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Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003, but the calm is tenuous and refugees continue to present a humanitarian crisis. The Republic of Congo was once one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.


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Economy

Economy - overview
The economy is a mixture of subsistence agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. In the early 1980s, rapidly rising oil revenues enabled the government to finance large-scale development projects with GDP growth averaging 5% annually, one of the highest rates in Africa. Characterized by budget problems and overstaffing, the government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its oil earnings through oil-backed loans that have contributed to a growing debt burden and chronic revenue shortfalls. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF. However, the reform program came to a halt in June 1997 when civil war erupted. Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, who returned to power when the war ended in October 1997, publicly expressed interest in moving forward on economic reforms and privatization and in renewing cooperation with international financial institutions. Economic progress was badly hurt by slumping oil prices and the resumption of armed conflict in December 1998, which worsened the republic's budget deficit. The current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The drop in oil prices during the global crisis reduced oil revenue by about 30%, but the subsequent recovery of oil prices has boosted the economy''s GDP and near-term prospects. In March 2006, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) treatment for Congo, which received $1.9 billion in debt relief under the program in 2010.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 131
$18.48 billion (2011 est.)
$17.69 billion (2010 est.)
$16.27 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$15.67 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 83
4.5% (2011 est.)
8.8% (2010 est.)
7.5% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 158
$4,600 (2011 est.)
$4,600 (2010 est.)
$4,300 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 4.2%
Industry 70.7%
Services 25.1% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 129
1.514 million (2007)

Unemployment rate
NA%

Population below poverty line
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 2.1%
Highest 10% 37.1% (2005)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 5
41.8% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $6.938 billion
Expenditures $3.535 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 26
47% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 4
23% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt



Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 147
6% (2011 est.)
5% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 78
4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 44
15.3% (31 December 2011 est.)
14.8% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 113
$3.341 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.55 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 133
$3.753 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.882 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 130
$2.608 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.982 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares
$NA

Agriculture - products
Cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products

Industries
Petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 7
12% (2010 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 160
452 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 163
534 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
436 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 37
302,200 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 149
11,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 52
211,800 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 170
2,832 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 36
1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 69
530 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 97
530 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 81
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 175
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 58
90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 42
$1.849 billion (2011 est.)
$605.9 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 84
$12.38 billion (2011 est.)
$9.621 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds

Exports - partners
China 37.9%, US 20%, Australia 6.2%, France 6%, Spain 4.8%, Italy 4.3%, Netherlands 4.3% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 130
$4.917 billion (2011 est.)
$3.186 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs

Imports - partners
France 17.3%, China 12.6%, India 9.5%, Italy 7.5%, Brazil 7.3%, US 5.8% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 86
$5.886 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$4.465 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 117
$4.955 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
471.87 (2011 est.)
495.28 (2010 est.)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)
483.6 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Republic Of The Congo (Brazzaville):


  GPS points from Republic Of The Congo (Brazzaville)

Bisoloko Region De La Lekoumou

Nkounga Region Du Pool

Bouangile Region Du Kouilou

Loukosi Region De La Bouenza

Otsokia Region Des Plateaux

Talidjembo Region Du Kouilou

Mbandza Region Des Plateaux

Pemba Region Du Pool




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