countryaah, Benin's business is strongly influenced by relations with
Nigeria. The dependence has led to a dual business structure
with a modern sector, comprising the state administration,
industry and modern agriculture, and a more traditional
sector, extensive self-sustaining agriculture and (illegal)
border trade with Nigeria. The country is very poor, and
both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have
supported economic reforms and poverty reduction. Economic
growth has been good for most of the 1990s, but it is
heavily dependent on the world market price of cotton, one
of the country's most important export products.
Main crops are cassava, jams, corn and millet.
Complemented with traditional livestock management and
fishing, Benin's agriculture can handle the country's food
supply. The most important export products from agriculture
are cotton, palm oil, oil palm nuts, peanuts and to some
extent coffee. Production of these and rice, tomatoes,
onions and other vegetables has increased as a result of
increased border trade with Nigeria.
Minerals and industry
The country's most important raw materials are limestone
for cement production, oil (the Sémé fields in the sea
outside Cotonou) and natural gas. Phosphate, chromium and
iron deposits have been registered in northern Benin.
Industrial production is limited and, in addition to
building materials, mainly focuses on the processing of
primary products. Major textile industries include a textile
factory in Parakou and a cement factory in Onigbolo.
Benin has a deficit in foreign trade. However, the
deficit is somewhat offset by money shipments from Beninis
abroad and by U-help. In 2017, exports were dominated by
cotton, cash nuts and textiles. Imports were dominated in
the same year by food, capital goods and oil products. The
main export recipients were Bangladesh, India and Ukraine.
Imports in the same year were dominated by Thailand, India
and France. Benin has received radioactive waste from France
for compensation. The country has further agreed to receive
other hazardous waste from Europe.