Zealand is a 
"dialogue partner" with the Association of South East Asian Nations 
(ASEAN) and an active participant in APEC.

As a charter member of the Colombo Plan, New Zealand has provided 
Asian countries with technical assistance and capital. It also 
contributes through the Asian Development Bank and through UN programs. 
It is a member of the UN Economic and Social Council for Asia and the 
Pacific.

New Zealand has focused its bilateral economic assistance resources on 
projects in the South Pacific island states.  It has taken a special 
interest in facilitating peace and reconciliation on Bougainville Island 
I Papua New Guinea.  NZ's long association with Samoa (formerly known as 
Western Samoa), reflected in a treaty of friendship signed in 1962, and 
its close association with Tonga have resulted in a flow of immigrants 
and visitors under work permit schemes from both countries.  New 
Zealand administers the Tokelau Islands and provides foreign policy 
and economic support when requested for the freely associated self-
governing states of the Cook Islands and Niue.  Inhabitants of these 
areas hold New Zealand citizenship.

In 1947, New Zealand joined Australia, France, the United Kingdom, 
and the United States to form the South Pacific Commission, a regional 
body to promote the welfare of the Pacific region. New Zealand has 
been a leader in the organization.  In 1971, New Zealand joined the 
other independent and self-governing states of the South Pacific to 
establish the South Pacific Forum, which meets annually at the "heads 
of government" level. 


U.S.-NEW ZEALAND RELATIONS

Bilateral relations in areas outside the security sphere are excellent.  
The United States and New Zealand share common elements of history and 
culture and a commitment to democratic principles.  Senior-level 
officials regularly consult with each on issues of mutual importance.  

The United States established consular representation in New Zealand 
in 1839 to represent and protect American shipping and whaling 
interests. Since the U.K. was responsible for New Zealand's foreign 
affairs, direct U.S.-New Zealand diplomatic ties were not established 
until 1942, when the Japanese threat encouraged close U.S.-New 
Zealand cooperation in the Pacific campaign. During the war, more 
than 400,000 American military personnel were stationed in New 
Zealand to help bolster its defenses and to prepare for crucial battles 
such as Tarawa and Guadalcanal.

New Zealand's relationship with the United States in the post-World 
War II period was closely associated with the Australian, New Zealand, 
United States (ANZUS) security treaty of 1951, under which signatories 
agreed to consult in case of an attack in the Pacific and to "act to 
meet the common danger." During the postwar period, access to New 
Zealand ports by U.S. vessels contributed significantly to the 
flexibility and effectiveness of U.S. naval forces in the Pacific.

Growing 
concern about nuclear and arms control issues contributed to 
the 1984 election of a Labour Government committed to barring 
nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered warships from New Zealand ports. 
The Labour Government's anti-nuclear policy proved incompatible with 
a long-standing, worldwide U.S. policy of neither confirming nor denying 
the presence or absence of nuclear weapons on board U.S. vessels. 
Moreover, Labour's policy, subsequently enacted as legislation, also 
prohibits visits by nuclear powered ships. 

Implementation of New Zealand's policy effectively prevented practical 
alliance cooperation under ANZUS. After extensive efforts to resolve the 
issue proved unsuccessful, in August 1986 the United States suspended 
its ANZUS security obligations to New Zealand. The United States would 
welcome New Zealand's reassessment of its legislation to permit that 
country's return to full ANZUS cooperation. 

Despite suspension of U.S. security obligations, the New Zealand 
Government has reaffirmed the importance it attaches to continued close 
political, economic, and social ties with the United States and 
Australia.  In trade, the United States is New Zealand's third-largest 
supplier and customer after Australia and Japan.  Total bilateral trade 
for 1996 was $3.5 billion (with a $300 million surplus in favor of the 
U.S.), U.S. merchandise exports to NZ were $1.9 billion.  U.S. direct 
foreign investment in New Zealand (as of 1996) totaled $4.8 billion, 
largely concentrated in manufacturing, forestry, telecommunications 
services, and finance.   

New Zealand has worked closely with the U.S. to promote free trade in 
the GATT/WTO, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and 
other multilateral fora.  The U.S. and New Zealand hold annual high-
level trade and investment meetings.  

The U.S. and New Zealand work together closely on scientific research in 
the Antarctic.  Christchurch, New Zealand is the staging area for the 
shared logistical support of the U.S. National Science Foundation's 
(NSF) three permanent bases in Antarctica and New Zealand's one base, 
located just three kilometers from the principal U.S. base.  

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials


Ambassador--Josiah H. Beeman
Deputy Chief of Mission--Morton Dworken
Political and Economic Counselor--Karen Krueger
Agricultural Attachˇ--Gary Meyers
Defense Attachˇ--Captain John Langer, USN
Public Affairs Officer--Frank Huffman
Administrative Officer--Boyd Doty
Consul (Auckland)--Michael Thurston
Senior Commercial Officer (Auckland)--M. Philip Gates

The U.S. Embassy in New Zealand is located at 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, 
Thorndon, Wellington (tel. 64-4-472-2068, fax 64-4-471-2380); the U.S. 
Consulate General is located on the 4th Floor, Yorkshire General 
Building, corner of Shortland and O'Connell Streets, Auckland (tel. 64-
9-303-2724, fax 64-9-366-0870).  For information on foreign economic 
trends, commercial development, production, trade regulations, and 
tariff rates, contact the Bureau of Export Development, International 
Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230. 
This information is also available from any Commerce Department district 
office.  


TRAVELERS AND BUSINESS INFORMATION

The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides 
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are 
issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel 
to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for all 
countries and include information on immigration practices, currency 
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and 
security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in 
the country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate 
information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-
term conditions overseas which pose significant risks to the security of 
American travelers. Free copies of this information are available by 
calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-
on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Travel Warnings and Consular Information 
Sheets also are available on the Consular Affairs Internet home page: 
http://travel.state.gov and the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB). 
To access CABB, dial the modem number: 301-946-4400 (it will accommodate 
up to 33,600 bps), set terminal communications program to N-8-1(no 
parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit); and terminal emulation to VT100. The login 
is travel and the password is info. (Note: Lower case is required). The 
CABB also carries international security information from the Overseas 
Security Advisory Council and Department's Bureau of Diplomatic 
Security. Consular Affairs Trips for Travelers publication series, which 
contain information on obtaining passports and planning a safe trip 
abroad, can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. 
Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954; 
telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.

Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be 
obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-
5225. For after-hours emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-
4000.

Passport Services information can be obtained by calling the 24-hour, 7-
day a week automated system ($.35 per minute) or live operators 8 a.m. 
to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday ($1.05 per minute). The number is 1-900-
225-5674 (TDD: 1-900-225-7778). Major credit card users (for a flat rate 
of $4.95) may call 1-888-362-8668 (TDD: 1-888-498-3648).

Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers 
for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 
(404) 332-4559 gives the most recent health advisories, immunization 
recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water 
safety for regions and countries. A booklet entitled Health Information 
for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280) is 
available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 
20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.

Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and 
customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to 
travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's 
embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see "Principal 
Government Officials" listing in this publication).

U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas 
are encouraged to register at the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country 
(see "Principal U.S. Embassy Officials" listing in this publication). 
This may help family members contact you in case of an emergency.

Further Electronic Information

Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the Internet, 
DOSFAN provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy 
information. Updated daily, DOSFAN includes Background Notes; Dispatch, 
the official magazine of U.S. foreign policy; daily press briefings; 
Country Commercial Guides; directories of key officers of foreign 
service posts; etc. DOSFAN's World Wide Web site is at 
http://www.state.gov.

U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published on an annual basis by 
the U.S. Department of State, USFAC archives information on the 
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network, and includes an array of 
official foreign policy information from 1990 to the present. Contact 
the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. 
Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. To order, call (202) 512-1800 or 
fax (202) 512-2250.

National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of 
Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information. It is 
available on the Internet (www.stat-usa.gov) and on CD-ROM. Call the 
NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-1986 for more information.

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