Economy overview: In the last 25 years since independence, this underdeveloped island economy has become increasingly dependent on cocoa exports. However, due to drought and poor agricultural management, cocoa bean production has dropped significantly. Due to the decrease in cocoa exports, problems arose with the country’s balance of payments. Sao Tome has to import all types of fuel, most industrial and consumer goods, as well as a significant part of the food. For many years now, the country has been unable to service its external debt, depending on foreign aid and debt repayment deferrals. Sao Tome received $200 million in debt relief in December 2000 under the Indebted Poor Countries Relief Program. The tourism business has great potential, and the government has taken a number of steps to develop it. The government has also attempted to loosen price controls and reduce government subsidies, but economic growth continues to be subdued. Sao Tome is also counting on the discovery of rich oil fields in its territorial waters, which are part of the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea area. Corruption continues to be an obstacle to economic development. At the same time, progress in the implementation of the economic reform program has attracted support from international financial institutions, and GDP growth may be at least 4% in 2001-02. See topb2bwebsites.com to know more about Sao Tome and Principe in 2004.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $178 million (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 3% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $1,100 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 23%; industry: 19%; services: 58% (1997 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
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: 5% (2000 est.).
Labor force: no data.
Employment structure: the population is predominantly engaged in agriculture and fishing; note: there is a shortage of skilled workers in the country.
Unemployment rate: no data.
Budget: revenues: $58 million; expenses: $114 million, including capital expenditures of $54 million (1993 est.).
Spheres of economy: construction, textile industry, soap industry, brewing; fish processing; timber industry.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 17 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 41.18%; hydropower: 58.82%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 15.8 million kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, peppers, coffee, bananas, papaya, beans; Domestic bird; fish.
Exports: $3.2 million (free on board, 2000 est.)
Exports: cocoa 90%, copra, coffee, palm oil.
Export partners: Netherlands 18%, Germany 9%, Portugal 9% (1998).
Imports: $40 million (free on board, 2000 est.).
Import articles: machinery and electrical equipment, foodstuffs, oil products.
Import partners: Portugal 42%, USA 20%, South Africa 6% (1998).
External debt: $268 million (2000). Economic aid recipient: $200 million in December 2000 under the Indebted Poor Countries Relief Program.
Donor of economic aid:
Currency code: STD.
Exchange rate: STD/USD -7,119.0 (1999), 6,883.2 (1998), 4,552.5 (1997), 2,203.2 (1996), 1,420.3 (1995).
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 3,000 (1997).
Mobile cellular telephones: 6,942 (1997).
Telephone system: satisfactory capabilities; internal: minimum size system; international: satellite earth stations – 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM -2, FM -4, shortwave -0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 38,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 2 (1997).
TVs: 23,000 (1997).
Internet country code: st
Internet service providers: 2 (2000).
Number of users: 500 (2000).
Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total length: 320 km; coated: 218 km; unpaved: 102 km (1996 est.).
Ports and harbours: Santo António, Sao Tome.
Merchant fleet: total: 39 vessels (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 130,843 gross register tons / 149,048 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: bulk carriers – 3, cargo ships – 21, chemical tankers – 1, container ships – 3, liquefied gas tankers – 1, livestock ships – 1, oil tankers – 1, refrigerated ships – 2, ferries – 5, specialized tankers – 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 2 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 2; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.);
Airports with unpaved runways:
Branches of the armed forces: army, navy, security forces.
Total military manpower: male 15 to 49: 34,205 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 18,043 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $1 million (1994).
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.5% (1994).