Country Snapshot

Population (2019, millions)¹6.3
CapitalAsmara
Surface Area (km²)²117,600
Weather¹¹In Coastal Area: Hottest months, June-August, 30-45°C; coldest months, October-February, 24‑32°C; In Highland Area: Hottest month May, 30°C maximum; coldest months, December-February, 0°C minimum
Languages³Official: Tigrinya, Arabic and English - Others: Tigre, Kunama, Afar and other Cushitic languages
Main Religions³Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant
Time⁴Eastern Africa Time (EAT) +0300 UTC
Driving Orientation⁵Right Side
Internet Country Code⁶.er
Country Calling Code+291
Plug, Socket and Voltage⁷ Type C and L - 230V/50 Hz
CurrencyNakfa (ERN) - 1/100 = cents
Exchange Rate (As of 7 April 2015, per USD)⁸10.47
GDP at Market Prices (2018, current, billions of USD)⁹8
GDP Growth (2018, annual %)⁹4.98
Average GDP Growth (2014-2018, annual %)⁹5.42
GDP per Capita, PPP (2018, current international $)⁹2,299
Inflation, Consumer Prices (2018, annual %)⁹10.71
Average Inflation, Consumer Prices (2010-2014, annual %)⁹10.92
Total Reserves in Months of Imports (2013)⁹ 

Sources:
¹United Nations Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
²COMESA Statistics, COMESTAT Data Hub.
³CIA World Factbook.
⁴Time and Date Portal.
⁵Chartsbin Portal, "Worldwide Driving Orientation by Country".
⁶Wikipedia, "List of Internet top-level domains"; and, Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, Root Zone Database.
⁷International Electrotechnical Commission, World Plugs.
⁸ XE Portal.
⁹AFDB Socio Economic Database.
¹¹Economist Intelligence Unit.

Reasons to Invest in Eritrea

Source: Eritrea Ministry of Information Online Portal. 

Population

Youth Literacy Rates (2018, %)

Youth Literacy Rate, Population 15-24 Years, Both Sexes 92.27
Youth Literacy Rate, Population 15-24 Years, Female 92.71
Youth Literacy Rate, Population 15-24 Years, Male 93.81

Source: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO Institute of Statistics.

Labour

Unemployment (2018, % of Total Labour Force, Modeled ILO Estimate)

Unemployment, Total 6.54
Unemployment, Female 6.92
Unemployment, Male 6.21

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators 2019.

Labour Force (2017, % of Ages 15+, Modeled ILO Estimate)

Labour Force Participation Rate, Total 80.55
Labour Force Participation Rate, Female 74.13
Labour Force Participation Rate, Male87.09
Labour Force, Total (number)1,617,399

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators 2019.

Economy - Overview

GDP

 20142014201620172018
GDP at Market Prices (current, billions of USD)4.725.295.966.928
GDP Growth (annual %)5.955.714.525.964.98

Source: AFDB Socio Economic Database

Value Added by Sector (% of GDP)

Indicator
Agriculture
Manufacturing 
Industry 
Services
Construction 
Electricity, gas and water
Mining and quarrying
Education 
Finance, real estate and business services  
Public administration and Defense  
Health and Social Work 
Other services
Transport, storage and communication 
Wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants

Source: AFDB Socio Economic Database.

Trade Profile

Import Partners (Imported Value, thousands, USD)

 20142015201620172018
World375,825383,592368,719447,080261,117
Egypt59,79454,72769,387113,769121,757
Italy18,71621,25119,54635,04623,520
Republic of Thailand14,7337,5590019,298
Germany28,36717,88311,26511,46817,498
Russia0003,04513,219

Source: International Trade Center COMTRADE Statistics.

Export Partners (Exported Value, thousands, USD)

 20142015201620172018
World508,822403,829345,765392,916284,891
China290,460168,557157,927153,621153,183
United Arab Emirates  84,757125,985125,879
Italy3,3472,5272,1352,0982,320
Egypt4,6105,0812,8641,2471,837
United States of America90100400256265

Source: International Trade Center COMTRADE Statistics.

Eritrea’s Top Import Products (USD ‘000)

ChapterDescription20142015201620172018
 All products          375,825           383,592           368,719           447,080           261,117 
11Products of the milling industry; malt; starches; inulin; wheat gluten            17,454             17,663             26,710             54,911             54,064 
84Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof            48,148             81,953             30,990             64,756             32,563 
17Sugars and sugar confectionery            15,101                8,500             24,929             17,585             17,787 
19Preparations of cereals, flour, starch or milk; pastrycooks' products            11,458             15,557             13,127             18,551             16,014 
85Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles            36,123             38,570             52,991             32,897             15,483 

Source: COMSTAT database

Eritrea’s Top Import Products (USD ‘000)

ChapterDescription20142015201620172018
 All products        508,822         403,829         345,765         392,916         284,891 
26Ores, slag and ash        490,590         382,328         245,922         254,873         153,183 
71Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal, and articles thereof; imitation jewellery; coin            3,476             5,075           91,170         128,724         125,890 
62Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted            2,118             1,575             1,426             1,563             1,795 
09Coffee, tea, mate and spices            4,140             5,039             2,096                 848             1,678 
52Cotton            1,041                 916                 741                 612                 466 

Source: COMSTAT database

Investment Profile

FDI Inflows (millions of USD)

Year
FDI Inflows 

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, World Investment Report 2019

FDI Inward Stock (millions of USD)

Year20142015201620172018
FDI Inward Stock 837 886 939 994 1,055 

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, World Investment Report 2019

FDI Inflows Main Companies (in terms of number of projects)

Nevsun Resources, Sunridge Gold, Northern Mining Explorations and Oil and Gas Development (OGDCL).

Source: Financial Times, fDi Markets, 2018

Doing Business

Overall Doing Business Ranking

2020189/190
2019189/190

Source: World Bank, Doing Business, 2020

Starting a Business

2020 Rank185/190
Procedures (number)13
Time (days)84
Cost (% of income per capita*)21.3
Paid-in Minimum Capital (% of income per capita*)93.6

*GNI per capita used: USD 1,064
Source: World Bank, Doing Business, 2020

Paying Taxes

Paying Taxes

2020 Rank153/190
Payments (number per year)30
Time (hours per year)216
Total Tax Rate (% of profit)83.7
Profit Tax (% of profit) 9.2
Labor Tax and Contributions (% of profit)0.0
Other Taxes (% of profit)74.6

Source: World Bank, Doing Business, 2020

Trading Across Borders

2020 Rank188/190
Time to Export: Border Compliance (hours)No practice
Cost to Export: Border Compliance (USD)No practice
Time to Export: Documentary Compliance (hours) No practice
Cost to Export: Documentary Compliance (USD)No practice
Time to Import: Border Compliance (hours) No practice
Cost to Import: Border Compliance (USD) No practice
Time to Import: Documentary Compliance (hours) No practice
Cost to Import: Documentary Compliance (USD) No practice

Assumptions:
* It is assumed that shipment travels from a warehouse in the largest business city of the exporting economy to a warehouse in the largest business city of the importing economy.
* It is assumed that each economy imports a standardized shipment of 15 metric tons of containerized auto parts (HS 8708) from its natural import partner—the economy from which it imports the largest value (price times quantity) of auto parts. It is assumed that each economy exports the product of its comparative advantage (defined by the largest export value) to its natural export partner—the economy that is the largest purchaser of this product.
* A shipment is a unit of trade. Export shipments do not necessarily need to be containerized, while import shipments of auto parts are assumed to be containerized.
* Shipping cost based on weight is assumed to be greater than shipping cost based on volume.
* If government fees are determined by the value of the shipment, the value is assumed to be $50,000.
* The mode of transport is the one most widely used for the chosen export or import product and the trading partner, as is the seaport, airport or land border crossing.
* Time is measured in hours, and 1 day is 24 hours.
* Costs do not include tariffs.
Source: World Bank, Doing Business, 2020

Investment Regime

Legal Framework

The Eritrean Investment Proclamation No. 59/1994.

Key guarantees in terms of investment protection include:

Source: Eritrea Ministry of Information Online Portal, and Embassy of Eritrea in Sweden.  

Investment Incentives

Source: Eritrea Ministry of Information Online Portal, and Embassy of Eritrea in Sweden.