The Economy of Guinea-Bissau

The Economy of Guinea-Bissau

Guinean Economy

Economy - overview: One of the five 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 fifth 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. However, intermittent fighting between Senegalese-backed government troops and a military junta destroyed much of the country's infrastructure and caused widespread damage to the economy in 1998; the civil war led to a 28% drop in GDP that year, with partial recovery in 1999-2002. Before the war, trade reform and price liberalization were 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 had also begun to reinvigorate the economy. Because of high costs, the development of petroleum, phosphate, and other mineral resources is not a near-term prospect. Offshore oil prospecting is underway in several sectors but has not yet led to commercially viable crude deposits. The inequality of income distribution is one of the most extreme in the world. The government and international donors continue to work out plans to forward economic development from a lamentably low base. In December 2003, the World Bank, IMF, and UNDP were forced to step in to provide emergency budgetary support in the amount of $107 million for 2004, representing over 80% of the total national budget. Government drift and indecision, however, resulted in continued low growth in 2002-06. Higher raw material prices boosted growth to 3.7% in 2007 and 3.9% in 2008.


GDP - real growth rate: 3.2% (2008 est.) 2.7% (2007 est.) 1.8% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 62% industry: 12% services: 26% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.5% highest 10%: 42.4% (1991)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 480,000 (1999)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 82% industry and services: 18% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues: $NA expenditures: $NA

Industries: agricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks

Industrial production growth rate: 4.7% (2003 est.)

Electricity - production: 60 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 55.8 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 2,520 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - imports: 2,560 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Agriculture - products: rice, corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish

Exports: $133 million f.o.b. (2006)

Exports - commodities: cashew nuts, shrimp, peanuts, palm kernels, sawn lumber

Exports - partners: Brazil 56.2%, India 33.6%, Nigeria 8.3% (2007)

Imports: $200 million f.o.b. (2006)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products

Imports - partners: Portugal 21.7%, Senegal 16.8%, France 6%, Pakistan 4.7% (2007)

Debt - external: $941.5 million (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 447.81 (2008 est.), 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004) note: since 1 January 1999, the West African CFA franc (XOF) has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro; West African CFA franc (XOF) coins and banknotes are not accepted in countries using Central African CFA francs (XAF), and vice versa, even though the two currencies trade at par

Fiscal year:

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