View the information below regarding the economy of Guinea-Bissau. The summary and statistics contains
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GDP (2000 est.): $201 million; real growth rate (2000 est.): 7.6%.
Per capita income (2000 est.): $173.
Natural resources: Fish and timber. Bauxite and phosphate deposits are not exploited; possible offshore petroleum.
Agriculture: Products--cashews, rice, peanuts, cotton, palm oil. Arable land--43%.
Industry: Very little industrial capacity remains from the 1998 internal conflict.
Trade: Exports--$80 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.): cashews (70%), shrimp, peanuts, palm kernels, sawn lumber. Major markets--India 59%, Singapore 12%, Italy 10% (1998). Imports--$55.2 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.): foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products. Major suppliers--Portugal 26%, France 8%, Senegal 8%, Netherlands 7% (1998).
Economy of Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau is among the world's least developed nations and depends mainly on agriculture and fishing. Guinea-Bissau exports some fish and seafood, along with small amounts of peanuts, palm kernels, and timber. License fees for fishing provide the government with some revenue. Rice is the major crop and staple food. Because of high costs, the development of petroleum, phosphate, and other mineral resources is not a near-term prospect. However, unexploited offshore oil reserves may possibly provide much-needed revenue in the long run.
The military conflict that took place in Guinea-Bissau from June 1998 to early 1999 caused severe damage to the country's infrastructure and widely disrupted economic activity. Agricultural production is estimated to have fallen by 17% during the conflict, and the civil war led to a 28% overall drop in GDP in 1998. Cashew nut output, the main export crop, declined in 1998 by an estimated 30%. World cashew prices dropped by more than 50% in 2000, compounding the economic devastation caused by the conflict. Before the war, trade reform and price liberalization were the most successful part of the country's structural adjustment program under IMF sponsorship. Under the government's post-conflict economic and financial program, implemented with IMF and World Bank input, real GDP recovered in 1999 by almost 8%. In December 2000 Guinea-Bissau qualified for almost $800 million in debt-service relief under the first phase of the enhanced HIPC initiative.