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    Sao Tome and Principe Economy - 2002

      Economy - overview This small poor island economy has become increasingly dependent on cocoa since independence 26 years ago. However, cocoa production has substantially declined because of drought and mismanagement. The resulting shortage of cocoa for export has created a persistent balance-of-payments problem. 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 have 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 also optimistic that substantial petroleum discoveries are forthcoming in its territorial waters in the oil-rich waters of the Gulf of Guinea. Corruption scandals continue to weaken the economy.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $189 million (2001 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 4% (2001 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,200 (2001 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 25%
      industry: 10%
      services: 65% (1999 est.)

      Population below poverty line NA%

      Household income or consumption by percentage share
      lowest 10%: NA%
      highest 10%: NA%

      Inflation rate (consumer prices) 7% (2001 est.)

      Labor force NA

      Labor force - by occupation population mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing
      note: shortages of skilled workers

      Unemployment rate NA%

      revenues: $58 million
      expenditures: $114 million, including capital expenditures of $54 million (1993 est.)

      Industries light construction, textiles, soap, beer; fish processing; timber

      Industrial production growth rate NA%

      Electricity - production 17 million kWh (2000)

      Electricity - production by source
      fossil fuel: 41.18%
      hydro: 58.82%
      other: 0% (2000)
      nuclear: 0%

      Electricity - consumption 15.81 million kWh (2000)

      Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2000)

      Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2000)

      Agriculture - products cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, bananas, papayas, beans; poultry; fish

      Exports $4.1 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

      Exports - commodities cocoa 90%, copra, coffee, palm oil

      Exports - partners Portugal 33.3%, Netherlands 8.3%, Spain 8.3% (1999)

      Imports $40 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

      Imports - commodities machinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products

      Imports - partners Portugal 43%, France 15.7%, UK 13.7% (1999)

      Debt - external $253.8 million (2000)

      Economic aid - recipient $200 million in December 2000 under the HIPC program

      Currency dobra (STD)

      Currency code STD

      Exchange rates dobras per US dollar - 9,009.1 (December 2001), 8,842.1 (2001), 7,978.2 (2000), 7,119.0 (1999), 6,883.2 (1998), 4,552.5 (1997)

      Fiscal year calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Sao Tome and Principe on this page is re-published from the 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Sao Tome and Principe Economy 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Sao Tome and Principe Economy 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 30-Jan-03
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