flag Cap Verd Cap Verd: Perfil comercial

Foreign Trade in Figures

Cape Verde has one of Africa's most open economies, and trade represents 85% of GDP (World Bank, 2020). It became a member of the WTO in 2008 and enjoys preferential access to American and European markets, thanks to American legislation - the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) - and the Treaties of Lome and Cotonou. The country has also signed a free trade agreement with China. Cape Verde mainly exports fish and caviar (61.9% of total exports), clothes (7%), and parts of footwear (5%) ; while it imports petroleum oils (32.1% of total imports), containers (3.6%), vehicles (3.4%), cement (2.7%), iron (1.7) and rice (1.6%) (Comtrade, 2020).

Cape Verde's main customers are Spain (63% of total exports), Portugal (15.1%), Italy (11.6%), the United States (5.6%), and Germany (2.5%). Its major suppliers are Portugal (41.9% of total imports), the Netherlands (16.2%), Spain (8.4%), Italy (6.4%) and China (6.1%) (Comtrade, 2020). However, global trade tensions among China, the United States, and Europe - key trading partners to the island economy - could have a negative impact on their economy. Additionally, the archipelago's strategic location means that Cape Verde is increasingly at the crossroads of the transatlantic narcotics trade. Consequently, the United States and Cape Verde are currently working together to fight drug trafficking along its coast. The construction of a special economic zone (involving Chinese investments) is expected to increase trade in the future.

The trade balance is in structural deficit, a trend that should continue for the next few years. In 2020, Cape Verde shipped USD 53 million worth of goods and imported goods for USD 720 million. With regard to services, the country exported USD 264 million and imported USD 204 million (WTO). According to World Bank data, in 2020 the country had a negative trade balance of USD 659 million. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global trade volumes decreased sharply.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 666789816796720
Exports of Goods (million USD) 6050766253
Imports of Services (million USD) 353330363342204
Exports of Services (million USD) 590607661709264
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 71661-22
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 48128-58
Trade Balance (million USD) -532-660-686-663-659
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 10411311711685
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 6067686560
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 4446495125

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Spain 63.0%
Portugal 15.1%
Italy 11.6%
United States 5.6%
Germany 2.5%
See More Countries 2.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
Portugal 41.9%
Netherlands 16.2%
Spain 8.4%
Italy 6.4%
China 6.1%
See More Countries 21.0%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

0.1 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar...Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar substitutes prepared from fish eggs 61.9%
Parts of footwear, incl. uppers whether or not...Parts of footwear, incl. uppers whether or not attached to soles other than outer soles; removable in-soles, heel cushions and similar articles; gaiters, leggings and similar articles, and parts thereof (excl. articles of asbestos) 5.0%
Men's or boys' underpants, briefs, nightshirts,...Men's or boys' underpants, briefs, nightshirts, pyjamas, bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles, knitted or crocheted (excl. vests and singlets) 2.7%
Flours, meals and pellets, of meat or meat offal,...Flours, meals and pellets, of meat or meat offal, of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates, unfit for human consumption; greaves 2.7%
T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or...T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted 2.4%
See More Products 25.3%
1.1 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 32.1%
Containers, incl. containers for the transport of...Containers, incl. containers for the transport of fluids, specially designed and equipped for carriage by one or more modes of transport 3.6%
Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not...Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not coloured 2.7%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.3%
Bars and rods, of iron or non-alloy steel, not...Bars and rods, of iron or non-alloy steel, not further worked than forged, hot-rolled, hot-drawn or hot-extruded, but incl. those twisted after rolling (excl. in irregularly wound coils) 1.7%
See More Products 57.7%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

To go further, check out our service Import Controls and Export Controls

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties and Local Taxes

 

Trade Compliance

International Economic Cooperation
Member of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Member of African Union (AU)

Useful Resources
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
You can contact the Intellectual Property Institute of Cape Verde by Email.
 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2022

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