Economy in Guinea-Bissau

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Economy—overview: One of the 20 poorest countries in the world Guinea-Bissau depends mainly on farming and fishing. Cashew crops have increased remarkably in recent years and the country now ranks sixth in cashew production. Guinea-Bissau exports fish and seafood along with small amounts of peanuts palm kernels and timber. Rice is the major crop and staple food. Trade reform and price liberalization are the most successful part of the country's structural adjustment program under IMF sponsorship. The tightening of monetary policy and the development of the private sector have begun to reinvigorate the economy. Inflation dropped sharply in the first quarter of 1997. Membership in the WAMU (West African Monetary Union) begun in May 1997 should help support 5% annual growth and contribute to fiscal discipline. Because of high costs the development of petroleum phosphate and other mineral resources is not a near-term prospect.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$1.15 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 5% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$975 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 45%

industry: 18%

services: 37% (1997 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 65% (1996)

Labor force: 480 000

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: $NA

Industries: agricultural products processing beer soft drinks

Industrial production growth rate: 2.6% (1997 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 11 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 45 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 40 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: rice corn beans cassava (tapioca) cashew nuts peanuts palm kernels cotton; fishing and forest potential not fully exploited


total value: $25.8 million (f.o.b. 1996 est.)

commodities: cashews 95% fish peanuts palm kernels sawn lumber (1994)

partners: Spain 35% India 30% Thailand 10% Italy 10% (1995)


total value: $63 million (f.o.b. 1996 est.)

commodities: foodstuffs transport equipment petroleum products machinery and equipment (1994)

partners: Thailand 27% Portugal 23% Japan 6% Cote d'Ivoire 7% (1995)

Debt—external: $953 million (1996 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes; note - on 1 May 1997 Guinea-Bissau adopted as its currency the CFA franc following its membership into the BCEAO

Exchange rates: CFA francs (CFAF) per US$1—608.36 (January 1998) 583.67 (1997); Guinea-Bissauan pesos (PG) per US$1—26 373 (1996) 18 073 (1995) 12 892 (1994) 10 082 (1993)

note: as of 2 May 1997 Guinea-Bissau has adopted the CFA franc as the national currency following its membership in BCEAO

Fiscal year: calendar year

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