|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 and is scheduled to submit its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper in March 2002. Guinea-Bissau will receive the bulk of its assistance under the enhanced HIPC initiative when it satisfies a number of conditions, including implementation of its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.
GDP: purchasing power parity -
$1.1 billion (2000 est.)
SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State
Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Guinea-Bissau > Map Economy History