Economy of Liberia

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Economy - overview: A civil war in 1989-96 destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around Monrovia. Many businessmen fled the country, taking capital and expertise with them. Some returned during 1997. Many will not return. Richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture, Liberia had been a producer and exporter of basic products, while local manufacturing, mainly foreign owned, had been small in scope. The democratically elected government, installed in August 1997, inherited massive international debts and currently relies on revenues from its maritime registry to provide the bulk of its foreign exchange earnings. The restoration of the infrastructure and the raising of incomes in this ravaged economy depend on the implementation of sound macro- and micro-economic policies of the new government, including the encouragement of foreign investment. Recent growth has been from a low base, and continued growth will require major policy successes.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $3.35 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 15% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture:  60%
industry:  10%
services:  30% (2000 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 70%, industry 8%, services 22% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate: 70%
Industries: rubber processing, palm oil processing, diamonds
Electricity - production: 432 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel:  100%
hydro:  0%
nuclear:  0%
other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 401.8 million kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
Exports: $55 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: diamonds, iron ore, rubber, timber, coffee, cocoa
Exports - partners: Belgium 53%, Switzerland 9%, US 6%, France 4% (1999)
Imports: $170 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; rice and other foodstuffs
Imports - partners: South Korea 30%, Italy 24%, Japan 15%, Germany 9% (1999)
Debt - external: $3 billion (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $200 million pledged (1998)
Currency: Liberian dollar (LRD)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Liberia > Map Economy History