Republic of Congo

Overview

The Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville or the Republic of the Congo, is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Angolan exclave province of Cabinda, and the Gulf of Guinea. The 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.

Economy

The Congo’s 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, have also added to annual government revenue. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF. The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The recent drop in oil prices has constrained government spending; lower oil prices forced the government to cut more than $1 billion in planned spending.

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