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Study Notes

Primary Product Dependence: Republic of the Congo

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

The Republic of the Congo is a classic example of a country almost entirely dependent on production and export of crude oil for their economic wealth.

Despite large deposits of iron, potassium, phosphate, gold and diamonds as well as great agricultural potential, the Republic of Congo relies heavily on oil. It accounts for 75% of government revenue, 90% of exports and 60% of GDP.

The export complexity map below taken from the work of Hidalgo and Hausmann confirms the dependency on oil as the main export for the Republic of Congo.

Weak government effectiveness together with the aftermath of the civil war (1997- 1999) results in a low level of human development. For a middle-income country (GDP per capita around USD 3,500 in 2015), the poverty rate is high despite a decline from 51% in 2005 to 46% in 2011.

The business environment remains challenging (178 out of 189 countries in the Ease of Doing Business ranking from the World Bank).

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