Saturday October 25th 2014

Insight Areas

Import and Export Snapshot for Sao Tome and Principe

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According to the World Trade Organization, trade represented 64.9% of Sao Tome and Principe’s GDP from 2005-2007.  In 2008, merchandise exports totaled $11 million while merchandise imports totaled $114 million.  Also in 2007, commercial services exports totaled $4 million while commercial services imports totaled $15 million.  Overall, Sao Tome and Principe is a net importer.

Note:  The information in this snapshot can help identify trade factors that may impact investments in Sao Tome and Principe.  For example, the higher the Trade-to-GDP ratio the greater sensitivity Sao Tome and Principe’s economy might have to global economic, trade, and financial fluctuations. Also, changes in economies or industries of key trading partners may trigger changes in Sao Tome and Principe’s economy and industries.

Major Imports and Exports

According to the International Trade Centre, the top five export categories for Sao Tome and Principe in 2008, along with percentage of total exports, were:

  1. Cocoa and cocoa preparations (48.4%)
  2. Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, etc. (46.6%)
  3. Vehicles other than railway (1.5%)
  4. Boilers, machinery, nuclear reactors, etc. (1%)
  5. Articles of iron or steel (less than 1%)

According to the International Trade Centre, the top five import categories for Sao Tome and Principe in 2008, along with percentage of total imports, were:

  1. Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, etc. (23.3%)
  2. Electrical and electronic equipment (9.4%)
  3. Vehicles other than railway (8.2%)
  4. Beverages, spirits, and  vinegar (6.4%)
  5. Milling products, malt, starches, inulin, and wheat gluten (4.7%)

Major Trading Partners

The top three countries to which Sao Tome and Principe exports merchandise, along with percentage of exports, are:

  1. Japan (77.7%)
  2. Belgium (7.7%)
  3. Netherlands (6.4%)

The top three countries which import merchandise to Sao Tome and Principe, along with percentage of imports, are:

  1. Portugal (55.8%)
  2. Belgium (9.6%)
  3. Japan (9.3%)

Sources:  World Trade Organization, International Trade Centre, and The World Factbook

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