Economy, Currency, Commerce, and Trade
centimes, exchange rate, unit of currency, diamonds, Congo
The unit of currency is the CFA franc, consisting of 100 centimes (712 CFA francs equal U.S.$1; 2000 average). An exchange rate of 1 French franc equal to 50 CFA francs remained in force from 1948 to January 1994, when the CFA franc was officially devalued by 50 percent.
The country’s principal exports are diamonds, timber, cotton, and coffee. France and Belgium are by far the leading trade partners, and some commerce is also carried on with the nearby nations of Cameroon, the Congo, and Gabon, with which the Central African Republic is joined in the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa. In 2000 exports earned $167 million while imports cost $196 million.
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