22/04/2024 - 00:14:01

Sao Tome and Principe

National Flag

 

Map

7 

Basic Information

São Tomé and Príncipe is an island country in the southeast of the Gulf of Guinea on the central western side of Africa, with an area of around 1,001 square kilometres. It is composed of 14 isles including São Tomé, Príncipe, Rolas, and Caroço. By the end of 2021, the population is about 223 thousands. The capital city São Tomé is the largest city of the country.

Investment Situation

In recent years, the government of São Tomé and Príncipe has taken pro-active measures to improve the investment environment, attract foreign investment, construct highways and other infrastructure and develop actively tourism and seek for offshore oil development, which have helped to maintain the economy in steady growth.

 São Tomé and Príncipe is an agricultural country that produce cocoa and other cash crops, 51% of the population is engaged in agricultural production. The main cash crop is cocoa, dried coconuts, coffee and Palm oil. The unique geographical location, coupled with the beautiful natural landscape, provides São Tomé and Príncipe with rich tourism resources. At the same time, oil industry still in the initial stage of development, and the country has relatively rich forest, with biological and fishery resources.

The “2022 World Investment Report” published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), pointed out that by the end of 2021, São Tomé and Principe has attracted US$430 million on stock of inward direct investment. According to the “2021 Statistical Bulletin of China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment”, by the end of 2021, the stock of direct investment of China in São Tomé and Principe was US$690 thousand.

Trade in Goods

In 2021, the main export destinations of São Tomé and Príncipe are the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Germany, and the main export goods are cocoa, palm oil dried coconuts, coffee, etc. The main origins for imports are Portugal, Angola, Togo and China. The main import goods are grain, fuels, industrial products, and consumer goods.

 In 2022, China’s exports to São Tomé and Príncipe amounted to US$15.3 million,  mainly include steel plates, welded pipe, footwear; imports from São Tomé and Príncipe amounted to US$150 thousands, mainly include industrial monocarboxylic fatty acids; acid oils from refining.

 

Economic Indicator

2020(a)

2021(a)

2022(b)

2023(b)

Population (thousand)

218

223

227

232

GDP (US$ million)

477

518

506

534

Real GDP Growth Rate (%)

3.0

1.9

1.4

2.6

Total Export of Goods (US$ million)

23.8

20.9

18.9

23.8

Total Import of Goods (US$ million)

138.1

166.3

173.3

179.0

Total Export of Services (US$ million)

35.4

54.5

62.8(c)

67.2(c)

Total Import of Services (US$ million)

43.4

49.1

59.6(c)

69.6(c)

Consumer Price Index (%)

9.8

8.1

15.0

11.2

Current Account Balance (US$ million)

-53

-59-

-70

-59

Exchange Rate (São Tomé and Príncipe dobra STD: US dollars USD, Period Average)

21.5

20.7

23.3(c)

23.3(c)

Remarks: (a) actual value; (b) estimated value of International Monetary Fund (IMF); (c) estimated value of Oxford Economics

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF), Oxford Economics “Country Economic Forecast – São Tomé and Príncipe (Sep 2022)”

 

Main Export and Import Place of Goods

Main Export Destinations (2021)

Proportion of Total Value of Exports Goods (%)

The Netherlands

41.4

Belgium

19.6

Portugal

12.0

Germany

8.3

Others

18.7

 

Main Import Origins (2021)

Proportion of Total Value of Imports Goods (%)

Portugal

49.3

Angola

12.0

Togo

9.4

China

7.2

Others

22.1

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

 

Major Imports and Exports of Goods

Major Exports of Goods (2021)

Proportion of Total Value of Exports Goods (%)

Cocoa and cocoa products

60.5

Animal or vegetable fats and oil and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes

32.9

Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts

2.4

Others

4.2

Major Imports of Goods (2021)

Proportion of Total Value of Imports Goods (%)

Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes

19.6

Drinks, wine and vinegar

8.0

Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles

6.7

Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stock and parts

6.1

Others

59.6

Source: International Trade Center (ITC)

 

Major Imports and Exports of Services

Main Exports of Services (2021)

Proportion of Total Value Exports of Services (%)

Tourism

54.4

Government goods and services n.i.e.

33.3

Telecommunications, computer and information services

3.5

Other

8.8

Main Imports of Services (2021)

Proportion of Total Value Imports of Services (%)

Transport

44.0

Other business service

18.0

Government goods and services n.i.e.

6.0

Other

32.0

RemarksThe above content is based on estimated value of UNCTAD, WTO and ITC.

SourceInternational Trade Centre (ITC)

 

Statistics on the Trade of Goods between Mainland China and São Tomé and Príncipe (US$ ten thousands)

Year

Total Trade

Total Exports Value*

Total Imports Value**

2022

1,543.8

1,528.8

1.5

2021

1,507.7

1,494.5

13.3

2020

2,033.2

2,028.6

4.7

2019

893.4

892.1

1.4

2018

730.5

725.5

5

Remarks: *Value of goods exported to São Tomé and Príncipe from Mainland China; **Value of goods imported from São Tomé and Príncipe to Mainland China

Source of Data: General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China

 

Statistics on the Trade of Goods between the Macao SAR and São Tomé and Príncipe (US$) (USD 1 » MOP 8)

Year

Total Trade

Total Exports*

Total Imports**

2022

740

740

Remarks: *Value of goods exported to São Tomé and Príncipe from Macao; **Value of goods imported from São Tomé and Príncipe to Macao.

Source of Data: Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), Macao SAR Government

 

Source of Data:

  • People’s Republic of China Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China
  • Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
  • “2021 Statistical Bulletin of China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment” by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, National Bureau of Statistics and State Administration of Foreign Exchange
  • SinoMaps Press
  • Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), Macao SAR Government
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • International Trade Center (ITC)
  • 2022 World Investment Report” by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  •  “Country Economic Forecast – São Tomé and Príncipe (Sep 2022)” by Oxford Economics

Updated in March 2023.