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Although first sighted by an English navigator in 1592, the first landing (English) did not occur until almost a century later in 1690, and the first settlement (French) was not established until 1764. The colony was turned over to Spain two years later and the islands have since been the subject of a territorial dispute, first between Britain and Spain, then between Britain and Argentina. The UK asserted its claim to the islands by establishing a naval garrison there in 1833. Argentina invaded the islands on 2 April 1982. The British responded with an expeditionary force that landed seven weeks later and after fierce fighting forced an Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982. With hostilities ended and Argentine forces withdrawn, UK administration resumed.


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Economy - overview
The economy was formerly based on agriculture, mainly sheep farming but fishing and tourism currently comprise the bulk of economic activity. In 1987, the government began selling fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falkland Islands' exclusive fishing zone. These license fees net more than $40 million per year, which help support the island''s health, education, and welfare system. The waters around the Falkland Islands are known for their squid, which account for around 75% of the annual 200,000 ton fish catch. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Foreign exchange earnings come from shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and from the sale of postage stamps and coins. In 2001, the government purchased 100 reindeer with the intent to increase the number to 10,000 over the following 20 years so that Falkland could export venison to Scandinavia and Chile. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is increasing rapidly, with about 69,000 visitors in 2009. The British military presence also provides a sizeable economic boost. The islands are now self-financing except for defense. In 1993 the British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands, and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day. Political tensions between the UK and Argentina remain high following the start of oil drilling activities in the waters. In September 2011, a British exploration firm announced that it plans to commence oil production in 2016.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 217
$164.5 million (2007 est.)
$105.1 million (2002 est.)

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$164.5 million (2007 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 7
$55,400 (2002 est.)

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 95%
Industry NA%
Services NA% (1996)

Labor force World Ranking: 219
5,246 (2006)

Labor force - by occupation
95% (mostly sheepherding and fishing)
Industry and services 5% (1996)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 36

Population below poverty line

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% NA%
Highest 10% NA%

Revenues $67.1 million
Expenditures $75.3 million (FY09/10)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 47
40.8% of GDP (FY09/10)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 158
-5% of GDP (FY09/10)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 11
1.2% (2003)
3.6% (1998)

Agriculture - products
Fodder and vegetable crops; venison, sheep, dairy products; fish, squid

Fish and wool processing; tourism

Industrial production growth rate

Electricity - production World Ranking: 209
17 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 211
15.81 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 170
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 207
300 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 155
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 201
312.5 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 128
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 178
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 174
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 95
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 189
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 174
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 189
$125 million (2004 est.)

Exports - commodities
Wool, hides, meat, venison, fish, squid

Imports World Ranking: 211
$90 million (2004 est.)

Imports - commodities
Fuel, food and drink, building materials, clothing

Debt - external

Exchange rates
Falkland pounds (FKP) per US dollar -
0.6241 (2011)
0.6472 (2010)
0.6175 (2009)

Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March


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Falkland Islands ( Islas Malvinas ) [ United Kingdom ] (Overseas Territory):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Falkland Islands ( Islas Malvinas ) [ United Kingdom ] (Overseas Territory)

square Isla Sandbar Falkland Islands (general)

square Mount Challenger Falkland Islands (general)

square Cabo Carysfort Falkland Islands (general)

square Kidney Cove Falkland Islands (general)

square Deaths Head Falkland Islands (general)

square Dyke Point Falkland Islands (general)

square Sollis Rock Falkland Islands (general)

square Mintay Roca Falkland Islands (general)

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