Country Listing

Ivory Coast Table of Contents

Ivory Coast



Crossing the Comoé River
Courtesy Robert Handloff

At independence, Cote d'Ivoire had strong economic and political ties with France. In contrast with nearly all other former French colonies in Africa, the government of Côte d'Ivoire continued to cultivate these links into the late 1980s, some twenty years after France had suspended tariff preferences for major Ivoirian exports. By the 1980s, however, Côte d'Ivoire had found supplementary trading partners and sources of foreign investment, primarily among France's neighbors in the European Economic Community (EEC).

Between 1960 and 1974, the value of Côte d'Ivoire's exports to EEC countries more than doubled, while the value of its exports to France was halved. Although this trend continued into the 1980s, French exports to Côte d'Ivoire remained important because most of the Ivoirian import substitution industries were either linked to, or otherwise dependent on, French parent companies.

In 1986 Côte d'Ivoire's principal markets for exports were France and the United States, which together purchased approximately one-third of its total exports (see table 6, Appendix). West Germany was the third largest export market, having overtaken Italy in 1985. France, which provided one-third of Côte d'Ivoire's imports, was by far the largest supplier. The United States and the Netherlands each supplied about 5 percent of the country's imports.

After cocoa and coffee, Côte d'Ivoire's principal exports were timber and processed wood, cotton and textiles, sugar, rubber, palm oil, pineapple, and other agricultural and manufactured goods. Its principal imports were manufactured goods, food, petroleum products, machinery, and transport equipment.

Data as of November 1988