Since independence Guinea-Bissau has been internationally non-aligned, in order to solicit aid from all available quarters. While trading mostly with Western countries, it has also courted the other countries (including China and Brazil). In March 1997, Guinea-Bissau joined UEMOA as a full member and also became a full member of ECOWAS.
Since independence, trade has experienced many years of deficit. In 1999, imports were US$101 million. The World Factbook estimated that by 2000 imports had dropped to $55.2 million. Government efforts to diversify exports and to reduce export taxes have improved exports from US$27 million in 1998 to US$48 million in 1999, but this growth still left a trade deficit of US$53 million. Port closures during the war hindered exports, but the IMF expects exports to reach previous levels of
|Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Guinea-Bissau|
|SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.|
|Exchange rates: Guinea-Bissau|
|Communaute Financiere Africaine francs per US$1|
|Note: Rate for 1996 is in Guinea-Bissauan pesos per US dollar. As of May 1, 1997, Guinea-Bissau adopted the CFA franc as the national currency; since January 1, 1999, the CFA franc is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
60,000 metric tons per year from 1999 onwards. By 2000, exports had risen to US$80 million, according to the World Factbook, giving the country a small surplus. Exports go mainly to India, Singapore, Italy, and Portugal, with imports mostly coming from Portugal, France, Senegal, and the Netherlands.