New oil and natural gas production has improved Equatorial Guinea's balance of payments situation since the mid-1990s. Additional oil production that came online in 2001, combined with methanol gas exports from the new CMS-Nomeco plant, was expected to increase export earnings in the early 2000s. Imports are growing as well: in 2000, purchases of equipment for the oil and gas sector accounted for approximately three-quarters of imports. The country's debt service ratio fell from 20% of GDP in 1994 to 1% in 2000. Although relatively low in terms of covering the payments of imports, foreign exchange reserves were increasing slightly in the early 2000s. Many of the aid programs Equatorial Guinea benefited from in the 1980s and 1990s had diminished or ceased altogether by 2000. Some project assistance continued to be provided by France and the EU, as well as by China and Cuba.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2001 the purchasing power parity of Equatorial Guinea's exports was $2.1 billion while imports totaled $736 million resulting in a trade surplus of $1.364 billion.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that in 1996 Equatorial Guinea had exports of goods totaling $175 million and imports totaling $292 million. The services credit totaled $5 million and debit $185 million. The following table summarizes Equatorial Guinea's balance of payments as reported by the IMF for 1996 in millions of US dollars.
|Balance on goods||-117|
|Balance on services||-180|
|Balance on income||-45|
|Direct investment abroad||…|
|Direct investment in Equatorial Guinea||376|
|Portfolio investment assets||…|
|Portfolio investment liabilities||…|
|Other investment assets||…|
|Other investment liabilities||-62|
|Net Errors and Omissions||25|
|Reserves and Related Items||5|