On Tuesday 20 December 2022, the National Balance of Payments Committee (CNDBP) of Congo met at the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) in Brazzaville. The meeting was chaired by Franck Mondésir Mbouayila Tsassa, Director General of the Economy, in the presence of Appolinaire Akilabi, representing Roger Gossaki, Director General of the Currency and External Financial Relations (DGMRFE). The Committee noted that Congo's economic and financial transactions with the rest of the world resulted in a current account surplus of CFAF 829 billion 200 million in 2020 (or 13.0% of the Gross Domestic Product - GDP), but down by 13.3% compared to 2019, when it stood at CFAF 956 billion 400 million (or 11.6% of GDP).
During the meeting, which had, among other items on the agenda, ‘’the presentation and adoption of the 2019 and 2020 balances of payments’’ and ‘’the validation of the sample for the collection of data for 2022 and 2023’’. The Committee also noted that the surplus balance of the trade balance fell by 53.0% to CFAF 800 billion 800 million in 2020, due to the contraction of oil exports (-45.3%), following the drop in oil production (-8.9%) and the price of a barrel of Congolese oil (-36.4%).
In addition, national exports remained dominated by crude oil, with a relative share of 85.7% in 2020, compared with 89.7% in 2019. They were directed mainly towards Asia, followed by Europe. Imports were mainly from European countries, followed by Asia, over the same period.
Net capital inflows, in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), stood at CFAF 576.4 billion in 2020, compared with CFAF 1,084.1 billion a year earlier, a drop of 46.8%, due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 health crisis. These resources mainly benefited the oil sector.
As a result, in 2020, the overall balance of payments showed a deficit of CFAF 82.3 billion (or 1.3% of GDP), after a surplus of CFAF 87.4 billion (or 1.0% of GDP) in 2019.
Moreover, Congo’s international investment position showed a deficit of CFAF 5 746 billion 700 million in 2020, compared with CFAF -7 151 billion 500 million a year earlier, under the combined effect of the contraction of the stock of financial liabilities to non-residents and the increase in the stock of financial assets.
The Committee welcomed the Agreement between the IMF (International Monetary Fund) staff and the Congo (2022-2024), under the second review of the three-year programme supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). It urged the Congolese authorities to continue its implementation in order to restore the country’s major macroeconomic balances and consolidate the external accounts.
In this regard, the Committee urged the Government to implement the reforms included in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2022-2026 and to multiply the strategies aimed at accelerating the import-substitution policy, in a context marked by the rise in prices of imported food products, which exarcerbated the inflation.
Similarly, the Committee called on the Government to support actions aimed at developing synergies between CEMAC countries (Central African Economic and Monetary Community), in order to increase intra-zone trade, to limit the pressure on community foreign exchange reserves.
The National Balance of Payments Committee was pleased with the efforts made by the BEAC, public administrations and economic actors in the production of various statistics. It urged them to continue in this vein, with a view to providing the country with reliable and up-to-date data.
The Committee also stressed the need to provide the administrations in charge of compiling the balance of payments with sufficient financial and technical resources to enable them to compile the balance of payments within the required timeframe.
The Communication Unit of the Ministry of Economy and Finance