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Country Info: Guinea

Economic Background

Guinea is a poor country that possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources. The country has almost half of the world's bauxite reserves and significant iron ore, gold, and diamond reserves. However, Guinea has been unable to profit from this potential, as rampant corruption, dilapidated infrastructure, and political uncertainty have drained investor confidence.

In the time since a 2008 coup following the death of long-term President Lansana Conte, international donors, including the G-8, the IMF, and the World Bank, have significantly curtailed their development programs.

Throughout 2009, policies of the ruling military junta severely weakened the economy. The junta leaders spent and printed money at an accelerating rate, driving inflation and debt to perilously high levels. In early 2010, the junta collapsed and was replaced by a Transition Government, which ceded power in December 2010 to the country's first-ever democratically elected president, Alpha Conde.

International assistance and investment are expected to return to Guinea, but the levels will depend upon the ability of the new government to combat corruption, reform its banking system, improve its business environment, and build infrastructure. IMF and World Bank programs will be especially critical as Guinea attempts to gain debt relief. International investors have expressed keen interest in Guinea's vast iron ore reserves, which could further propel the country's growth. The government put forward a new mining code in September 2011 that includes provisions to combat corruption, protect the environment, and review all existing mining contracts. Longer range plans to deploy broadband Internet throughout the country could spur economic growth as well. (Source: World Factbook, 2013)

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