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Country Brief

Djibouti is an Arab Least Developed Country (LDC) situated in the Horn of Africa. Despite its important port–related activities and its strategic geographical position, Djibouti remains a poor country with predominance of the informal activities.

Djibouti’s economy is a service-oriented economy, centered on the port, railway, the civil service, and the foreign military presence. Earnings from services, including the provisions of ports services, exceed receipts from merchandise exports. Although the trade account is heavily in deficit, the service and income accounts are consistently in surplus. International aid plays also a significant part in Djibouti’s economy.
Re-export have traditionally constituted a high proportion of exports representing around 80 % of total exports. Merchandise exports from Djibouti itself are composed mainly of live animals and skins. Djibouti’s principal trading partners are Ethiopia and Somalia, and some Arab countries, notably Yemen and Saudi Arabia, in addition to China and France.

Djibouti joined the GATT in 1994 and become a member of the WTO in 1996. The country is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the League of Arab States (LAS), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Cotonou Agreement.
Djibouti benefits from the Enhanced Integrated Framework, the Aid For Trade and other trade initiatives.

Export potential

Notes: Top 20 products listed in decreasing order of their export potential to the world. Development indicators are relative to the country’s current situation, green indicating performance above its trade-weighted median and red otherwise. A blank cell indicates that data are not available. A blank cell in export potential means that the product was not consistently demanded over five years by any country in the respective region. Exports (US$ thousand) correspond to average exports to the world over the period 2009-2013.