In the Ivory Coast, the primary market depends heavily on agriculture. In fact, approximately 70% of the population works in some form or another within the agricultural sector. Of the largest producers and exporters of cocoa beans, coffee, and palm oil, Cote d’Ivoire is at the top. While this is good news for Ivory Coast trade, it also means there is risk any time the market fluctuates. If international pricing goes down or weather prohibits a good crop, Ivory Coast trade feels the impact.<
In the Ivory Coast, the primary market depends heavily on agriculture. In fact, approximately 70% of the population works in some form or another within the agricultural sector. Of the largest producers and exporters of cocoa beans, coffee, and palm oil, Cote d’Ivoire is at the top. While this is good news for Ivory Coast trade, it also means there is risk any time the market fluctuates. If international pricing goes down or weather prohibits a good crop, Ivory Coast trade feels the impact.
Although the government of Ivory Coast has made tremendous effort to diversify the economy, agriculture and agricultural activities remain the primary sector. For instance, in the 1960s, the GDP per capita increased by 82%, finally hitting 360% in the 1970s. However, by the 1980s and 1990s, numbers had dropped to 22%. Then, considering that this part of the country experienced significant population growth, standard of living in Ivory Coast began to slide.
Although the economy saw some troubling times, around the mid-1990s when the CFA Franc was devaluated, prices for coffee and cocoa increased, and Ivory Coast exports to include rubber and pineapples saw growth. Other changes during this time included liberation of banking, limited Ivory Coast trade, new discoveries for gas and offshore oil, external financing improved, and debt was rescheduled. Even though devaluation reached 50% for currencies in the Franc zone causing inflation to rise to 26%, within two years, it dropped dramatically.
The good news for both Ivory Coast exports and Ivory Coast imports is that from that time to now, standards for this country have improved. Today, Cote d’Ivoire has a strong and diverse infrastructure to include telecommunication services, over 8,000 miles of paved road, and more. One area that continues to be a challenge is livestock. Since a large portion of the Ivory Coast is tsetse-fly infested, cattle are grown only in the most northern districts. Other livestock maintained in controlled areas include hogs, goats, chickens, and sheep, which produce byproducts of eggs, milk, and meat.
Another area that has been successful for Ivory Coast exports and Ivory Coast imports is fishing. In fact, the largest tuna fishing port has been in operating at Abidjan since 1964. Every year, approximately 100,000 tons of tuna is processed. In addition to this, commercial fishing for tuna and sardines accounts for much of the economy and fish hatcheries have been established in Korhogo, Bamoro, and Bouake.
Additionally, Ivory Coast consists of forestry. This part of the world has rainforests, deciduous forests, and secondary forests, which account for more than 7,117,000 hectares. While forestry is still harvested and sold, due to an influx of hostilities that caused political instability in 2002, it is now illegal to log. However, for purpose of maintenance, some limited logging is still allowed in forest areas that are classified. Just seven years ago, Ivory Coast exports of forest products reached $269 million, making it the third most valued source of foreign revenue.
The Ivory Coast export business also includes petroleum and cocoa as the primary products, working with markets such as Spain, Netherlands, Italy, France, India, Germany, the UK, Morocco, Senegal, and Ireland. One reason Ivory Coast exports for forest products continues to be in such high demand is that wood species include framire, frake, teak, samba, cedar, pine, bête, gmelina, and mangon.
Today, the Ivory Coast Trade, Ivory Coast Exports, Ivory Coast Imports includes many products in addition to those mentioned such as palm kernels, rice, corn, cotton, sugar, sweet potatoes, manioc, and bananas. For industries, these include foods, beverages, and wood products, as well as bus and truck assembly, oil refinery, fertilizer, textiles, electricity, building materials, and ship construction/repair. The amount of Ivory Coast exports is $6.50 billion and for Ivory Coast imports, $4.80 billion. Finally, the primary partners for exports are France, Netherlands, the United States, Nigeria, and Italy and for imports, France, Nigeria, and Thailand.