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Cape Verde Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Cape Verde's low per capita GDP reflects a poor natural resource base, serious water shortages exacerbated by cycles of long-term drought, and a high birthrate. The economy is service oriented, with commerce, transport, and public services accounting for 60% of GDP. Although nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas, agriculture's share of GDP is only 20%; the fishing sector accounts for 4%. About 90% of food must be imported. The fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not fully exploited. Cape Verde annually runs a high trade deficit, financed by remittances from emigrants and foreign aid, which form important supplements to GDP. Economic reforms, launched by the new democratic government in 1991, are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy. Prospects for 1995 depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, remittances, and the momentum of the government's development program.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $410 million (1993 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      3.5% (1992 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $1,000 (1993 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      7% (1992)

    • Unemployment rate:
      26% (1990 est.)

    • Budget:

        $174 million

        $235 million, including capital expenditures of $165 million (1993 est.)

    • Exports:
      $4.4 million (f.o.b., 1992 est.)

        fish, bananas, hides and skins

        Netherlands, Portugal, Angola

    • Imports:
      $173 million (c.i.f., 1992 est.)

        foodstuffs, consumer goods, industrial products, transport equipment

        Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, Spain

    • External debt:
      $156 million (1991)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 3.6% (1990 est.); accounts for 8% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        15,000 kW

        40 million kWh

        consumption per capita:
        73 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      fish processing, salt mining, garment industry, ship repair, construction materials, food and beverage production

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 20% of GDP (including fishing); largely subsistence farming; bananas are the only export crop; other crops - corn, beans, sweet potatoes, coffee; growth potential of agricultural sector limited by poor soils and scanty rainfall; annual food imports required; fish catch provides for both domestic consumption and small exports

    • Illicit drugs:
      increasingly used as a transshipment point for illicit drugs moving from Latin America and Africa destined for Western Europe

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY75-90), $93 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-90), $586 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $12 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $36 million

    • Currency:
      1 Cape Verdean escudo (CVEsc) = 100 centavos

    • Exchange rates:
      Cape Verdean escudos (CVEsc) per US$1 - 85.537 (1st Quarter 1994), 80.427 (1993), 68.018 (1992), 71.408 (1991), 70.031 (1990)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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