Côte d’Ivoire: economic and trade profile and performance
This paper examines the economic and trade profile and performance of Côte d’Ivoire since 1960, focusing on trends over the past 15 years. Côte d’Ivoire’s economic performance has been impressive over the past four years with a robust Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth which resulted in a decline in poverty from an estimated 51% in 2011 to 46% in 2015. This is set against a background that saw the estimated share of the population living below the poverty line increased from around 10% to about 49% from 1985 to 2008. During this period, the increase in the depth and severity of poverty was dramatic.
This economic recovery in the wake of its 2010 post-election crisis resulted in the average real growth rate reaching 8.5% annually between 2012 and 2015, one of the highest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. The growth was driven by agriculture, services, industry, increased domestic demand, and rising investment despite a slowdown in agricultural production in 2016. The World Bank considers that the strong economic growth rate reported in previous years should be sustained in 2016 and 2017, with real GDP growth projected to reach 7.8% and 8% respectively. Importantly, the political situation in Côte d’Ivoire has evolved positively in recent months, and the peaceful reelection of President Alassane Ouattara at the end of October 2015 confirmed the country’s stability since the end of the political crisis in 2011.
In 2015, Côte d’Ivoire recorded exports of $11,158 million and imports of $9,915 million, contributing to a current account balance of 2.0% of GDP. In 2014, service exports totalled $797 million and service imports $3,140 million. This would also be a negative factor in the current account balance. Excluding intra-EU trade, Côte d’Ivoire has a global ranking of 57 for merchandise exports and 72 for imports. The main agricultural exports are mostly related to cocoa, while cereals dominate agricultural imports. Oil products and gold are the main non-agricultural exports, and petroleum products dominate non-agricultural imports.
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