Predominantly agricultural, Guinea produces rice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava, bananas, and sweet potatoes. Livestock raising (cattle, sheep, and goats) is important in the highlands. The country has about a third of the world's bauxite deposits, which are mined jointly by Guinea and international companies. Gold, diamonds, and iron ore are also mined. Minerals account for more than 70% of all exports.
Alumina, made from bauxite, is also a leading export; other exports include fish, coffee, and a variety of agricultural products. The main imports are petroleum products, metals, machinery, transportation equipment, textiles, and grains. Guinea's chief trading partners are Russia, the United States, France, South Korea, Spain, and Belgium. Guinea has some light industry, but inadequate transportation facilities have hampered industrialization. Rail lines connect some large cities, and there are airports at Conakry and Kankan. Expansion of the mineral industry has led to improvement of the road network.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.