Country Information - Dem. Rep of Congo
ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDThe Democratic Republic of the Congo is a nation endowed with vast potential wealth, although its economy has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. The civil war, which began in August 1998, has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue and has increased external debt. Foreign businesses have curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict, lack of infrastructure, and the difficult operating environment.
A number of IMF and World Bank missions have met with the government of the DRC to help it develop a coherent economic plan, and current President Kabila has begun implementing reforms. (Source: World Factbook, 2003)
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BI-LATERAL TRADE OVERVIEWBi-lateral trade between the US and the DRC is heavily one-sided, with the US’ exports from the DRC outweighing its exports to that country more than 6-fold. During 2002, the DRC currently enjoyed a trade surplus of $ 174 million, up from $ 135 million in 2001. This trade profile has remained fairly constant over the 6-year period under review (see graph alongside).
The DRC’s most important export category in its trade with the US consists of energy-related products, as can be seen in the bi-lateral trade profile by following the link below. In 2002, 80% of the country’s exports to the US fell into this category, up from 73% the previous year.
Other export categories include mostly minerals and metals, and a small number of miscellaneous manufactures. Since the DRC only qualified for AGOA on 01 January 2003, no AGOA exports were recorded up to that point. However, most of the countries exports previously qualified for duty-free entry into the US under the GSP program.
Detailed bilateral trade data for this country, disaggregated by industry sector, can be accessed by following the link below. Aggregate data featuring all AGOA-eligible countries is updated on this website as soon as new data is published, including ranked AGOA / non-AGOA trade, aggregate trade by industry sector as well as the latest apparel trade data.
Click here for Detailed Trade Profile
21 AGOA FORUM 2013: Ethiopia will host the 2013 US-Africa AGOA Forum. AGOA.info has been informed that the Forum will not take place as envisaged on 28 June - 1 July, but at a later date yet to be determined. The theme for this year’s Forum is “Trade and Technology for sustained change”“
21 December 2012: Guinea-Bissau and Mali lose AGOA eligibility
APRIL 2013: Monthly data has been updated to include February 2013 data, quarterly includes full year 2012 data.
New US strategy towards Africa: White House Factsheet on new strategy towards Africa, plus overview of past US engagement with Africa. Click here for the file and this link for a summary article.
02 August 2012: Bill to extend third country fabric provision passes Congress Download the House of Reps. Bill at this link
South Sudan declared AGOA-eligible on 26 March 2012. Earlier, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger and Gambia declared AGOA eligible on 25 October 2011. See news item, presidential declaration and trade overview at this link (S Sudan) and here (others).
US GSP extended and GSP benefits to be applied retrospectively for the year 2011 since expiry of previous GSP. See AGOA.info legal documents section at the following link.
AGOA at 10: Reflections on US-Africa trade with a focus on SACU: Tralac Working Paper that can be downloaded at this
December 2010: The Democratic Republic of Congo loses its AGOA eligibility status. See proclamation here (pdf download available at this link
ITC investigation of textiles and apparel: Further details at this link
AGOA IV – Changes to AGOA explained
For disaggregated trade data covering each AGOA country, follow the relevant link in the Country Sections (left column) or click here.
For detailed AGOA maps click here