Economy Overview: Benin’s economy remains underdeveloped and based on subsistence agriculture, cotton production and regional trade. Real production growth in 1996-99. averaged 5%, but rapid population growth has virtually nullified this achievement. Inflation rates have been declining for the last three years. The trade and transport industry, which make a significant contribution to GDP, depends on the situation in neighboring Nigeria, in particular on fuel supplies. In recent years, the Paris Club and other creditors have made it easier to repay external debt. In general, high fuel prices held back growth in 2000. An increase in cotton production, supported by a massive industry restructuring program, and the expansion of the port of Cotonou could help boost. See businesscarriers.com to know more about Benin Economics and Business.
GDP growth in 2001: at purchasing power parity – $ 6.6 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 5% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $1,030 (2000 est.)
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 37.9%; industry: 13.5%; service sector: 48.6% (1999).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 37.2% (1999 est.).
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 3% (2000 est.).
Labor force: no data.
Unemployment rate: no data.
Budget: revenues: $299 mn; expenses: $445 mn, including capital investments of $14 million (1995 est.).
Spheres of economy: textile industry, tobacco industry; beverage industry, food industry; production of building materials, oil extraction.
Growth in industrial production: 6.9% (2000 OTs.).
Electricity generation: 226 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 24.78%; hydropower: 75.22%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 510.2 million kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 300 million kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: corn, sorghum, cassava (tapioca), yams, legumes, rice, cotton, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, livestock.
Export: $396 million (free on board, 1999)
Exports: cotton, crude oil, various palm products, cocoa.
Export partners: Brazil 14%, Libya 5%, Indonesia 4%, Italy 4% (1999).
Import: $566 million (S.I.F., 1999).
Imports: foodstuffs, tobacco products, petroleum products, means of production.
Import partners: France 38%, China 16%, UK 9%, Ivory Coast 5% (1999).
External debt: $1.6 billion (1998 est.) Economic aid recipient: $274.6 mbn (1997)
Economic aid donor:
Currency: African Financial Community Franc (CFA franc, Communaute Finan-ciere Africaine franc); note – the circulation of the CFA franc is regulated by the Central Bank of West African countries.
Currency code: XOF.
Exchange rate: XOF/USD – 699.21 (January 2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996); note: since January 1, 1999, the CFA franc has been exchanged for the euro at a ratio of 655.957 CFA francs to 1 euro.
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 36,000 (1997).
Mobile cellular telephones: 4,295 (1997).
Telephone system: domestic: mediocre open-wire, microwave radio relay and cellular; international: satellite ground stations – 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); submarine cable.
Broadcast stations: AM – 2, FM – 9, shortwave – 4 (1998).
Radio receivers: 620,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 2 (one private) (1997).
TVs: 60,000 (1997).
Internet country code: bj
Internet service providers: 1 (2000).
Number of users: 10,000 (2000).
Transport Railways: total length: 578 km (single-track); narrow gauge: 578 km (1,000 m gauge) (2000 est.).
Roads: total length: 6,787 km; paved: 1,357 km (including 10 km of motorways); unpaved: 5,430 km (1997 est.).
Waterways: navigable are small areas of only local importance.
Ports and harbours: Cotonou, Porto-Novo.
Merchant fleet: none (2000 est.).
Airports: 5 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 1; from 1524 to 2437 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 4; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m:2 (2000).
Branches of the armed forces: armed forces (which include the army, navy, air force), national gendarmerie.
Enlistment age: 18 years old.
Total military manpower: men aged 15 to 49: 1,455,433; women aged 15 to 49: 1,489,947; note: persons liable for military service are both sexes (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 743,980; women aged 15 to 49: 755,149 (2001 est.).
Number of persons annually reaching military age: men: 70,088; women: 73,618 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $27 million (1996)
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.2% (1996).
International issues International disputes: no.
Illicit Drugs: Transit point for drugs primarily destined for Western Europe and the United States, used by Nigerian drug traffickers.