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Eritrea

Economy

Eritrea's largely agricultural economy was devastated by its 30-year-long indepedence war with Ethiopia and hurt again by the strain of the 1998–2000 border war. Some 80% of the population is involved in farming and herding, although this sector provides less than 10% of the country's GDP. Eritrea's agricultural products include sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, and sisal. Cattle, sheep, goats, and camels are raised, and hides are produced. There is a fishing industry and some pearl fisheries remain in the Dahlak Archipelago. The country's natural resources include gold, potash, zinc, copper, and salt, but they have not yet been exploited. Offshore oil exploration was begun in the mid-1990s. Eritrea has little industry beyond the production of food and beverages, clothing and textiles, and building materials. Many Eritreans work outside the country, and their remittances substantially augment the GDP. Imports (machinery, petroleum products, food, and manufactured goods) greatly exceed the value of exports (livestock, sorghum, and textiles). The country's main trading partners are Italy, the United States, France, and Germany.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Eritrea Economy from Infoplease:

  • Eritrea: Economy - Economy Eritrea's largely agricultural economy was devastated by its 30-year-long indepedence ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Eritrea Political Geography


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