Namibia's economy is export-driven. Exports comprise 45 percent of the GDP by value and totaled US$1.4 billion in 1999. Exports of goods and services grew at 2.5 percent annually between 1965 and 1997. The main exports are diamonds, uranium, copper, zinc, gold, fish, fish products, cattle, sheep, goat and meat products. The principle destinations of exports are the United Kingdom (43 percent), South Africa (26 percent), Spain (14 percent), France (8 percent), and Japan (3 percent).
Namibia relies heavily upon imports to meet its needs, with 48 percent of the GDP being spent on goods produced outside Namibia and imports totaling US$1.5 billion in 1999. The principle imports are beverages, food, tobacco, fuel, vehicles, transport equipments, machinery, electrical goods, clothing, footwear and industrial raw materials. Imports are sourced primarily from South Africa (84 percent), with some goods coming from Germany (3 percent), the United States (2 percent), and Japan (2 percent).
The trade balance is continually in deficit, by somewhere between US$270 million in 1997 to US$100 million in 1999. There is also a deficit on the services account on the balance of payments , and these 2 deficits combined equal between US$60 million and US$140 million a year. These 2 deficits are covered by receipts from foreign investment in Namibia and from aid, the latter equivalent to about 5 percent of the GDP, or about US$155 million in 1997.
|Exchange rates: Namibia|
|Namibian dollars per US$1|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|