Equatorial Guinea is very open to trade, which accounted for 102% of its GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The country is working to reduce non-tariff barriers and its relatively high customs duties. Administrative procedures and corruption are other big obstacles to a good performance of trade and business. Almost all of the country’s exports are represented by crude petroleum (about 70%) and gas (around one-fifth). Imports are led by vessels (23%), machinery (10.9%), beverages and alcoholic products (7%), meat (5.8%), and iron (4.2% - data ITC, 2021).
Equatorial Guinea’s key export partners in 2021 were China (23.3%), India (16.4%), Spain (15.4%), South Korea (7%), the Netherlands (5.8%), and the U.S. (5.4%); whereas imports came chiefly from Spain (19%), China (12.2%), Gabon (11.9%), Nigeria (11.5%), the United States (5.1%), and the UK (4% - data ITC). Equatorial Guinea is also a member of several regional and international trade organizations, including the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The country is also a signatory of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which seeks to create a single market for goods and services across the African continent.
The country has maintained a trade surplus in recent years thanks to its oil reserves (with the exception of 2020 due to the effects of the pandemic on global hydrocarbon trade). According to the latest WTO data, it exported USD 5.7 billion worth of goods in 2021 (an increase of nearly 80% compared to 2019) and imported USD 1.9 billion (+10.2%); whereas no reliable figures are available concerning trade in services. According to the World Bank, the country’s trade balance was positive by 8.9% of its GDP in 2021 (from -2.5% one year earlier).
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||2,172||3,087||2,275||1,724||1,900|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||5,200||6,500||5,300||3,200||5,700|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||0||0||0||0||0|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||0||0||0||0||0|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||8||6||-11||-11||13|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||-4||-6||-14||-5||4|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||102||104||95||89||102|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||44||44||44||46||47|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||59||60||51||43||55|
Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.
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Member of AEC (African Economy Community)
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Latest Update: September 2023