Congo, Democratic Republic of Economy, GDP, Budget, Industry and Agriculture


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Congo, Democratic Republic of Economy

View the information below regarding the economy of Congo, Democratic Republic of. The summary and statistics contains gdp, industry, agriculture and more for Congo, Democratic Republic of. If you need other information please visit the Congo, Democratic Republic of Country Page.

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of Government
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of People
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of Geography
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of History

    GDP (2002): $5.7 billion.
    Annual GDP growth rate (2002): 3%.
    Per capita GDP (2001): $90.
    Natural resources: Copper, cobalt, diamonds, gold, other minerals; petroleum; wood; hydroelectric potential.
    Agriculture: Cash crops--coffee, rubber, palm oil, cotton, cocoa, sugar, tea. Food crops--manioc, corn, legumes, plantains, peanuts.
    Land use: Agriculture 3%; pasture 7%; forest/woodland 77%; other 13%.
    Industry: Types--processed and unprocessed minerals; consumer products, including textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes, metal products; processed foods and beverages, cement, timber.
    Currency: Congolese franc (FC).
    Trade: Exports (2002)--$1,013 million. Products--diamonds, cobalt, copper, coffee, petroleum. Partners--Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, U.K., U.S. Imports (2002)--$955 million. Products--consumer goods (food, textiles), capital equipment, refined petroleum products. Partners--Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, U.K., U.S.
    Total external debt (2002): $8.211 billion.

    Democratic Repulic of the Congo Economy
    Sparsely populated in relation to its area, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to a vast potential of natural resources and mineral wealth. Nevertheless, the D.R.C. is one of the poorest countries in the world, with per capita annual income of about $90 in 2002. This is the result of years of mismanagement, corruption, and war.

    In 2001, the Government of the D.R.C. under Joseph Kabila undertook a series of economic reforms to reverse this steep decline. Reforms were monitored by the IMF and included liberalization of petroleum prices and exchange rates and adoption of disciplined fiscal and monetary policies. The reform program reduced inflation from over 500% per year in 2000 to only about 18% at an annual rate in the last quarter of 2002. In June 2002, the World Bank and IMF approved new credits for the D.R.C. for the first time in over a decade. Bilateral donors, whose assistance has been almost entirely dedicated to humanitarian interventions in recent years, also are beginning to fund development projects in the D.R.C. In October 2003, the World Bank launched a multi-sector plan for development and reconstruction. The Paris Club also granted the D.R.C. Highly Indebted Poor Country status in July 2003. This will help alleviate the D.R.C.’s external sovereign debt burden and potentially free funds for economic development.

    Agriculture is the mainstay of the Congolese economy, accounting for 56.3% of GDP in 2002. The main cash crops include coffee, palm oil, rubber, cotton, sugar, tea, and cocoa. Food crops include cassava, plantains, maize, groundnuts, and rice. Industry, especially the mining sector, is underdeveloped relative to its potential in the D.R.C. In 2002, industry accounted for only 18.8% of GDP; with only 3.9% attributed to manufacturing. Services reached 24.9% of GDP. The Congo was the world's fourth-largest producer of industrial diamonds during the 1980s, and diamonds continue to dominate exports, accounting for about half of exports ($394 million) in 2002. The Congo's main copper and cobalt interests are dominated by Gecamines, the state-owned mining giant. Gecamines production has been severely affected by corruption, civil unrest, world market trends, and failure to reinvest.

    For decades, corruption and misguided policy have created a dual economy in the D.R.C. Individuals and businesses in the formal sector operated with high costs under arbitrarily enforced laws. As a consequence, the informal sector now dominates the economy. In 2002, with the population of the D.R.C. estimated at 56 million, only 230,000 Congolese working in private enterprise in the formal sector were enrolled in the social security system. Approximately 600,000 Congolese were employed by the government.

    In the past year, the Congolese Government has approved a new investment code and a new mining code and has designed a new commercial court. The goal of these initiatives is to attract investment by promising fair and transparent treatment to private business. The World Bank also is supporting efforts to restructure the D.R.C.'s large parastatal sector, including Gecamines, and to rehabilitate the D.R.C.’s neglected infrastructure, including the Inga Dam hydroelectric system.

    The outbreak of war in the early days of August 1998 caused a major decline in economic activity. Economic growth, however, resumed in 2002 with a three percent growth rate. The country had been divided de facto into different territories by the war, and commerce between the territories had halted. With the installation of the transitional government in July 2003, the country has been “de jure” reunified, and economic and commercial links have begun to reconnect.

    In June 2000, the United Nations established a Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Congolese Resources to examine links between the war and economic exploitation. Reports issued by the panel indicate that countries involved in the war in Congo have developed significant economic interests. These interests may complicate efforts by the government to better control its natural resources and to reform the mining sector. A final panel report for 2003 is scheduled for release at the end of October 2003.


  • Congo, Democratic Republic of Government
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of People
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of Geography
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of History