Liberia - Market OverviewLiberia - Market Overview
- Liberia’s economy is market-based and largely dependent on natural resources, foreign aid and foreign direct investment.
- Binding constraints to economic growth include inadequate infrastructure (particularly roads and electricity), poor access to finance, weak institutional capacity and a shortage of skilled labor.
- The economic impact of the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak was compounded by a sustained decline in global iron ore and rubber prices, which negatively affected exports and new investment in these sectors.
- The IMF estimated real GDP growth in 2016 was negative 1.2 percent, with an annual inflation rate of 12.5 percent.
- Liberia’s exports were valued at $169.6 million at end-2016; the export sector relies heavily on rubber and iron ore which accounted for 64 percent of total exports in 2016.
- Total imports were valued at $1.2 billion by end-2016, mainly driven by importation of food, manufactured goods, petroleum products, and machinery.
- Liberia’s leading trade partners are the United States, China, the EU and regional African countries; the leading sources of imports are China, the EU and the United States. Best prospect sectors for U.S. investment include agribusiness, energy and power generation, infrastructure development, construction, manufacturing, storage/packaging and warehousing, transportation, and the services sector including financial services, professional services, information technology, and hospitality.
- On July 14, 2016, Liberia finally joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), paving the way for the government to standardize its trade and investment laws and regulations consistent with internationally acceptable norms.
Liberia Trade Development and Promotion