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Foreign Trade in Figures

Burundi is relatively closed to global trade: according to the World Bank, foreign trade represents around 28% of Burundi's GDP. Coffee and gold represent the main export products (respectively 25.9% and 25% of total exports), followed by tea (10.9%), with cigars also being one of the main exports (4.9%). To promote exports, the government has established various institutions to support the country's producers and exporters, including the Burundi Coffee Quality Institute. The key imports are refined petroleum (23.5% of total imports), fertilizers (6.3%), medicaments (3.5%), motor cars (3.1%), and cement (2.7% - data Comtrade 2022).

In 2022, Burundi's main suppliers were Saudi Arabia (14.7%), China (14.1%), the United Arab Emirates (13.9%), Tanzania (9.1%), and India (8.5%), whereas Burundi's exports were directed chiefly towards the United Arab Emirates (28.0%), the Democratic Republic of Congo (18.6%), Switzerland (9.5%), Belgium (8.0%), Pakistan (4.9%), and Tanzania (4.8% - data Comtrade). Burundi is a member of the following trade organizations: the WTO, COMESA (Eastern and Southern Africa), ECCAS (Central Africa), and the East African Community (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania).

Burundi's trade balance is structurally negative, a trend which should continue in the coming years. This situation is mainly due to the country's large imports of manufactured goods and oil, its poor manufacturing sector, and a lack of diversity in the tertiary sector. In 2022, Burundi exported goods for 199 million USD, while its imports amounted to 1.2 billion USD (+20.6% and +17% y-o-y, respectively). Burundi is also a net importer of services (USD 82 million in export against 333 million in imports in 2022 – WTO). According to the World Bank, in 2022, the country’s trade balance was estimated to be negative by 18.4% of GDP (from 18.2% one year earlier).

Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 8879091,0251,2601,151
Exports of Goods (million USD) 180162163207204
Imports of Services (million USD) 263248291333n/a
Exports of Services (million USD) 798510682n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 17337n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -0-1536n/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 29272928n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 24222423n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5555n/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
United Arab Emirates 28.0%
Democratic Republic of Congo 18.6%
Switzerland 9.5%
Belgium 8.0%
Pakistan 4.9%
See More Countries 30.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
Saudi Arabia 14.7%
China 14.1%
United Arab Emirates 13.9%
Tanzania 9.1%
India 8.5%
See More Countries 39.8%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

0.2 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Coffee, whether or not roasted or decaffeinated;...Coffee, whether or not roasted or decaffeinated; coffee husks and skins; coffee substitutes containing coffee in any proportion 25.9%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 25.0%
Tea, whether or not flavouredTea, whether or not flavoured 10.9%
Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of...Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes 4.9%
Beer made from maltBeer made from malt 4.8%
See More Products 28.5%
1.3 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 23.5%
Mineral or chemical phosphatic fertilisers (excl....Mineral or chemical phosphatic fertilisers (excl. those in tablets or similar forms, or in packages with a gross weight of <= 10 kg) 6.3%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.5%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.1%
Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not...Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not coloured 2.7%
See More Products 60.9%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data


To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export Controls

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows


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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

Member of Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)

Member of African Union (AU)

Member of East African Community (EAC)

Useful Resources
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
Contact the Ministry of Trade and Industry

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Latest Update: May 2024