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June 21, 2024  

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Sao Tome and Principe: Economy

Economy Sao Tome and Principe
Economy - overview:
This small poor island economy has become increasingly dependent on cocoa since independence 28 years ago. Cocoa production has substantially declined in recent years because of drought and mismanagement, but strengthening prices brighten prospects for 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 that substantial petroleum discoveries are forthcoming in its territorial waters in the oil-rich waters of the Gulf of Guinea; production could begin as early as 2004.
purchasing power parity - $200 million (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,200 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 25%
industry: 10%
services: 65% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
9% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
population mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing
note: shortages of skilled workers
Unemployment rate:
revenues: $58 million
expenditures: $114 million, including capital expenditures of $54 million (1993 est.)
light construction, textiles, soap, beer; fish processing; timber
Industrial production growth rate:
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
$5.5 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
cocoa 80%, copra, coffee, palm oil
Exports - partners:
Netherlands 30.1%, Poland 11.8%, Canada 9.7%, Germany 7.5%, Philippines 7.5%, Spain 7.5%, Belgium 6.5%, France 4.3%, Portugal 4.3% (2002)
$24.8 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Portugal 51.4%, Germany 10.1%, UK 7.6%, Belgium 6.3% (2002)
Debt - external:
$253.8 million (2000)
Economic aid - recipient:
$200 million in December 2000 under the HIPC program
dobra (STD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
dobras per US dollar - NA (2002), 8,842.11 (2001), 7,978.17 (2000), 7,118.96 (1999), 6,883.24 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year

Also See:

Background & Country Profile
Transnational Issues & International Disputes


Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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