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Eritrea Economy




Eritrea    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: With independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993, Eritrea faced the economic problems of a small, desperately poor country. The economy is largely based on subsistence agriculture, with 80% of the population involved in farming and herding. The small industrial sector consists mainly of light industries with outmoded technologies. Domestic output (GDP) is substantially augmented by worker remittances from abroad. Government revenues come from custom duties and taxes on income and sales. Road construction is a top domestic priority. In the long term, Eritrea may benefit from the development of offshore oil, offshore fishing, and tourism. Eritrea's economic future depends on its ability to master fundamental social and economic problems, e.g., by reducing illiteracy, promoting job creation, expanding technical training, attracting foreign investment, and streamlining the bureaucracy. Eritrea's agriculture over the last two years was severely weakened by war and drought, and many farmlands must wait to be demined. Another major difficulty is the ports, which prior to the war were Ethiopia's preferred outlets but since have seen trade dry up.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.9 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -1% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $710 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  16%

industry:  27%

services:  57% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  NA%

highest 10%:  NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 14% (2000 est.)
Labor force: NA
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 80%, industry and services 20%
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues:  $283.9 million

expenditures:  $351.6 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)
Industries: food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: 165 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  100%

hydro:  0%

nuclear:  0%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 153.5 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh NA kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh NA kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, coffee, sisal; livestock, goats; fish
Exports: $26 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities: livestock, sorghum, textiles, food, small manufactures
Exports - partners: Sudan 27.2%, Ethiopia 26.5%, Japan 13.2%, UAE 7.3%, Italy 5.3% (1998)
Imports: $560 million (c.i.f., 1999)
Imports - commodities: machinery, petroleum products, food, manufactured goods
Imports - partners: Italy 17.4%, UAE 16.2%, Germany 5.7%, UK 4.5%, Korea 4.4% (1998)
Debt - external: $281 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $77 million (1999)
Currency: nakfa (ERN)
Currency code: ERN
Exchange rates: nakfa per US dollar = 9.5 (January 2000), 7.6 (January 1999), 7.2 (March 1998 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year

 

Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook








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