Eritrea Economy


Eritrea economy, characterized as agriculture based economy, which employs about 80 percent of total labor force. Eritrea economy has an annual growth rate of 4.8 percent.

Eritrean economy is an agrarian economy which contributes about 12 percent of total GDP. Agriculture products are used both in domestic and international markets. Agricultural export mainly includes cotton, fruit and vegetables, hides, and meat. Agriculture here is mainly depended on rain water and so growth in this sector gets hampered when there is less rain or no rain. Apart from agriculture other sectors accounts up to 32 percent of GDP.

Eritrean economy is still not in state of stabilization as years of struggle have led to sluggish economic growth. Agriculture is one of the major sectors of the economy that is carried out throughout the country. Apart from agricultural sector there also exists a small industrial sector which lacks skilled labor and infrastructure. There are several natural resources available in the country. These natural resources also contribute in economic growth of the country. Copper, zinc, lead, gold, silver, marble, granite, barite, feldspar, kaolin, talc asbestos, salt, gypsum and potash are some of mineral resources found in the country. Petroleum resources though less in number are located on the borders of the country.

Till 1991, there has been nationalization of several large- and medium-sized businesses and services, including banks in Eritrea. In the recent years the government is in favor of denationalization of business and services. In the year 2002, out of approximately 2,000 manufacturing companies apart from 45 private enterprises, 35 state-owned businesses were sold to private hands and 10 more were awaiting privatization. The well-preserved coastline is one of the major economic assets of the country. This is a tourism sector and is also a fishing area.

Vital statistics of Eritrea economy

Real GDP (2004 est.)$700 millionPer capita income:$900 (on a purchasing power parity basis);Per capita GNI.$180. (World Bank Atlas method), 2004 estAvg. inflation rate (2004 est.):25%.