Economy of Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau is among the world's least developed nations and one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, and depends mainly on agriculture and fishing. Cashew crops have increased remarkably in recent years, and the country now ranks sixth in cashew production.
Guinea-Bissau exports 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.
Following the April 2012 coup d'État growth plundged to reach -1.5% of GDP. In 2013, the country's GDP grew only by 0.9%. This low growth level during a period of democratic transition is explained by a combination of low administrative efficiency, low investments on account of the political instability and a bad cashew export season.
Because of high costs, the development of petroleum, phosphate, and other mineral resources is not a near-term prospect. It produces 400,000 barrels/day of petrol.
Mean wages were $0.52 per man-hour in 2009. Financial sector
The financial sector of Guinea-Bissau is relatively underdevelopped: in 2013, financial intermediation accounted for 4% of GDP, banking penetration is below 1% of the population (IMF 2013. Article IV Consultations - Guinea-Bissau, IMF Country Report No 13/197) and access to finance is cited as the second most important constraint for businesses. As of 2015, only four banks were operating in the country. According to the IMF, regional private foreign banks held about 65% of shares in the Bissau-Guinean banking system (IMF 2013). Banks are regulated by the WAEMU authorities. In the aftermath of the civil war (1998/1999), private sector credit had fallen below 1% of GDP. In 2003 the balance sheets of banks amounted to EUR 21.3 million. Since then credit to the economy has risen to nearly 13.8% of GDP.
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