flag Eritrea Eritrea: Perfil comercial

Foreign Trade in Figures

Eritrea is relatively open to foreign trade, which represented 47% of the country’s GDP in 2011 (World Bank, latest available data). The country signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Non-tariff barriers significantly impede trade. The State maintains strict control on foreign exchange reserves, given the inability of raising foreign currency through exports or on international capital markets. Although this has reduced the gap between the official and informal exchange rates, it also has a severely negative impact on freedom of trade and the vibrancy of the country’s economic development. Eritrea imports 90% of its cereal consumption, whereas agricultural exports (mainly livestock, coffee, cotton and leather) depend on climatic conditions and the underdeveloped irrigation systems. The country mainly exports minerals (copper, zinc, gold) and textile products and primarily imports machinery, wheat, vehicles, cereals, electrical appliances, rubber, plastic and iron (ITC, 2020).

Eritrea’s main trading partners are China, India, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Greece (UNCTAD, 2020). The peace deal signed with Ethiopia in July 2018 is expected to significantly improve trade and investment in the country.

Eritrea is facing a widening trade deficit, as the country is dependent on imports for food, capital goods (which are increasing with construction projects), and oil (whose price is rising). In 2020, Eritrea’s exports of goods amounted to USD 556 million, whereas imports of goods reached USD 976 million, resulting in a large trade deficit. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global trade volumes declined sharply. The recovery initiated in 2021 is expected to continue in 2022 stimulated by higher mining exports.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 1,0551,1201,0651,146976
Exports of Goods (million USD) 345561669768556

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

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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 Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
Useful Resources
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
You can contact the Domestic Trade and Intellectual Property Department by Email.
 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2022

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