Economy in Congo Kinshasa

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Economy—overview: The economy of Democratic Republic of the Congo—a nation endowed with vast potential wealth—has declined significantly since the mid-1980s. The new government has instituted a tight fiscal policy that has curbed inflation and currency depreciation. Plans are underway to introduce a new national currency. Most formal transactions are conducted in hard currency but a barter economy flourishes in all but the largest cities. Most individuals and families survive through subsistence farming or petty trade. International investors show renewed interest especially in the mining and telecommunications sectors. However poor infrastructure an uncertain legal framework corruption and lack of transparency in government economic policy remain a brake on investment and growth. A number of IMF and World Bank missions have met with the new government to help it develop a coherent economic plan.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$18 billion (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 1.5% (1996 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$400 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 59%

industry: 15%

services: 26% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: NA%

Labor force:

total: 14.51 million (1993 est.)

by occupation: agriculture 65% industry 16% services 19% (1991 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%


revenues: $269 million

expenditures: $244 million including capital expenditures of $24 million (1996 est.)

Industries: mining mineral processing consumer products (including textiles footwear cigarettes processed foods and beverages) cement diamonds

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 2.831 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 5.22 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 95 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: coffee sugar palm oil rubber tea quinine cassava (tapioca) palm oil bananas root crops corn fruits; wood products


total value: $1.9 billion (f.o.b. 1996 est.)

commodities: diamonds copper coffee cobalt crude oil

partners: Belgium US France Germany Italy UK Japan South Africa


total value: $1.1 billion (c.i.f. 1996 est.)

commodities: consumer goods foodstuffs mining and other machinery transport equipment fuels

partners: Belgium South Africa US France Germany Italy Japan UK

Debt—external: $13.8 billion (1995 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

Currency: 1 zaire (Z) = 100 makuta

Exchange rates: new zaires (Z) per US$1—115 000 (January 1998) 83 764 (October 1996) 7 024 (1995) 1 194 (1994) 3 (1993)

note: on 22 October 1993 the new zaire equal to 3 000 000 old zaires was introduced

Fiscal year: calendar year

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