Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 5/15/2019
Chad is a large, landlocked country with a population of 15.81 million (2019 estimate) and a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of USD 1768.15 at purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2017.

Oil and agriculture drive Chad’s economy.  Oil generates the bulk of export revenues.  A majority of Chad's population relies on subsistence farming and livestock rearing.  Cotton, cattle and gum arabic are Chad's primary non-oil exports.  The government continues with plans to diversify the economy, increase export of value-added products, and develop a formal economy by 2030 despite two years of economic crisis that reduced investment spending.

China supplies the largest share of Chad’s imports at 20.2 percent, followed by Cameroon at 18.2 percent, France at 16.1 percent, Saudi Arabia at 5.6 percent, and the United States with 4.2 percent.   

In 2018, Chad ranked No. 139 in U.S. total trade value through March with a total of $72.05 million. U.S. exports totaled $13.87 million and imports totaled $58.18 million, a deficit of $44.31 million. The top five U.S. exports to Chad by value through March were the categories of binders for found molds; chemical products; amplifiers, speakers, microphones; oil-based dyes for paints; civilian aircraft, parts; and low-value shipments, respectively. They accounted for 75.76 percent of total exports to Chad. The value of the top categories of U.S. imports from Chad –– oil; natural gums; cell phones, related equipment; value added to a returned import; and jewelry, parts –– accounted for 99.96 percent of all inbound shipments.

Most other Chadian exports are to China, France, Germany, Portugal, and regional trading partners. The U.S. and Chad have no trade or investment agreements.  However, Chad is eligible for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), receiving trade preferences including quota and duty-free entry for certain goods.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.