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Sao Tome and Principe Economy
Economy - overview:
This small poor island economy has become increasingly dependent on cocoa since independence 29 years ago. Cocoa production has substantially declined in recent years because of drought and mismanagement, but strengthening prices helped boost export earnings in 2003. Sao Tome has to import all fuels, most manufactured goods, consumer goods, and a substantial amount of food. Over the years, it has been unable to service its external debt and has had to depend on concessional aid and debt rescheduling. Sao Tome benefited from $200 million in debt relief in December 2000 under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. Sao Tome's success in implementing structural reforms has been rewarded by international donors, who pledged increased assistance in 2001. Considerable potential exists for development of a tourist industry, and the government has taken steps to expand facilities in recent years. The government also has attempted to reduce price controls and subsidies. Sao Tome is optimistic about the development of petroleum resources in its territorial waters in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea; production could begin as early as 2004.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $214 million (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,200 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 19.6%
industry: 17.8%
services: 62.6% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
51.6% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
54% NA (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
9% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
NA
Labor force - by occupation:
population mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing
note: shortages of skilled workers
Unemployment rate:
NA
Budget:
revenues: $38.59 million
expenditures: $42.04 million, including capital expenditures of $54 million (2003 est.)
Industries:
light construction, textiles, soap, beer; fish processing; timber
Industrial production growth rate:
NA
Electricity - production:
17 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 41.2%
hydro: 58.8%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
15.81 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
700 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, bananas, papayas, beans; poultry; fish
Current account balance:
$-8 million (2003)
Exports:
$6.479 million f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
cocoa 80%, copra, coffee, palm oil
Exports - partners:
Netherlands 41.7%, Canada 16.7%, Belgium 8.3%, Germany 8.3%, Philippines 8.3% (2003 est.)
Imports:
$30.03 million f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Portugal 52.5%, Germany 11.5%, Italy 6.6%, Belgium 4.9%, Netherlands 4.9% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
$18 million (2003)
Debt - external:
$318 million (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
$200 million in December 2000 under the HIPC program
Currency:
dobra (STD)
Currency code:
STD
Exchange rates:
dobras per US dollar - 9,347.58 (2003), 9,088.32 (2002), 8,842.11 (2001), 7,978.17 (2000), 7,118.96 (1999)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
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