Economy - overview: Guinea is a poor country that possesses major mineral, hydropower, solar power, and agricultural resources. Guinea has historically been an exporter of agricultural commodities, but in recent years has shifted to importing the majority of food crops. Bauxite is Guinea’s main mineral resource as well as its main source of foreign currency. Guinea is the second largest producer of bauxite in the world and has the largest reserves of bauxite, estimated at 29 billion tons. The country also has significant iron ore, gold, and diamond reserves. However, Guinea has been unable to profit from this potential, as rampant corruption, dilapidated infrastructure, and political uncertainty have drained investor confidence. In the time since a 2008 coup following the death of long-term President Lansana CONTE, international donors, including the G-8, the IMF, and the World Bank, significantly curtailed their development programs but, following the December 2010 presidential elections, the IMF approved a new 3-year ECF arrangement in 2012. Guinea in September 2012 reached HIPC completion point status. Further international assistance and investment are contingent on the ability of the government to be transparent, combat corruption, reform its banking system, improve its business environment, and build infrastructure. International investors have expressed keen interest in Guinea's vast iron ore reserves, which could propel the country's growth. The government in April 2013 amended the September 2011 mining code to reduce taxes and royalties. Longer range plans to deploy broadband Internet throughout the country could spur economic growth as well. The biggest threats to Guinea’s economy are political instability and low international commodity prices.
Definition: This entry briefly describes the type of economy, including the degree of market orientation, the level of economic development, the most important natural resources, and the unique areas of specialization. It also characterizes major economic events and policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a statement about one or two key future macroeconomic trends.
Source: CIA World Factbook - This page was last updated on June 30, 2015