Capital city: Ngerulmud
Languages: Palauan (official)
Population: 20,609 in 2011
Area: 460 Sq km
GDP per capita: 8,031 in 2011
GDP current US$: 0 in 2011
Palau is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is geographically part of the larger island group of Micronesia, spread out over 250 islands forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands. The most populous island in the group is Koror, with the capital, Ngerulmud, located in Melekeok State on the nearby island of Babeldaob.
Palau's economy is based mainly on tourism, agriculture, fishing and significant portion of Gross National Product (GNP) derived from foreign aid. The country's currency is the United States dollar.
An important issue that negatively affects Palau's investment climate is the uncertainty over land titles and land rights. Foreigners may only lease land in Palau for up to 50 years and a further allowable extension for up to 49 years. However, land ownership disputes are very common.
The Palau Land Registration Act requires that all lands in Palau, private and public, be surveyed and registered in the country's Land Court. But a mere eight to ten percent of the land area was registered as of mid-1990s, and there are still ownership disputes even over these registered lands, i.e., whether these lands are individually owned or are owned by clans.