Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија or Republika Srbija, pronounced [republika sr̩bija]), is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans. Serbia borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; the Republic of Macedonia to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the west; additionally, it borders Albania through Kosovo, whose status as part of Serbia is disputed. The capital of Serbia, Belgrade, is among the largest cities in Southeast Europe.
After the arrival of the Serbs to the Balkans in the 7th century, several medieval states were formed, which evolved into the Serbian Empire in the 14th century. By the 16th century, Serbia was conquered and occupied by the Ottoman Empire, at times interrupted by the Habsburgs. In the early 19th century the Serbian revolution re-established the country as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory and pioneered the abolition of feudalism in the Balkans.The former Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina united with Serbia in 1918. Following World War I, Serbia formed Yugoslavia with other South Slavic peoples which existed in several forms up until 2006, when Serbia regained its independence. In February 2008 the parliament of UNMIK-governed Kosovo, Serbia's southern province, declared independence, with mixed responses from international governments.
Serbia is a member of the UN, Council of Europe, PfP, BSEC and CEFTA. It is also a potential candidate for EU membership and a self-declared neutral country.
Serbia's economy is based mostly on various services (63.8% of GDP), industry (23.5% of GDP), and agriculture (12.7% of GDP). In the late 1980s, at the beginning of the process of economic transition from a planned economy to a market economy, Serbia's economy had a favourable position, but it was gravely impacted by economic sanctions from 1992–1995, as well as excessive damage to infrastructure and industry during the 1999 NATO bombing.
After the ousting of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević in October 2000, the country went through an economic liberalization process, and experienced fast economic growth. GDP per capita (nominal) went from $1,160 in 2000 to $6,267 in 2011. Furthermore, it has been preparing for membership in the European Union, its most important trading partner. Estimated GDP (nominal) of Serbia for 2011 is $46.4 billion, which is $6,267 per capita. Estimated GDP (PPP) of Serbia for 2011 is Intl. $79.013 billion, which is Intl. $10,664 per capita. At present, main economic problems are high unemployment rate (19.2%, October 2010) and a large trade deficit ($7.2 billion, 2009).
In recent years, Serbia has seen an increasingly swift foreign direct investment trend, including metal processing industry US Steel, building material industry Lafarge, food and beverages industry Carlsberg, Coca Cola, Nestle, textile industry Golden Lady, Pompea, leather industry Progetti Company, Falc East, ICT Industry Microsoft and Siemens. By countries, most cash investments in 2005-2009 period came from Austria ($2.68bn), Greece ($1.62bn), Norway ($1.55bn), Germany ($1.30bn), and Italy ($0.95bn), while major investor countries also include Slovenia, Netherlands, Russia and France. The actual amount of investments from countries such as the United States and Israel are significantly higher than the official figure due to their companies investing primarily through European affiliates.