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    Greenland Economy - 1991

      Overview: Over the past 25 years, the economy has changed from one based on subsistence whaling, hunting, and fishing to one dependent on foreign trade. Fishing is still the most important industry, accounting for over 75% of exports and about 25% of the population's income. Maintenance of a social welfare system similar to Denmark's has given the public sector a dominant role in the economy. In 1990, the economy became critically dependent on shrimp exports and an annual subsidy (now about $355 million) from the Danish Government because cod exports had fallen, the zinc and lead mine closed, and a large promising platinum and gold mine was not yet operational. Greenland has signed a contract for its largest construction project, a power plant to supply the capital. To avoid a decline in the economy, Denmark has agreed to pay 75% of the costs of running Sondrestrom Airbase and Kulusuk Airfield as civilian bases after the US withdraws in 1992.

      GNP: $500 million, per capita $9,000; real growth rate 5% (1988)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.4% (1989)

      Unemployment rate: 9% (1990 est.)

      Budget: revenues $381 million; expenditures $381 million, including capital expenditures of $36 million (1989)

      Exports: $417 million (f.o.b., 1989 est.); commodities--fish and fish products 78%, metallic ores and concentrates 19%; partners--Denmark 74%, FRG 11%, Sweden 6%

      Imports: $394 million (c.i.f., 1989 est.); commodities--manufactured goods 36%, machinery and transport equipment 26%, food products 13%, petroleum and petroleum products 10%; partners--Denmark 69%, Norway, FRG, Japan, US, Sweden

      External debt: $480 million (1990 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate NA%

      Electricity: 84,000 kW capacity; 176 million kWh produced, 3,180 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: fish processing (mainly shrimp), potential for platinum and gold mining, handicrafts, shipyards

      Agriculture: sector dominated by fishing and sheep raising; crops limited to forage and small garden vegetables; 1988 fish catch of 133,500 metric tons

      Economic aid: none

      Currency: Danish krone (plural--kroner); 1 Danish krone (DKr) = 100 ore

      Exchange rates: Danish kroner (DKr) per US$1--5.817 (January 1991), 6.189 (1990), 7.310 (1989), 6.732 (1988), 6.840 (1987), 8.091 (1986), 10.596 (1985)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Greenland on this page is re-published from the 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greenland Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greenland Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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