Economy in Eritrea

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   Since independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993, Eritrea has faced the economic problems of a small, desperately poor country.  Eritrea developed its transportation infrastructure, asphalting new roads, improving its ports, and repairing war damaged roads and bridges. Since the war ended, the government has maintained a firm grip on the economy, expanding the use of the military and party-owned businesses to complete Eritrea's development agenda.  Eritrea's economic future depends upon its ability to master social problems such as illiteracy, unemployment, and low skills, and to open its economy to private enterprise so the diaspora's money and expertise can foster economic growth.  GDP:     purchasing power parity - $3.3 billion (2002 est.)  GDP - real growth rate:     2% (2002 est.)  GDP - per capita:     purchasing power parity - $700 (2002 est.)   GDP - composition by sector:    agriculture: 12.4% industry: 25.3% services: 62.4% (2003 est.)  Investment (gross fixed):     26.3% of GDP (2003)  Population below poverty line:    53% (1993/94)   Household income or consumption by percentage share:    lowest 10%: NA highest 10%: NA  Inflation rate (consumer prices):     12.3% (2003) Labor force - by occupation:    agriculture 80%, industry and services 20%  Budget:    revenues: $235.7 million expenditures: $375 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2003 est.)   Agriculture - products:    sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, coffee, sisal; livestock, goats; fish  Industries:    food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles  Electricity - production:     220.5 million kWh (2001)  Electricity - consumption:     205.1 million kWh (2001)  Electricity - exports:    0 kWh NA kWh (2001)  Electricity - imports:    0 kWh NA kWh (2001)  Oil - production:     0 bbl/day (2001 est.)  Oil - consumption:     6,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)  Current account balance:     $-159 million (2003)  Exports:     $56 million f.o.b. (2003 est.)   Exports - commodities:    livestock, sorghum, textiles, food, small manufactures (2000)  Exports - partners:    Malaysia 65.1%, Italy 10.4%, France 4.4% (2003)   Imports:     $600 million f.o.b. (2003 est.)  Imports - commodities:    machinery, petroleum products, food, manufactured goods (2000)  Imports - partners:    US 39.7%, Italy 19.1%, Turkey 6.8%, Russia 5.4%, France 4.7% (2003)   Debt - external:     $311 million (2000 est.)   Economic aid - recipient:    $77 million (1999)  Currency:    nakfa (ERN)  Currency code:    ERN  Exchange rates:    nakfa (ERN) per US dollar - NA (2003), 13.9582 (2002), 11.3095 (2001), 9.5 (2000), 7.6 (1999)      Telephones - main lines in use:     38,100 (2003)   Telephones - mobile cellular:     yes   international: country code - 291; note - international connections exist    Radio broadcast stations:    AM 2, FM NA, shortwave 2 (2000)  Television broadcast stations:    1 (2000)  Internet country code:    .er  Internet hosts:     1,047 (2004)  Internet users:     9,500 (2003)     Railways:     total: 306 km narrow gauge: 306 km 0.950-m gauge note: railway is being rebuilt; 117 km open (2003)  Highways:     total: 4,010 km paved: 874 km unpaved: 3,136 km (1999 est.)  Ports and harbors:    Assab (Aseb), Massawa (Mits'iwa)   Merchant marine:    total: 5 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 16,069 GRT/19,549 DWT by type: bulk 1, cargo 1, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1 registered in other countries: 1 (2004 est.)   Airports:    18 (2003 est.)  Airports - with paved runways:   total: 4 over 3,047 m: 2 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2004 est.)   Airports - with unpaved runways:    total: 13 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 914 to 1,523 m: 4 under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)  Military branches:    Army, Navy, Air Force  Military manpower - military age and obligation:    18 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 16 months (2004)  Military expenditures - dollar figure:     $77.9 million (2003)  Military expenditures - percent of GDP:     11.8% (2003)     

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February 23, 2005 change by dawit

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