Bussines in Ivory Coast
In 2008, and for the first time since 2002, Côte d'Ivoire's economy passed the 2 per cent growth threshold. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by
2.3 per cent, compared to 1.5 per cent in 2007, driven by the construction, telecommunications and oil sectors. The primary sector remains crucial,
at 28.1 per cent of GDP.
The primary sector continues to dominate and accounted for 28.1 per cent of GDP in 2008, compared to 27.2 per cent in 2007. Most income in this
sector is generated by cash crops such as cocoa, coffee, rubber and palm oil. Cotton production, on the other hand, is on the decline,
supplanted by cashew nuts in the north. Growth in the agricultural sector continued in 2008 (reaching 3.2 per cent, after 0.1 per cent
growth in 2007), despite drops in the production volume of some goods1. This notable growth was driven above all by the increase in
international prices of commercial goods, including cocoa, which rose by approximately 18 per cent in 2008. Additionally, abundant
rainfall helped increase production volumes of some crops, including cashew nuts (19.8 per cent), cottonseed (8.6 per cent), cocoa
(6.1 per cent) and rubber (6.1 per cent). Coffee and cocoa remain the twin drivers of Côte d'Ivoire's economy. Côte d'Ivoire is the
world's largest cocoa producer and Africa's largest coffee producer. After a 4.9 per cent decrease in 2007, coffee bean production
rose from 1.3 million tonnes in 2007 to 1.38 million tonnes in 2008. Coffee production followed the opposite trend, due to poor maintenance of
plantations; production dropped from 170 800 tonnes in 2007 to 80 000 tonnes in 2008. The socio-political crisis contributed to international
increases in the prices of these two products from 2002 to 2008.
As for external demand, exports grew by 1.5 per cent in 2008, despite the drop in oil production, which was offset by the strong performance of
traditional cash crops. In 2009 and 2010, growth in exports should register at 2 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively, driven by solid performance
from the country's main products (crude oil, cocoa, coffee, cotton, rubber and cashew nuts). Growth in imports, meanwhile, slowed to 3.3 per cent in
2008, from 4.1 per cent in 2007. This trend is expected to continue, with imports estimated to increase by 2.4 and 6.4 per cent in 2009 and 2010
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