Economic Outlook

The services sector plays a significant role in the growth and development of the Burundi economy, contributing an estimated 44% of GDP in 2017, followed by agriculture and industry, contributing 40% and 16% of GDP respectively. Trade in goods and services also plays an essential role in Burundi’s economic growth – contributing 38% to GDP in 2016. Much of Burundi’s export earnings are from commodities such as coffee, tea, sugar, cotton and hides, and its significant imports include capital goods, petroleum products and foodstuffs.

The country’s economic performance is severely affected by the political crisis that began in 2015, which led to the suspension of financial aid by significant donors, shortage of foreign exchange, declining investment and imports price inflation – all which contributed to a decline in growth. Growth is expected to slightly increase from 3.39 % in 2017 up to 4.53% in 2019. On the other hand, inflation is expected to increase from at16.64% in 2017 up to 22.12% in 2019.

Potential Opportunities

Burundi’s economic performance is affected by the political crisis that started in 2015, which contributed to a decline in growth. In addition, with a population of 10.852 million in 2017 that is expected to grow up to 11.529 million in 2019, a GDP of US$3.392 billion in 2017, which is expected to increase to about US$4.526billion in 2019 and a GDP per capita income of US$312.46 in 2017, projected to rise to US$392.53 in 2019, Burundi provides a small market for exporters. However, the country holds opportunities for export diversification to neighbouring East African Community (EAC) countries, Africa, COMESA, the UK and the US market under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Burundi’s volume of imports of goods and services is expected to increase from about -1.89% in 2017 up to approximately 2.44% in 2019 and the amount of exports of goods and services is expected to grow from about -1.35% in 2017 up to approximately 8.08% in 2019, indicating expansion in trade.

There is potential for investment in agriculture, construction, tourism, hotel and catering, and infrastructure development.

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