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    Guinea-Bissau Economy - 2003

      Economy - overview: One of the 10 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. 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. However, unexploited offshore oil reserves could provide much-needed revenue in the long run. 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. Government drift and indecision, however, have resulted in low growth in 2002 and dim prospects for 2003.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.1 billion (2002 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: 1.5% (2002 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $800 (2002 est.)

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

      Population below poverty line: NA%

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

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (2002 est.)

      Labor force: 480,000

      Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 82% (2000 est.)

      Unemployment rate: NA%

      Budget: revenues: $NA
      expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

      Industries: agricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks

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

      Electricity - production: 55 million kWh (2001)

      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100%
      hydro: 0%
      other: 0% (2001)
      nuclear: 0%

      Electricity - consumption: 51.15 million kWh (2001)

      Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)

      Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001)

      Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - consumption: 2,500 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - exports: NA (2001)

      Oil - imports: NA (2001)

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

      Exports: $71 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)

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

      Exports - partners: Uruguay 40.7%, Thailand 27.9%, India 25.7%, Portugal 1.4% (2001)

      Imports: $59 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)

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

      Imports - partners: Portugal 22.9%, Senegal 15.6%, China 10.4%, Thailand 5.2% (2001)

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

      Economic aid - recipient: $115.4 million (1995)

      Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States; previously the Guinea-Bissau peso (GWP) was used

      Currency code: XOF; GWP

      Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 696.988 (2002), 733.039 (2001), 711.976 (2000), 615.699 (1999), 589.952 (1998)
      note: as of 1 May 1997, Guinea-Bissau adopted the XOF franc as the national currency; since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Guinea-Bissau on this page is re-published from the 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guinea Geography 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Guinea-Bissau Economy 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 20-Sep-03
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