São Tomé and Príncipe - Future trends



São Tomé has a history of coups, demonstrations, and strikes by people whose expectations for economic improvement are crushed by economic stagnation, high inflation, low salaries, and constant disagreements between the legislature and the president. The government's attempts to attract international financial aid in the 1990s resulted in accepting a "shock therapy" approach to economic reorganization, which led to the further deterioration of the quality of life in the country. However, IMF projections on poverty reduction efforts suggest that inflation may be reduced to 3 percent annually and that GDP may grow by 4 percent as early as 2001. Should these projections prove true, and should the government succeed in its 2 great economic projects—offshore oil extraction and the expansion of tourism—it is possible that São Tomé and Príncipe may correct its longstanding economic woes. The single biggest question is whether the cash-poor country can attract enough foreign investment to allow it to realize its dreams.

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