Congo flag Congo: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Congo

Foreign Trade in Figures

Congo’s foreign trade policy promotes a favorable social and economic environment aimed at fostering international trade, which represented 110% of GDP in 2020 (World Bank). Customs duty are harmonized by the Central African Customs and Economic Union (UDEAC). They fluctuate between 5 and 30%. Congo is also a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). However, its integration is being delayed. Congo mainly exports crude oil and refined petroleum (75% of total exports), vessels (14%), raw timber (7%), machinery and refined copper. Its main import products are special-use vessels (14% of total imports), machinery (11%), meat, electrical equipment, cereals, vehicles, steel structures, food and medicinal products (International Trade Centre).

Congo's exports are mainly sent to China (63.8% of total exports), Spain (8.6%), Gabon (4.6%), the United States, India and Peru; while its main suppliers are China (18.7% of total imports), France (14.5%), Belgium (7.4%), the United States, Spain and Indonesia (International Trade Centre).
 
In 2020, WTO data showed that the country’s exports and imports of goods were valued at USD 3.34 billion and USD 1.87 billion respectively. Export of goods and services decreased by -8.5% compared to 2019, while imports decreased by -10.4%. Due to the COVID-9 pandemic, trade volume dropped significantly in 2020. Import compression and increased oil exports resulted in large trade surplus in 2021 but in 2022, the import bill is expected to rise faster than oil exports (Coface).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 4,9513,7453,4862,2421,866
Exports of Goods (million USD) 3,5736,07811,1555,5763,340
Imports of Services (million USD) n/a1,909000
Exports of Services (million USD) n/a187000

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 131.5113.0120.3127.5114.0
Trade Balance (million USD) -715n/an/an/an/a
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -2,690n/an/an/an/a
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -9.0-34.55.13.2-10.4
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4.914.411.47.4-8.5
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 86.355.149.153.455.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 45.358.071.274.158.0

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 3.00.21.26.7-0.2
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -6.611.39.39.81.4

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
The Republic of the Congo is a member of the CEMAC - Central African Economic and Monetary Community and the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC). The country is also a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
 
 
 
 
 

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Latest Update: July 2022