Country Info: Gabon

Gabon

Bilateral Trade by Sector: United States - Gabon

Value ('1000 dollars), US 'domestic exports' *, US 'imports for consumption' / Includes year-to-date data

Economic Background

Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most Sub-Saharan African nations, but because of high income inequality, a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon relied on timber and manganese exports until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s.

From 2010 to 2016, oil accounted for approximately 80% of Gabon’s exports, 45% of its GDP, and 60% of its state budget revenues.

Gabon faces fluctuating international prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. A rebound of oil prices from 2001 to 2013 helped growth, but declining production, as some fields passed their peak production, has hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. GDP grew nearly 6% per year over the 2010-14 period, but slowed significantly from 2014 to just 1% in 2017 as oil prices declined.

Low oil prices also weakened government revenue and negatively affected the trade and current account balances. In the wake of lower revenue, Gabon signed a 3-year agreement with the IMF in June 2017.

Despite an abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management and over-reliance on oil has stifled the economy.

Power cuts and water shortages are frequent. Gabon is reliant on imports and the government heavily subsidizes commodities, including food, but will be hard pressed to tamp down public frustration with unemployment and corruption.

Agricultural products

plantains, cassava, sugar cane, yams, taro, vegetables, maize, groundnuts, game meat, rubber

Industries

petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, gold; chemicals, ship repair, food and beverages, textiles, lumbering and plywood, cement

Industrial production growth rate

1.8% (2017 est.)

(Source: World Factbook, 2013)

View related news articles

Ambassador Cynthia Akuetteh - Remarks for the Announcement of dates for the 2015 AGOA Forum

Mr. Minister, Distinguished Guests. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here today, and I want to thank Minister Tchango for the invitation. And thank you to all of you for coming out today.  Your attendance – and your hard work – is a testament to the commitment between the United States and Gabon to deepen our economic partnership and grow our commercial relationship to bring shared prosperity to both of our countries.  I...

16 April 2015

US trade policy can’t fix waning demand

Exports from sub-Saharan Africa to the US, which had begun to pick up after plunging in the wake of Wall Street's 2008 implosion, dipped again last year - this time by 34% - and do not look as if they will recover soon. This is not something US trade policy, in the form of the African Growth and Opportunity Act’s (Agoa’s) preferential tariff treatment for most African products, can do much about in the immediate term, even if the act is...

19 February 2013