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Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003. The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.


Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon

Natural Resources

petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower

Population - distribution

the population is primarily located in the south, in and around the capital of Brazzaville

French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
BRAZZAVILLE (capital) 1.888 million; Pointe-Noire 969,000 (2015)
Conventional long form
Republic of the Congo
Conventional short form
Congo (Brazzaville)
Local long form
Republique du Congo
Local short form
presidential republic
Geographic coordinates
4 15 S, 15 17 E
Time difference
UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
The economy is a mixture of subsistence farming and hunting, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, which entered production in late 2013, may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue.
External debt stocks
US$ 4,203,901,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -2,181,039,951
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 6,222,524,417
Exports of goods and services
US$ 4,471,702,848
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 1,486,178,037
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 302,754,135
cassava (manioc, tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
China 41.9%, Italy 16.8%, India 4.9%, US 4.9%, Portugal 4.2% (2015)
capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
China 20.6%, France 14.4%, South Korea 10%, US 4.9%, UK 4.5%, Italy 4.2%, India 4.1% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A very uncertain political and economic outlook and a business environment with many troublesome weaknesses can have a significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is high.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is very difficult. Corporate financial information is rarely available and when available usually unreliable. The legal system makes debt collection very unpredictable. The institutional framework has very serious weaknesses. Intercompany transactions can thus be very difficult to manage in the highly risky environments rated D.
  • Abundant natural resources (oil, iron ore, potassium, phosphates, timber) and agricultural potential
  • Fiscal and external buffers
  • Debt relief granted under the HIPC/MDRI initiatives
  • Heavy dependence on oil
  • Lack of infrastructure, insufficient poverty reduction
  • Difficult business climate and weak governance
  • Risk of political instability in the event of a sudden departure of the Head of State

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