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Basic Information

Guinea-Bissau is located on the west coast of Africa. With a land area of 36,000 square kilometres and a sea area of 8,120 square kilometers, it has 88 islands and a population of approximately 1.9 million. The capital, Bissau, is the largest city as well as an independent autonomous region. It is also the national political, economic, and cultural centre.

Investment Environment

The moderate natural resources of Guinea-Bissau allow the country to operate farming, animal husbandry and fisheries. Its market threshold is friendly to foreign investors. The country has ample labour froce and apparent cost competitiveness; primary products in Guinea-Bissau are cheap and low-end industries are welcome. The Guinea-Bissau government’s policy agenda is dedicated to poverty reduction plans, power construction, port projects, telecommunication networks, fishery facilities, road construction, aviation facilities and tourism development, etc.

Doing Business 2020 – the World Bank’s report on business environment – points out that Guinea-Bissau moved up one position in the ranking of business environment convenience. It has made progress in terms of starting business and getting a construction permit.

Guinea-Bissau is a typical agricultural country. 80% of the country’s population make a living through agriculture. Its main crops are rice, cashews, palms, cassava, peanuts. Fisheries and forestry are also important local resources, and forestry exports are mainly used for building materials and furniture. Secondly, the service industry also accounts for a considerable portion of the local economy, mainly in trading and catering services. The industrial foundation is relatively weak, and mining resources have not been effectively developed.

Trade Overview

The main export destinations of Guinea-Bissau are India, China, Vietnam, Singapore and the UAE. The main export goods are cashew nuts, fish and shrimp. The main origins for imports include Portugal, Senegal, Pakistan, and China. The main imported goods are food, petroleum products, and capital goods.

China’s exports to Guinea-Bissau are mainly electrical products, high-tech products, textiles. The goods imported from Guinea-Bissau are mainly cashew nuts, sesame, peanuts and wood.

Economic Indicators

2017(a)

2018(a)

2019(b)

2020(c)

Surface area (sq. km)

36,125

36,125

36,125

36,125

Population (million)

1.9

1.9

1.9

GDP (US$ million)

1,347.0

1,458.2

1,445.7

Real GDP growth rate (%)

5.9

3.8

4.7

-0.6

Total exports (US$ million)

339.3

339.4

306.7

271.8

Total imports (US$ million)

-290.7

-293.1

-288.7

-269.9

Consumer Price Index (%)

1.4

0.5(b)

0.7

1.0

Current account balance (US$ million)

-6.7

-45.3

-34.9

-73.6

Exchange rate (Central African Franc CFA: USD)

582.0

555.7

583.9(a)

596.3

Remarks: (a) actual value; (b) estimated value of Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU); (c) estimates of Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Source: Country Report May 2020 (Guinea-Bissau) by the British Economist Intelligence Unit

 

Main export and import destinations

Main export destinations (2018)

Proportion in total exports

India

59.1

Vietnam

19.7

Singapore

18.7

United Arab Emirates

1.1

Others

1.4

Main source of import (2018)

Proportion in total imports

Portugal

39.7

Senegal

13.1

Pakistan

12.0

China

6.2

Others

29.0

Source: International Trade Center (ITC)

 

Main export and import goods

Major export goods (2018)

Proportion in total exports

Edible fruit and hard-shelled fruit; citrus fruit or melon skin

86.8

Fish, crustaceans, mollusks or other aquatic invertebrates

6.6

Wood and wood products; charcoal

5.1

Steel

0.6

Others

0.9

Major import goods (2018)

Proportion in total imports

Fossil fuels, mineral oil and its distilled products; bituminous substances; mineral wax

17.3

Cereals

16.0

Drinks, wine and vinegar

6.5

Products of cereals, powder, starch or milk products; pastries

5.5

Others

54.7

Source: International Trade Center (ITC)

Statistics on the trade between Mainland China and Guinea-Bissau (US$ 10,000)

Year

Total trade

Total exports*

Total imports**

2019

4,034.1

3,193.9

840.2

2018

3,747.0

2,983.2

763.9

2017

3,412.7

3,372.4

40.2

2016

2,139.8

2,123.6

16.1

2015

3,711.4

1,930.1

1,781.2

Remarks: * Value of goods exported to Guinea-Bissau from Mainland China; **Value of goods imported from Guinea-Bissau to Mainland China
Source of Data: General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China

Statistics on the trade between Macao and Guinea-Bissau (US$) (1 USD»8 MOP)

Year

Total trade

Total exports*

Total imports**

2019

2,019

2,019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Remarks: * Value of goods exported to Guinea-Bissau from Macao; **Value of goods imported from Guinea-Bissau to Macao.
Source of Data: Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), Macao SAR Government

Sources:

  • Country (region) guide for foreign investment cooperation (Guinea-Bissau) by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China
  • General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China
  • SinoMaps Press
  • Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), Macao SAR Government
  • International Trade Center (ITC)
  • Country Report May 2020 (Guinea-Bissau) by the British Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Doing Business 2020 by the World Bank

Updated in May 2020.