Capital city: City of San Marino
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Language: Italian & English
GDP US$1.55 billion (2017)
San Marino, also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy. It is just over 61 km2 and is situated on the Italian Peninsula on the northeastern side of the Apennine Mountains. The country takes its name from Marinus, a stonemason originating from the Roman colony on the island of Rab, in modern-day Croatia. San Marino lays claim to be the oldest extant sovereign state as well as the oldest constitutional republic.
The country’s economy mainly relies on finance, industry, services and tourism. It is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP (per capita), with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, no national debt and a budget surplus. Companies in San Marino are taxed at 19%, capital gains 5%, and interest 13% (withholding tax).
San Marino has been wealthy Italians’ own little tax haven where vast amounts of untaxed money were deposited in Sammarinese banks and there was nothing Italy could do about it. After a series of incidents, black lists, and regulatory changes, San Marino is currently a tax haven in transformation.
Banking is the strongest asset of San Marino’s international financial service sector. Banking secrecy was once on par with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and even Lebanon but has since been eroded to the point of being strict but in line with international standards.
"You’d be stupid not to try to cut your tax bill and those that don’t are stupid in business"
- Bono: U2